Language
English Français
Collection of antique 16-19th century hunting weapons

Gatchina

Along with artworks, the Gatchina Palace houses one of the finest collections of antique weapons in Russia. It comprises over 1000 items of firearms and edged weapons dating from 16th to 19th centuries. Many of these have both artistic and historical significance and provide an insight into the evolution of armour-making in Europe and Asia.

Gatchina

The initial owner, who started the collection, was Count Orlov. After his death in 1783, Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich (the future Emperor Paul I) and the imperial family came to own the collection.

Gatchina

The firearms were hung about the walls in the Crimson Gallery in 1823 and remained in place until the treasures had to be evacuated from the palace in 1941.

Gatchina

It is worth mentioning that in the 1920s the Gatchina arsenal reduced in size as quite a few pieces of military armour were removed, many of these were to be sold later abroad. In the postwar period, the collection remained at Tsarskoye Selo and it was not until 1988 that it returned to Gatchina. The Palace now displays the permanent exhibition showing the finest pieces.

Gatchina

Also on display are watercolours by the painter Michael Zichy, showing scenes of royal hunting at the Menagerie.