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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tsar's Effects, Documents On Exhibit

In what organizers are calling the biggest Romanov exhibit since the Revolution, the State Historical Museum is celebrating the 400th birthday of the dynasty's first tsar with an exhibit in a small museum where the ruling family once lived.

Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov came to power in 1613 at age 16 with the backing of more than 200 noble members of the Zemsky Assembly who signed their names to a document declaring their support for his tsarhood, thus effectively ending the Time of Troubles.

In terms of historical value, that document is certainly the centerpiece of the birthday exhibit, which includes 32 items that once belonged to the tsar.

"Besides the Armory staff, no one has ever seen it," said Lyudmila Sadovnikova, one of the creators of the exhibit, organized jointly by the Historical Museum and the Kremlin Museums. "This document is the most precious item in the whole exhibit, because it is the confirmation of his coming to power."

Sadovnikova said the fragile document will be on display until Friday when experts from the Armory will check its condition and decide whether to prolong its exhibition.

As a whole, the exhibition is all the more compelling because it is set in the Zaryadye Chambers, a series of restored rooms where the first Romanov tsar's parents lived over four centuries ago. The exhibit includes Mikhail Fyodorovich's battlewear along with a silver sword and shield given to him by Persian Shah Abbas I. Here, too, documents provide a window onto the activities of the tsar, whose letters to noblemen granting them the power to govern are on view.

Also on display are belongings of Patriarch Filaret, Mikhail Fyodorovich's father. Through these personal effects, the viewer gets a sense of the influence Filaret wielded over his son.

"Four Hundred Years from the Birthday of the First Tsar in the Romanov Dynasty, Mikhail Fyodorovich" runs until Aug. 12 in the Chambers in Zaryadye Museum, located at 10 Ulitsa Varvarka. It is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Tuesdays and the first Monday of the month. Admission is 25,000 rubles ($5) for foreigners, 5,000 for Russian citizens and 3,000 rubles for students. Tel. 298-3706. Nearest metro: Kitai-Gorod.