The full name of the museum is "Museum of the Heroic Defense and
Liberation of Sevastopol." As such its perview encompasses all the
military history of Sevastopol and Crimea including not only the Great Eastern
War but also the Great Fatherland (Second World) War. It has several subsidiary
sites including the Malakov Kurgan and the diorama at Sapun Gor. The
centerpiece of this museum, however, is the marvelous 360 degree panorama
depicting the height of the siege during the assault on 6 June of 1855. The
author of this immense art work was Frants Alekseyevich Rubo, a professor of
fine arts at the Petrograd Akademi of art. To accomplish this huge undertaking
Rubo visited Sevastopol in 1901 and studied the location and documents and
interviewed eye-witnesses. Then he prepared the outline for the work in
Petersburg. He took this material to Munich Germany where the painting was
completed with the assistance of artists Shenkin, Merte, Frosh and 20 art
students at the Bavarian academy. The 14 by 115 meter painting was completed by
fall of 1904. The work was opened to the public on 14 May 1905 for the 50th
anniversary of the battle. Among the first viewers were veterans of the war. On
25 June 1942 during the massive German bombing and artillery shelling of the
city the museum building was hit. The majority of the painting (86 separate
sections) was saved from fire by soldiers and sailors during a two hour rescue
battle. On the night of 27 June the remaining sections of the painting were
shipped out of the besieged city on the last ship, the Tashkent, along with
2000 wounded, women and children. The commander, V. N. Yeroshenko, managed to
bring the ship through German bombing to Novorossiisk. After the end of the war
restoration of the work was among the priorities for artistic work. A group of
famous artists under the direction of V. N. Yakovlyev, and after his death,
under P. Pl Sokolov-Skalya. They were advised by Admiral Professor I. S. Isakov
and Candidate in military art, A. N. Kuz'min. Fortunately they also had
photographs and the original artist's cartoons, and other documents. But they
also added some incidents to the composition. The museum was reopened to the
public on 16 October 1954 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the war.
One cannot reproduce the psychological effect on the viewer how stands in
the center of this immense work of art. Moreover, the museum has thousands of
artifacts in addition to this central panorama. As a start to an appreciation
and to encourage visits, here are a few photos taken at the great Museum of the
Heroic Defense of Sevastopol. Currently the museum has embarked on an ambitious
project to place its holdings in computer data bases so they can be accessed by
historians world- wide. For information about this project or any other
questions about visiting Sevastopol please contact
We have more about this excellent museum, the Malakov Kurgan, the various
bastions in the city defense works and the city at
For information about visits to Sevastopol please contact Xenophon.
A view of the assaulting French troops to the south east (that is to the right
when facing the front toward the center of the enemy lines) of the Malakov
bastion. Southeast direction
A view directly east into the center of the enemy lines, where the British were
located. East direction
A view to the west, back into the city behind the defensive positions. From
this view it is evident that when the allies captured this key terrain they
could direct artillery fire into the city. This forced the Russians to evacuate
promptly. View into city
A map depicting the location of the Allied military camps surrounding
Sevastopol. Note how spread out they were. This map is in a special exhibition
of artifacts from these allied camps and siege works prepared by our gracious
host and guide, Pavel Lyashuk. Map of allied camps.
A display of artifacts associated with the allied armies. Display
A display of allied military decorations awarded for service in the war.
A close up of the reconstruction of the rampart and embrasures with cannon at
the bastion surrounding the museum.Cannon.
Painting of Sevastopol harbor. Painting.
Bust of Admiral Nakhimov outside the museum.
Bust of Admiral Kornilov outside the museum.
Bust of Admiral Istomin outside the museum.
Bust of Admiral Melnikov outside the museum.
Painting of the siege inside the Museum of the Black Sea Fleet.
Bust of Admiral Istomin in the Museum of the Black Sea Fleet.
Bust of Admiral Nakhimov in the Museum of the Black Sea Fleet.
To return to the Xenophon main page please click
here. From the
Crimea you can
reach sections on the battles at Alma, Inkerman and Balaklava. For many views
of the city of Sevastopol, please go