Sergiev Posad has a long history of toy-making and is considered to be the capital of the toy kingdom. The Russian matryoshka known all over the world was born here.
The toy museum represents the history of Russian toy, illustrates stages of matryoshka development, stylistic processes in toy making. On display are works of professional artists and folk craftsmen from all traditional matryoshka regions. The first Russian matryoshka created by S. Malyutin is a part of the museum’s collection, which includes more than 100 thousands toys in total.
The story said that folk crafts painter Sergey Malyutin saw a set of Japanese wooden dolls representing seven Gods of Fortune. The set of wooden dolls comprised gods’ figures of decreasing size placed one inside the other. Malyutin were inspired by the toy and he created its Russian version in 1890. The Malyutin’s toy, named matryoshka, consisted of 8 dolls: the outermost was a woman holding a rooster, 7 inner dolls were her children, the innermost – a bundled baby. The word “matryoshka” (Rus: матрёшка) is a diminutive form of the common Russian female name “Matryona”, that come from the Latin root mater for mother.
In 1900, matryoshka was presented at the World Exhibition in Paris and earned a bronze medal. Soon artists from different regions of Russia started making matryoshka and eventually made nested dolls a symbol and souvenir of Russia.
Open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Closed Mon, Tue.
Closed last Friday of each month.
Permission to take photos 100 rub
To get to the Toy Museum:
123, Krasnoy Armii av. (Rus: Просп. Красной Армии, д. 123)
Latitude: 56°18′38.70″ N (56.31075);
Longitude: 38°07′58.95″ E (38.13304)
The toy museum is located just south of the Trinity Lavra, in a red brick building on the hilltop.