The Thunder Tower Military History Museum
Smolensk, October Revolution ul., building 3
Tel.: +7 (481)2 38-41-73
Tue – Sun: from 11:00 to 19:00 (ticket office open until 18:00)
Entrance ticket to the museum – 100 rubles
Children under 16 years old – free
Family ticket – 200 rubles
Groups of up to 5 people – 500 rubles
Groups of up to 5 people (discounted category) – 250 rubles
Groups of more than 5 people – 100 rubles per person
Groups of more than 5 people (discounted category) – 60 rubles per person
Russian Military Historical Society
Museum Executive Director
Elena Valerevna Sinitsina
In 2017, the Russian Military Historical Society’s Military History Museum updated its exposition in one of the Smolensk fortress wall towers, Thunder Tower. It has been open to visitors since September 25, 2017.
The updated exposition is located on the second and third tiers of the tower and is dedicated to the construction of the Smolensk fortress wall, the defense of Smolensk (1609–1611), the Smolensk war (1632–1634), and the final incorporation of the city into the Russian state. It presents household items and weapons from museum and private collections as well as documents, drawings, and plans of the fortress wall and its towers, newly discovered in the central archives.
The museum exposition creates an atmosphere of immersion into history with the help of sound effects and multimedia technologies such as VR glasses and audio guides.
You can also see a detailed interactive layout of the Smolensk fortress wall in Thunder Tower. The layout size is almost 5 square meters. Mobile audio guides are available for independent familiarization with the exposition, in which the narration will be done by builders and defenders of the city. There is a souvenir kiosk on the first tier of the tower with a full assortment of typewritten novelties from the Russian Military Broadcasting Center and local history publications.
Visitors can see the unique interior of the tower, walk along its steep narrow stairs, and admire the wooden tent from the inside. There is space for mass events on the fourth tier, under the dome of the tower. Visitors have the opportunity to walk along the only place on the wall officially reserved for tourist walks.
Thunder Tower is one of the most beautiful towers in the “Necklace of the Russian land” (Smolensk fortress wall) erected by the architect Fyodor Kon. This is the first of the fortress towers restored to its original form.
The Thunder Tower of the Smolensk fortress wall was transferred to the use of the Russian Military Historical Society in 2017. Updating the museum exposition in it was the first step of the Russian Military Historical Society to preserve and gradually put into use all the towers and sections of this unique cultural heritage site of federal significance, the Smolensk fortress wall.