The main educational space of any museum is its exposition. Preparation and opening of the permanent exhibition stimulates the development of core activities of the museum.
Modern exposition of Hrodna State Historical and Archaeological Museum is housed in four buildings: in the Royal Palaces of the XVI-th and the XVII-th centuries, the so-called the Old and the New Castles, in the former House of the city guard of the XVIII-th century (Haradnytsa History Museum), in the wooden house built in 1888 (Maxim Bahdanovich Museum).
The main part of the Museum exposition is located in the Old Castle and is represented by the departments of Archeology, History and Nature of Hrodna region, as well as one of the exhibition halls of the Museum.
The exposition “The most Ancient Monuments of the Nioman Land from the X-th millennium BC to the XIIth century AD” of the Archeology department highlights the key stages of populating the Belarusian part of the Nioman basin, shows the characteristic features of the material culture of the tribes inhabiting the territory of the region during the Stone, Bronze, Iron ages. The exhibited silicon nodules, cores, axes, arrowheads, mammoth bones, a scull of a woolly rhinoceros, a globular amphora, a bronze Celt arouse interest among the visitors.
In the first halls of History department the materials on political and economic development of our region are presented, the most significant events in the regional peacetime and military history of different centuries are highlighted, the history of Hrodna castles, the stories about state, public figures and famous persons are told. Among the distinctive exhibits one can see Donative Сertificates, written in the Old Belarusian language in the beginning of the XVIth century, the Ceremonial Key to Hrodna, the chairs of the XVIIth century furniture from the Royal Palace of Hrodna, the ornate tissues from Hrodna and Ruzhany manufactories, the sundial (1781). The Russian cannon cast in 1701 by master Login Zhykharaw reminds of the events of the Great Northern War. The Exposure is proud of the silk sash, woven at the Persian weaving workshop of Yan Paschalis in Lipkava (near Warsaw). Witnesses of various historical events in Hrodna are the piece of beadwork depicting a kasiner (a member of the insurrection armed with a scythe ), the uniform of an officer of Hrodna Hussar regiment, the travel notes of a rebel, exiled to Siberia, a badge of a Hrodna City Council member, the lifetime editions and personal belongings of well-known representatives of science, literature and culture of our region – A.Makavelsky, Adam Mitskevich, M.K.Ahinsky.
In the exhibition halls devoted to the events of the Great Patriotic War one can see in detail the defence of the city in summer 1941, the occupation regime, the guerrilla movement, the military operation named “Bahration”. The weapons, military equipment, documents, photographs, awards of the natives of Hrodna region who participated in the Great Patriotic War– S.Varkow, M.Pawlowsky, E.Antonaw, V.Sakalowsky –are exhibited here as well.
The exposition “The Residents of Hrodna in the Afghan war” was established in 2011 and is dedicated to the social order of Afghanistan, to the country’s life in 1979-1989, to the participation of soldiers and officers from Hrodna region in the Afghan war. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a kind of a local “Island of Tears” with the photographs of those who perished in Afghanistan.
The exposure of the Department of Nature which is located in 6 rooms acquaints visitors with the development of life on the Earth, with the peculiarities of local nature, with the diversity of flora and fauna of the Nioman land. Here you can see a snowy owl, a black stork, a common crane, a lapwing, a griffon vulture, a noble deer, an elk, a bison.
The New Castle proposes the following constant expositions: “Preserved Treasures”, “Weapons of Past Centuries”, “The Wonderful World of Nature”, “Old Interior”, and its 3 exhibition halls – the Senators’ Hall, the Oval Hall and the Chapel—are for temporary ones.
The exhibition “Preserved Treasures” presents works of art and historical relics of the XVIth – beginning of the XXth centuries which were cofiscated by the Hrodna Regional Customs employees. Among the works of arts and crafts you can get acquainted with clocks and watches of the XVIII-XIXth centuries. The porcelain collection represents small statuettes and tableware produced at the famous manufactories in Meysen and Nymphenburg, the Berlin Royal Porcelain Manufactory, St. Petersburg Imperial Porcelain Factory. The collection of silver jewelry has on display elegant tableware of the XVIII-XIXth centuries from Britain, France and Russia. The Orthodox religious forged copper plastic art – icons, foldings, crosses, crucifixes, the works of Western European and Russian art, documentary materials that belonged to the members of the Ramanavy dynasty are presented as well.
The exhibition “Weapons of Past Centuries” exhibits the samples of weapons of the XIth – early XXth centuries, which include different types of weapons and firearms, armour, uniforms and equipment of the Army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Russian Army and from the Eastern countries.
The basis of the exhibition “The Wonderful World of Nature” is the private collection of Stanislaw Zhiwna which he donated to the Museum in 1924. The exhibits here are shells of mollusks, corals, tropical butterflies, penguins, kangaroos, hummingbirds.
The exposition “Ancient Interior” shows a collection of furniture and articles of interior, works of decorative arts, sculpture, painting, drawing of the XVIIth – beginning of the XXth centuries.
The exposition of Haradnitsa (the former downtown) history is devoted to the activities of the Hrodna Headman and the Lithuanian Treasurer Assistant Anthony Tyzengauz, who sought to turn this city into a large industrial, scientific and cultural center. The visitors have the opportunity to get acquainted with the products of Hrodna Royal manufactories of the second half of the XVIIIth century –the fragment of Hrodna sash, gold and silver lace, small glasses– “romers”.
The Museum of Maxim Bahdanovich demonstrates the documents, photographs, manuscripts, books, personal items which belonged to the Belarusian classic of poetry, to his relatives and friends, to other wonderful poets and writers of our land during the period of the late XIXth–early XXth centuries., The pearl of the exposure is the frame for the frame and the silver teaspoon which belonged to Maxim, the casket that belonged to Marya Apanasawna—Mother of the future poet. The significance of the Museum is marked by four memorial rooms, where the pieces of furniture, interior and household items of the end of the XIXth – the beinning of the XXth centuries are represented.
Annually the exhibition halls give the room to the exhibitions both from the reserve of our Museum and to the collections from Belarusian and foreign museums, other institutions and individuals to commemorate significant historical and cultural events and to the ones dedicated to the outstanding personalities and figures, whose destinies are linked to the destiny of Hrodna region.
The 110-th anniversary of the birth of the founder and the first director of the Museum Yazep Yadkowsky and the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Museum was noted by the exhibition “Dedication to the Founder.” The numismatic collection of the Museum, the foundation to which was laid by Yadkowsky was exhibited there for the first time.
The exhibition “The Museum Book Treasures” (the private library of Count Vandalin Puslowsky and Countess Martha Krasinskaya) provided an opportunity to meet with representatives of the Puslowskiya kin as well as with the most valuable editions of the XV-XIXth centuries, donated to the Museum in 1924.
The exhibition “No Secrecy Seal”, where the documents and rare photographs of Hrodna during the first days of the war, military uniforms and weapons of the Red Army and German Army were exhibited was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War beginning.
Together with Siauliai Museum “Ausros” (it means Dawn) from Lithuania Hrodna Museum organized the exhibition “The Uprising of 1863: Faces, Names, Stories,” dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the rising under the leadership of Kastus Kalinowsky. The exhibited photographs of Kastus Kalinowsky, Ludwig Serakowsky, priest Antanas Matskiavichus, the things made by the rebels in Siberian exile, the handwritten notebooks with diary entries and poems of the insurgents drew attention of the visitors.
The “Hrodna Troy” exhibition is a reflection of the history of archaeological research of Hrodna and its interesting finds of the X-th – beginning of the XXth centuries.
The exhibitions compiled from the Museum’s collection fund “On the Hrodna platform” (to the 150th anniversary of the Belarusian Railways), “The Stone Book of Nature”, “The Living Planet” were very successful.
Swedish National Museum of Military History and the Army provided the exhibition “Things between Life and Death”. More than a thousand items, which were used by the soldiers of the European and American Armies during the First and the Second World Wars were exhibited there.
Art exhibitions present the works of honored classics of the past and contemporary artists from Belarus, Poland, Ukraine and Russia. The exhibition “The Golden Age of Belarusian Art” was aimed to show the works by Belarusian artists of the XIXth- first half of the XXth centuries from the collections of the National Art Museum of Belarus and from the funds of the Homel Palace and Park Ensemble.
Interesting exhibitions held at the Museum of Haradnitsa that demonstrate the creativity of contemporary folk artists of Hrodna region are distinguished by their uniquiness.