Museum complex

Winter vozok

End of XVII – early XVIII
Timber, iron, mica, leather, cloth, horse hair, joinery, plumbing, forging, mounting, upholstery, painting
212 x 305 x 155 cm
Receipt: from Furniture museum in 1926
Center (carriage)

Vozok (возок) is a type of closed winter sleigh that was used throughout Russia. With the aim of reducing heat loss, the vozok usually had very small windows and sometimes a furnace to keep it warm. The legend has it that Peter made in this Vozok his first trip to Arkhangelsk in 1693 and 1694. It was the first time when he saw the Sea or took a first sea journey and took part in laying of the first Russian commercial ship “The Saint Paul”. In 1702 Peter once again came to Arkhangelsk awaiting a new Swedish assault. The first trips to the North became an important event for the young Tsar and had largely influenced his further life.
This Vozok represents the rarest example a road vehicle of the late XVII early XVIII Centuries. It is equipped with a double seated compartment made like the West European carriages of that time. The windows and upper parts of the doors still contain pieces of mica that was used instead of glass at that time. The walls inside are covered with a green cloth and the seat is fit with a horse hair filled pillow made of the same cloth. The design of the compartment permitted to mount it on top of both - the sleigh or the wheel cart, thus it was possible to use the Vozok throughout a year. The Tsar’s Vozok is devoid of any splendor. Everything is fit to its function as a road vehicle. This feature emphasized the well-known strive of Tsar-Reformer to rationalize everything in life, his love to move fast and his denial of excessive ceremonialism. Over a hundred years the Vozok was kept in Arkhangelsk. Till 1769 the Vozok was kept by the Arkhangelsk Engineer unit and later by the Arkhangelsk Garrison regiment.
In 1827 it was moved to Saint-Petersburg “to be kept with “ancient vehicles” of the Imperial House and it was assigned to the Court Stable museum to present “the most eloquent example of the simplicity of life of the Great Monarch”.

After the Revolution the Vozok of Peter I as a very precious exhibit was moved to Moscow to Alexandrinsky Palace where in 1920 was opened the Furniture museum. In 1926 the Vozok was transferred to the State History museum.