Exhibition: «Secrets and mysteries: the natural world of Kulikovo Field»

Bolgar is a unique historical settlement that has existed for more than one thousand years.

An in-depth look at the diverse natural world of the Kulikovo Field reserve

Each section of this exhibition is dedicated to a particular type of flora or fauna from Kulikovo Field. On display are exhibits from our archaeological, botanical and insect collections, gathered by our research team over a period of 30 years. There are around 400 items and natural objects – fish scales and bones, mosses and lichens, butterflies, birds from every habitat, steppe plants, farm crops and tools from ancient times, a tractor from the era when the first museum was established at Kulikovo Field. Multimedia displays enable the visitor to observe the lives of wild boar, foxes, hares, deer and elk.

Our main exhibition, ‘Secrets and mysteries: the natural world of Kulikovo Field’, stems from a large-scale project to restore the historical 14th century landscape of broadleaf oak and feather-grass steppe, which the State Museum-Reserve has been carrying out for many years. The level of depth and detail of research into the interrelationship between man and nature makes Kulikovo Field a unique cultural phenomenon; there is nothing like it anywhere in the world.

The need to research the natural environment of Kulikovo Field became apparent before the museum-reserve was even established, because of problems in reconstructing the historical landscape of the battlefield. Understanding how it had developed and evolved over the course of many centuries was a task that naturalists would have to undertake. Thanks to all the work that has been done, we now know for certain what Kulikovo Field looked like at the time of the battle and which plants, shrubs and trees grew there. Research continues to this day, and contemporary scientists are discovering the secrets not just of the only living witness to the battle of Kulikovo Field but also the world of its inhabitants.

Natural laboratories have been conceived throughout the exhibition where you can try out your skills as a research biologist working alongside museum staff.

Our laboratory of smells is particularly interesting. Take a sniff and get to know the scents of Kulikovo’s flowers and plants: St-John’s-Wort, lily of the valley, thyme, ground cherry, raspberry, cranesbill, mint and oak. The exhibition also prompts you to carry out some tasks relating to the weather, learn to tell the difference between hay and straw, and give a detailed description of each of the plants that grow here.

When: 1 May 2022 to 31 May 2024

Where: Kulikovo Battlefield Museum

Admission: 150 roubles

This exhibition can be visited during museum opening hours, and there are guided tours every day at 14.00 and 15.30.