This exhibition marks the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the Order of St George (full name the Order of the Great Martyr and Bringer of Victory George) in Russia.On St George’s Day, 26 November, in 1769 in the Great Palace Church of the Winter Palace Catherine II laid upon herself the insignia of the First Class of the new order. According to its statues, the order was for military officers of the highest and senior ranks, awarded for personal bravery in the field or to mark 25 years of army service or 18 years of naval service. The four classes were differentiated by the size of the insignia, the award of a star and how it was worn. In 1807 a new insignia was introduced to be given to lower ranks, junior officers and soldiers. That same year Alexander I signed a decree by which officers and generals awarded a gold weapon For Bravery were made knights of the Order of St George. In addition to individual awards, there were also collective awards for military units that had distinguished themselves in battle: these consisted of banners and standards, trumpets, horns and buttonhole pins for the collars of the lower ranks. After the October Revolution in 1917 the Order of St George was repealed along with other Russian imperial orders. But its significance was so great that it lingered on in the memory. The Order of Glory and the medal For Victory over Germany, both introduced in the Second World War, were hung on the ribbon of the Order of St George, a ribbon that came to be used by guards regiments. By decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 20 March 1992 the Order of St George was restored as the country’s highest military award, along with the insignia of the Cross of St George. More than 300 objects from the collection of the State Hermitage Museum make up this exhibition, from insignia and Crosses of St George and medals worn on the ribbon of St George, to banners and portraits of knights of the Order. It covers the whole of the period from the foundation of the order to the present day.