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Kunstkammer (Saint Petersburg)

Kunstkammer (Saint Petersburg)

 

 

 

 

Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya 3
Tel. 328- 1412
Closed: Mon & last Tues of month
Bus: 7, 10, 47, K-47, K-128, K-147, K-187, K-209
Trolleybus: 1, 7,10
Metro: Vasileostrovskaya

www.kunstkamera.ru

 

 

 

 

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Description of the Kunstkammer

Image of Kunstkammer  Image of Kunstkammer 

Baroque blue and white facade of Kunstkammer is clearly distinguished along banks of Neva river. Kunstkammer was constructed in 1718- 34 by the order of Russian Emperor Peter the Great and under supervision of architect Georg Mattarnoviy. It became the first Russian museum in Saint Petersburg and all of the Russian Empire. Peter the Great was greatly influenced by the things he saw while traveling throughout Western Europe. He was particularly impressed by anatomical lectures of Frederik Ruysch (1638- 1731) in Holland. On several occasions Emperor himself participated in dissections of human bodies, huge step for a Eastern Orthodox monarch. Upon return to Russia Peter the Great purchased anatomical collection of over 2000 items of preparations. Later he added a heart and a skeleton of his personal servant "Bourgeois", a giant that towered at 2.27m (7.5 feet) as well as a collection of teeth that Emperor extracted himself. Peter learned many trades throughout his life, but dental work gave him particular satisfaction.

 

Kunstkammer contains a large collection of mutated children that died in woman's uterus or shortly after their birth. The sign of these dead children was so horrible to the sensitive Russian public of the time that Peter ordered every visitor to drink a glass of free vodka before entering the museum. Today this bizarre collection is housed in the rotunda of the building. The rest of the museum house the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. It exhibits human skeletons and ancient tools that were discovered all over Russia and former USSR. Some of the ancient tribes discovered in Russia have striking African and Asian  physical features implying that mixture of cultures and races occurred by earlier than we would expect. Other exhibitions display artefacts brought from different cultures around the World.

 

Keep in mind that Kunstkammer holds a particular spot in a Russian culture. It is famous as the country's first museum as well as for its bizarre collection of mutants. So expect long line. The best time to come here is really early before the lines start to form.

 

 


 

Transportation

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

Interesting information and useful tips

 

 

 

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