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St. Petersburg Museums

St. Petersburg is not without reason referred to by local residents as the gorod muzei or "city museum." The former capital of a vast and glorious empire which reached from the Barents Sea to the Silk Road and Central Europe to the Pacific Ocean, St. Petersburg is brimming with history, and fortunately for us this history is well preserved in the city's more than 50 museums. Whether you want to immerse yourself in the world-renowned Hermitage Museum's more than 1000 rooms which collectively house one of the world's greatest collections of Western European Art or visit the widely acclaimed Russian Ethnographic Museum's truly rich exhibit of the life and culture of the over 100 peoples of Russia, you are sure to be impressed and wanting to come back for more.

Academy of Fine Arts Museum - On the bank of the northern bank of the Neva River behind the imported and ancient Egyptian sphinxes, the historic academy houses a permanent collection of art by former students and faculty since the its founding in 1757. It also exhibits various temporary exhibits.

The Applied Art Museum - One of the more underrated museums in the city, the historic Applied Art Museum boasts permanent exhibits of about 3000 original items ranging from interesting and unique glass works to ceramics and porcelain. It also hosts regular exhibitions by students of the academy.

Arctic and Antarctic Museum - Exhibits the northern sea route, culture of people who live in the far north and the discovery and exploration of the Antartic.

Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps - This museum is home to more than 50,000 exhibits including an array of artillery pieces, battle paintings, engineering equipment, heavy artillery, firearms and other weapons.

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace - This mid-19th century era palace houses the City Cultural Center and has a varied and interesting cultural program including classical music concerts, folk dance and historical performances. The first floor is home to a wax figure museum of Russian Emperors.

Central Railway Museum - Established in 1813, the museum has more than in-house 50,000 exhibits, which depict the development of the railways in Russia and explain various railroad technologies.

The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood - It's unique decorations include icons and panels made from majolica and mosaic, which were made from drawings by the leading Russian artists of last century. Restorers say the church contains more mosaics than any other cathedral in the world. The church also houses a permanent exhibition "Tsar Alexander II".

The Cottage Palace in Peterhof / Petrodvorets - Located about 30 km west of St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland, this was the cottage where Peter the Great was quartered while building while building an entire series of palaces along an estate called Petrodvorets or Peter's Palace.

Cruiser Aurora - Famous for firing the first shot in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the cruiser has been turned into a floating museum containing documents and photographs related to the Revolution.

Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum - The museum opened in 1971 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian novelist. He spent the last years of his life here and wrote one of his greatest novels "The Brothers Karamazov" here. The restored rooms, belongings, literary display and photographs shed light on the writer's interesting personal life and outstanding career.

The Hermitage Museum - A world-class museum founded in 1764. It occupies several buildings including the Winter Palace, Small, Old and New Hermitages. The museum boasts more than 3 million works including applied art, archaeological finds, coins, graphic art, paintings and sculptures. The museum recently acquired Soviet painter Kazimir Malevich's famous black square painting for $1 million.

Icebreaker "Krasin" - Built between 1917 and 1927 and named for the Soviet government official Leonid Krasin the ice-breaker took part in research expeditions in the Arctic and is considered the world's only floating museum of Arctic navigation.

The Marble Palace - A branch of the Russian Museum, famous Italian architect Antonio Rinaldi built the palace for one of Catherine II's favorites Count Grigory Orlov from 1768-85. The palace houses a permanent exhibition of European artists of the 18th and first half of the 19 centuries who lived and worked in Russia. It also houses an exhibit of modern art from abroad.

The Mikhailovsky (St. Michael's) Castle - A branch of the Russian Museum, it regularly hosts a variety of art exhibitions. It also has a permanent exhibition of portraits of members of the Romanov dynasty and the Russian aristocracy.

Monument To The Heroic Defenders Of Leningrad - An impressive monument and museum complex in nationwide recognition of the 900-day Siege of Leningrad during World War II. Pay special attention to the map of the Leningrad defenses, the short documentary, and the beautiful mosaics, which decorate the eastern and western walls of the hall.

The Central Navy Museum - Founding on Peter the Great's decree in 1709, the museum is one of the oldest in the city. Attached to the golden-spired Admiralty building, the museum is dedicated to Russian naval history. It houses more than 1500 exhibits including various flags, historical documents, weapons and more.

Peter and Paul Fortress - This is the oldest building in St. Petersburg. Be sure to visit the baroque interior of the SS Peter & Paul cathedral with its landmark golden needle spire. This is also the resting site for many Russian Tsars including Peter the Great. The grounds outside the fortress are a major venue for several city festivals held through out the year.

Alexander Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment - The museum honoring the great Russian writer and poet opened in 1949 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Pushkin's birth and is the oldest literary museum in Russia. It includes a display of all of Pushkin's belongings.

Russian Ethnography Museum - Houses an exhibit of the culture and life of the more than 150 peoples of Russia including various adornments, cut objects, embroidery, folk costumes, furs and weapons.

The Russian Museum - Founded in 1898, this is the largest and most complete museum of Russian art. The museum's collection of art is housed in the Mikhailovsky Palace, which was built by famous Russian architect Carl Rossi from 1819-25. It houses works by great Russian artists including renowned painters Pavel Fedotov, Isaac Levitan, Orest Kiprensky, Ilya Repin and many others.

St Isaac's Cathedral - The lavish interior of the grandiose and skyline-dominating cathedral completed in 1858 and designed by French architect Ricard de Montferrand. Be sure to check out the views from the colonnade surrounding the cathedral's beautiful landmark golden dome.

The Stroganov Palace - The palace is currently being restored. However, an interesting exhibition of about 30 wax figures representing the Tsarist dynasty and 300 years of Romanov family rule in Russia from Ivan the Terrible to Nicholas II is open. The figures are all dressed up in authentic clothing.

The Summer Palace Of Emperor Peter The Great - houses a permanent collection of Peter the Great's personal belongings from the 18th century including bed, clothes, mirror and pieces of furniture. The palace was built between 1710-12 to the design of famous architect D. Trezinni.

Aleksander Suvorov Memorial Museum - This museum has a display devoted to the great Russian generalissimo Alexander Suvorov who is considered one of the greatest military leaders in world history. The building has been renovated and its new interior is fascinating.

The Yelagin Palace - Completed in 1822 and designed by renowned architect Karl Rossi, the palace was the summer home of Empress Maria Fedorovna. It now houses an exhibit of decorative applied art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Yusupov Palace - A marvel of 18th and 19th century architecture and home to one of the wealthiest and powerful pre-Revolutionary Russian families, the palace is also famous as the site where Gregory Rasputin was murdered in 1916. The palace offers guided tours and is a venue for regular concerts and other cultural programs.

Zoological Museum - The museum has an impressive display of over 40,000 exhibits of fauna from every continent and climate.


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