The museum of Kunstkamera is known as the museum of curiosity due to its interesting and unusual collections of unique artifacts from around the world.
Established by Tsar Peter the Great as the first and oldest museum in Russia, the Kunstkamera Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography is one of the world's largest collections of artifacts charting the diverse history and cultures of various people from different countries.
Peter was known for having a fascination for collecting curiosities, which included nuggets of gold, model ships, tools, astronomical instruments, rare treasures and souvenirs from his travels abroad. While visiting Dutch anatomist, Frederick Ruysch in 1697, he was introduced to a collection of fetal specimens with anatomical abnormalities. The purpose of preserving them was for furthering one's knowledge and Peter took great interest in the concept.
His original cabinet of curiosities was kept in Moscow, but in 1714, he moved the collection to The Summer Palace. After it was relocated to Kikin Hall for public viewing, it was decided that a new building would be constructed on Vasilievsky Island overlooking the Neva River across from The Winter Palace. In 1719, architects Georg Johann Mattarnovi and Mikhail Zemtsov, began the project and in 1727 it was completed. Peter now had a place to showcase his own Kunstkammer for the people.☺
Considered one of the most-frequented museums in the city, the Kunstkamera Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography holds a wealth of world history and education with informative descriptions provided in both Russian and English.
If you plan to go there you will see a lot of anthropological things of people, who live in different areas of Russia, including a lot of warped fetuses. Yes, it is real! Very interesting, curious and freak. Personally worth a visit if you have time, so don't miss it!
Interested to visit Kunstkamera? If so, click on the links below or scroll down the page to learn more.
The Kunstkammer is described as rooms of art and wonders on the history of the world and mankind.
The three categories for exhibits are focused on naturalia (products of nature), artificialia (products of man), and scientifica (products of science, such as clocks and instruments.) The German word Kunstkamera, meaning “art chamber” was chosen and the Kunstkamera Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St. Petersburg was established.
Once inside the museum you can see the following displays:
Visitors do offer a word of warning for those who are squeamish or sensitive, as the display of deformed fetuses in jars may be difficult for some to view. This exhibit, however, is contained in a specific room that can be bypassed if needed.☺
Officially known as the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Kunstkamera's museum was the first museum in Russia, and is one of the oldest in the world.
Today, the museum houses more than a million artifacts on ethnography, anthropology and archeology that highlight various cultures and races from around the world, many of which were brought back by Russian explorers during the 19th century.
The building was also once home to The Academy of Sciences, which is why part of the museum is dedicated to Mikhail Lomonosov, the great Russian polymath.
Tickets can be bought at the ticket office of the museum upon arrival or through the official museum website. The ticket office of the museum is open from 10.00 am to 17.00 pm. Tickets online must be purchased at least a day before visiting the museum.
Located on University Embankment on Vasilevsky Island directly across the Neva River from The Palace Square, the Winter Palace, the Winter Gardens, the Mikhailovich Palace and the Hermitage Museum. The museum is easily accessible on foot by way of The Palace Bridge, if you stay near the Hermitage Museum. Alternatively, if you stay on Nevsky Prospekt you can take the tram, bus, taxi, or the metro to get there in just a few minutes.
Location: 3, Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya
Metro: Nevsky Prospekt, Admiralteyskaya, Vasileostrovskaya
Telephone: +7 (812) 328-1412, +7 (812) 328-0812
Open: Daily from 11:00 to 19:00, Last admission is at 18:00
Closed: Mondays and the last Tuesday of each month
Admission: Adult: 250 Rubles; Students and children: 50 Rubles; Admission is free on the third Friday of each month
Photo and video: Free
Accessibility note: Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.
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