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Best Museums of Saint Petersburg

When one visits Saint Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia, it would be silly not to see the art this city has to offer. To make it easier for you to prioritise where to go first, here is the list of the most interesting museums of St. Pete. 

The State Hermitage Museum

This museum doesn’t require much advertising. The Hermitage is a famous complex of buildings, each one an artistic wonder on it’s own, created by the most prominent European and Russian architects. It is one of the biggest museums in the world that has more than 3 million masterpieces in it’s possession. It would take at least 11 years for a person to see every object in it, if they spent at least one minute looking at each one. Here you can see the works of such artists as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco and many more.  

The Hermitage is an active participant of many international projects, exhibitions, biennales, festivals and educational events, so you will definitely find something interesting to see during your visit. 

 

The State Russian Museum 

If you’d like to know more about Russian art this is the first place to go to in Saint Petersburg. It has more than 400 000 pieces from all of the periods of Russian art history, from 10th to 21st century. Museum’s complex consists of several historical buildings that used to belong to Russian aristocrats, two of them belonged to Peter The Great himself. Mikhailovsky Garden and Summer Garden are also a part of the museum’s territory, so tourists and locals can take a relaxing stroll before or after their visit. 

They also have their own scientific library that has an abundant amount of literature. It also has a special section of rare books and an automated information and search system to make the exploration of their collection easy for the users. 

 

Exhibition of World Records and Facts “Titikaka”

If you are looking for an unusual entertainment you’d like this museum. It offers a strange and fascinating collection of items from all over the world, and visiting it feels like making a real journey. The pieces tell about the most extraordinary events and people and seeing them is always entertaining for both children and adults. There you will be able to take a medieval polygraph test, climb into a sharks’s mouth, look at a dinosaur’s egg and sculptures made out of pencils’ tips, and smell a gigantic flower. The excursions are free and allow to interact with the objects on the display. 

For visitors over 14 they have an educational quest about the museum’s collection, and if you complete it successfully, you’ll leave with a prize!  

 

The Kunstkamera (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography)

This museum was born out of Peter The Great’s passion for science and various curiosities. The first pieces were actually collected by the emperor himself and were brought from all the corners of the country. The ruler acquired many rare and unique anatomical, zoological, mineralogical rarities that he found valuable for the development of sciences. 

It’s construction was finished in 1734 and Kunstkamera is considered to be one of the oldest museum buildings in the world. Nowadays it’s walls house many anatomical wonders and pieces that showcase the unique cultures of many countries and nationalities. 

Erarta Museum

For the lovers of contemporary art this museum is a definite point of interest. Among the pieces in their permanent and temporary exhibitions you will see the the stunning modern technology, unusual materials, bold artistic experiments, “since art”, gems of modern design and fashion. To enrich the visitor’s experience they also screen movies and cartoons about art and offer excursions even if there is only two of you. 

After enjoying contemporary art, you can check out their souvenir shop and an award winning restaurant with a summer terrace. 

In 2015 Erarta became a part of Google Art Project, which means that you can explore it’s collection from every part of the world, the only thing you’ll need is a computer. So you can have a virtual tour by doing an easy search in Google and simply clicking a couple of buttons. 

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Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

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