St. Petersburg is a city that’s known for its stunning architecture and refined culture. Visitors of all types can enjoy a wander through its elegant streets. However, it’s a particularly attractive destination for those who enjoy a good museum. Home to some of the most renowned, informative and, even, eccentric institutions in the country, there are plenty of fascinating museum establishments to visit. These four are by far some of the best on that list.
St. Petersburg State Museum Of Theatre And Music
The Alexandrinsky Theatre is one of the most popular landmarks in the city. It showcases some of Russia’s most famous exports – ballet and opera – and is an architectural masterpiece in its own right. Situated directly behind is the St. Petersburg State Museum Of Theatre And Music, which pays homage to the great performers and performances that have graced the local stage.
The museum houses show posters, photos and headshots from some of the greatest shows in the country, and there are even live and interactive exhibitions to help you get a feel for the theatre of old. In an attempt to join these historical performances with the contemporary works seen today, there are even opportunities to speak to, and attend workshops with, some of the most notable actors of the present era.
State Hermitage Museum
Art and history lovers from all over the world should cherish to opportunity to visit one of Russia’s greatest collections. Founded in 1764, on the site of the former home of the Tsars, this museum is one of the largest, oldest and most established in the world. Covering almost 250,000 square metres, there are endless exhibitions to sink your teeth into.
Photo: Creative Commons
The vast collections include a staggering 1,012 657 works of art, alongside 771,897 pieces of historical artifacts and 13,974 armory displays. You can spend an entire day wandering the many beautiful halls and corridors of this vast establishment, and still not see everything it has to offer. It’s an iconic site and well worth a visit for anyone staying in the city.
State Russian Museum
Nearby its more eclectic brother, the State Russian Museum is the perfect place to visit if you’re more interested in gaining a comprehensive understanding of Russian history and culture. It houses the country’s largest collective of Russian art works, ranging from historic and folk pieces, right up to the contemporary masters of the modern day.
Timeless classics, such as Bruillov’s ‘The Last Day of Pompeii’, call this museum their home, and it was the first ever state-owned collection of art in the country – adding another element to its historic reverence. There are guided tours in several languages, so you can gain an in depth understanding of this unique and wondrous country, as well as enjoying its aesthetic treasures.
If you’re looking for more of a fringe museum experience, this weird and wonderful site is definitely an eccentric stop-off to enjoy. It was actually the city’s first ever museum, founded by Peter the Great himself. It began as a Museum of Anthropology and Ethology, with its most famous and talked-about attraction still on display to this day – the bizarre collection of deformed fetuses.
However, the squeamish amongst us will be pleased to hear that, since then, it has greatly expanded and there are several other exhibitions in place that make it a worthwhile attraction. It now showcases many fascinating displays, exploring different cultural practices and beliefs from around the world.
Far from being known as the intellectual capital of the world, St. Petersburg actually has more than its fair share of museums for academics from every walk of life to enjoy. If you know of another that deserves a place on this list, be sure to leave a comment below.
This is a guest post sponsored by The Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg and written by Steve Ewins. An Avid Traveller and Blogger who has visited more than 80 countries.