KUNSTKAMERA / MUSEUM OF ETHNOGRAPHY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Petit Futé's opinion on KUNSTKAMERA / MUSEUM OF ETHNOGRAPHY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
A vibrant testimony to Peter the Great's insatiable curiosity for science, the Kunstkamera is one of the oldest and richest ethnographic museums in the world. Founded in 1714 by special decree of the Tsar, it occupies a large building in Baroque style. It is on these docks that the founding czar chose to store his private collections. In Amsterdam, Peter the Great bought Professor Frederic Ruysch's collection of anatomical preparations, which he enriched with other acquisitions: foetuses preserved in formalin, skeletons of Siamese babies, deformed toads... all embellished with stuffed animals, rare stones and crystals, mechanical toys and medical instruments... You can notably observe the skull of Khadji-Mourat, hero of the Caucasian wars against the Russians, immortalized by Tolstoy, as well as teeth pulled out by Peter the Great himself. In short, a magnificent gallery of horrors that testifies to the sometimes strange tastes of the czar builder, and illustrates his passion for the discoveries of his time! Today, the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) is also one of the main centres of the Russian Academy of Scientific Research. The three-storey building housing this cabinet of curiosities is surmounted by a tower serving as an observatory. Like many other museums in the city, the Kunstakamera unfortunately does not have a translation of the descriptive plates of its pieces.
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Opening time and information on KUNSTKAMERA / MUSEUM OF ETHNOGRAPHY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Open every day except Monday from 10am to 6pm. Admission: 300 RUB.
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