ARCTIC AND ANTARCTIC MUSEUM
Petit Futé's opinion on ARCTIC AND ANTARCTIC MUSEUM
The Arctic Circle is not far away, and this Arctic and Antarctic Museum, unique in the world and with its old-fashioned charm, will convince you of this by sharing with you the fascination of the ice pioneers who set out to conquer the ice pack from St Petersburg. Founded in 1930, its collections follow in the footsteps of simple walrus fishermen venturing into the icy horizons, then in the wake of the first polar ships, hardly more sophisticated, on which the scientists attracted by the North Pole embarked. You will see Amundsen's Gjoa or Nansen's Fram, or the Russian ships of Lomonossov or Rossanov. To reach the poles, man will have tried everything. This museum proves it to us with, for example, this curious device made of wood, metal and canvas suspended above the entrance, aboard which Paninin had the audacity to embark on the adventure. Finally, the visitor will learn that the North Pole is not only a land of adventure but an immense region inhabited by peoples with cultures rich in tradition; from the Nenets to the Yakuts, from the Tungus to the Chukchi, you will become familiar with the little-known art of the people of the Great Siberian North and their animal and plant environment. Not the most modern museum in the city, but its somewhat outdated setting gives it a touch of poetry. Don't miss the highlight of the show: every half hour, when the public is large enough, the museum employee in charge of looking after the collections gets up and turns off the lights. After a second of darkness, lights appear in a niche dedicated to this purpose: the Northern Lights. There is little information translated into English, so you have to go there with your eyes and mind wide open for non-Russian speakers, but it's a good opportunity to take the hand of your children or partner and go back to childhood.
Another interesting fact concerns the location of the museum, in the former Church of St. Nicholas, which was rebuilt in 1934-1936 and later turned into a museum. Even today, its curved ceilings and granite columns evoke mixed feelings. It must be said that the Russian Orthodox Church has not lost hope of recovering the building (as happened with St Isaac's Cathedral); the last request for restitution of the building and eviction from the museum was rejected in 2016. The battle is therefore won for the time being, but for how long?
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Opening time and information on ARCTIC AND ANTARCTIC MUSEUM
From 1/06 to 31/08: Wednesday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm. From 1/09 to 31/05 from Tuesday to Sunday 10am-6pm. 350 RUB.
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