Kunstkamera

The Kunstkamera in Saint Petersburg. Taken by Steven & Nadine Pavlov ::: senapa.livejournal.com

Located on the Universitetskya Embankment, right opposite the Dvortsovaya Embankment and the Winter Palace, the Peter the Great Museum of Antropology and Ethnography is among St. Petersburg’s most vivid sights. The museum is a no-miss attraction for both city residents and travelers.

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Founded by Peter the Great in 1714 and completed in 1727, the Museum presents an incredibly diverse collection of items. It is housed in the turreted Petrine Baroque-style Kunstkamera building by Georg Johann Mattarnovy, and presents stunning anthropologic and archaeological collections reflecting the diversity of cultures, customs and traditions.

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The Museum’s collection is the largest in the world, and it comprises nearly 2,000,000 items. It houses one of the world’s most extensive anthropologic collections, which originated as Peter’s personal cabinet of curiosities. The collection included human and animal fetuses with anatomic deformities. The goal was to dispel myths about freaks and monsters and make a step forward in anatomical and anthropological research. One of the tsar’s orders was to deliver still-born infants to St. Petersburg from around the country and thus replenish the collection.

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The history of the formation of the Museum’s collection began with Peter’s purchase of a collection of fetuses from Frederic Ruish, a renowned Dutch anatomist.  Today, the Kunstkamera presents 24 anatomic collections featuring 1388 exhibits, with the Ruish Collection comprising 937 items, and the Russian Anthropologic Collection presenting 144 items.

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The idea to create the collection dawned upon Peter the Great when he saw an unusual double-trunk birch tree on the Vasilievsky Island with one trunk growing out of the base of the other one. Allegedly, the scene perplexed Peter so much that he decided to establish a museum of ‘accidents of nature’.

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St. Isaac’s Cathedral

St. Isaac’s

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is the greatest and of the most beautiful parochial buildings in St. Petersburg. It was rebuilt four times. The first St. Isaac’s Church was built and sanctified in 1707 under the Peter’s I the Great government. The church was wooden and it was almost ten times smaller than the actual one which is more than a hundred meters tall and occupies over a thousand square meters of territory.

St. Isaac's Cathedral

St. Isaac’s Cathedral which decorates the city nowadays was sanctified in 1858 in the presence of Alexander II the liberator. Many famous Russian artists and sculptors such as K. Brullov and P. Clodt took part in works on appearance of the Cathedral. The interior is astonishing, all kinds of monumental and decorative art such as paintings, sculptures, gilded bronze, mosaic, marble, facing stone are presented in there; the main iconostasis is enriched with lazurite and malachite columns. The building is so beautiful that it creates a tremendous impression which imprints in your memory forever.

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Since 1948 the Cathedral works as a museum under the same name. Access balcony was placed on the dome from where a great panorama of the whole city is presented. Now, its doors are opened for all comers.

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum

Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum in St.Petersburg – is a memorial Museum of the world famous poet Pushkin. Moreover it is an apartment where Pushkin has lived; it became a museum after his death. The Museum can tell us about Pushkin, his life and his creativity.

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Pushkin was a famous poet, prosaist, playwright, publicist and founder of a new Russian literature known all over the world. He was born in Moscow in a family of a noble line, since his childhood he was well – brought-up by French tutors. He got an educuation at home where he received splendid knowledge of french language and got love for reading. When he was a child he got aquainted with works of many famous writers, such as Lomonosov and Zhukovskiy, Volter and many others. His grandmother and his nurse where well educated women who teached him and developed his love for Russian language.

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Pushkin continued his education in a new building for russian children from noble family lines, it was called Tsarskoselkiy lyceum, it was the first building in the country that was intended to give education by a special programme of goverment bureaucrats. Actually here for the first time Pushkin felt himself as a true poet. His talent was admitted not only by his friends, among whom were Pushin, Kuhelbeker, Delvig, but also by his teachers – Zukovkiy, Batushkov, Karamzin and many others.

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During all of his life Pushkin gave the main meaning to writing, he wrote lots of splendid poems and fairy-tails, stories and novels. At the very beginning of his creativity way his works were not published though were well-known all over the city. In 1814 his poem was published in a Moscow magazine.In 1817 he was graduated from Tsarskoselkiy lyceum and then went to serve in the Collegium of foreign affairs.He could not stop wrtiting and didnt pay much attention to his work there.

Saint Petersburg, Russia, 25/07/2005. Portraits of Alexander Pushkin and his wife Natalia Goncharova in his apartment in the National Pushkin Museum.

While his life Pushkin wrote many splendid and wonderful poems though whenever he was he felt like an outcast, for his high talent and amazing works he got terrible attitude at any city where he stayed. Even the Emperor Nikolay didnt hide his hateness to Pushkin. In 1831 Pushkin got married with Goncharova. They lived in marriage 6 years and had 4 kids.

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Last years of Pushkin’s life were complicated, he had a lot of debts and that is why tried to write more. His books were hardly bought, that is why he decided to leave his service and started to write only. He issued a magazine called “Sovremennik”, but it was still not popular. In 1836 Pushkin got a letter where it was said that his wife and baron Dantes have relationship. So this letter became a reason for a duet between Dantes and Pushkin, where Dantes shot the first and injured Pushkin. His wound was fatal. After two days Pushkin died, his life tried to save the best doctors but for those times such wound was fatal, during these days many people came to visit Pushkin, and even Nikolay 1 wrote him notes. Before death Pushkin asked him to help his family and let them want for nothing.

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Nowadays in his apartment there is a Museum. In his house are met people who appreciate and commemorate the date of his death.The exposition in the Museum is divided into two parts: the first tells about the history of the house consisted of 11 flats one of which was rented by Pushkin, also it tells about the historical events of  Pushkin’s arrival in St.Petersburg. The second – is an apartment where he lived and where are saved his and items of his family. In the apartment there is an atmosphere of Pushkin’s age.Here are the furniture, his writing desk, an armchair and the sofa, a smoking pipe and his ink-pot – all these things that remain us about Pushkin. In his wife’s room you can find her parfume, purses, a coral bracelet and many other things.

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Among many other items there are portraits of a poet and members of his family. In the museum there are also items connected with his duet and death, and the main are his waistcoat and the sofa he died on. In two small halls are also represented prints, paintings, portraits of friends and materials that tell about the duet of 1837.

The main territory also takes a large library, it includes 4000 books on 14 languages. As the most of Apartment Museums, Alexander Pushkin Apartment Museum is not only a place of excursions, but also a cultural centre, where different conferentions, seminars and literature evenings take place.