Chamber of Curiosities

Chamber of Curiosities(Kunstkamera).

Saint Peterburg. Russia.

1. The Chamber of Curiosities is one of the oldest museums in the northern capital and throughout Russia.

2. It was established by decree of Peter the Great with the aim of collecting and researching rarities born both by nature and man-made.

3. It is the oldest building in the world, built specially for the museum

4. The current collection of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great - Chamber of Curiosities of the Russian Academy of Sciences is one of the most complete and interesting museums in the world.

5. It contains more than a million pieces. They served researchers in the field of archeology, anatomy and medicine for more than a hundred years.

According to a legend, once Tsar Peter accidentally noticed a birch trunk was rooted at the base of another tree on Vasilevsky Island. This obvious deformity prompted Peter I on the idea of creating a museum of the Kunstkamera .

1714 is the date of foundation of the museum . It was the time when a collection of rarities of the emperor - Kunstkamera , was moved from Moscow to St. Petersburg's Summer Palace. By special decree of Peter the Great all revealed evidence of anatomical deformities should be brought to the museum . In the first years there were living exhibits in the collection - monsters, dwarfs, giants, who lived at the museum. Visitors always were willing to see the collection. At the present time there is great interest in it.

Later a new building was constructed for the museum on the spit of Vasilievsky Island and all the collections were moved there. Peter chose himself a site for the museum construction. The building was designed by several architects with the personal participation of Peter. At the time of Peter the Kunstkamera was one of the best museums of its kind in Europe. The entrance was free and open to everybody. Now you can see the oldest museum collections in the Baroque Hall.

In the 1830s Chamber of Curiosities was divided into a number of museums: Zoological, Ethnographic, Botanical, Mineralogical. Currently, the Kunstkamera houses Anthropology and Ethnography Museum, and Lomonosov Memorial Museum.


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