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Palaces and museums of St. Petersburg - Kunstkamera

The oldest museum of Saint-Petersburg- Kunstkamera (The Chamber of Curiosities) was founded on the University embankment not far from the spit of the Vasilievsky Island. Two architects Mattarnovy and Stassov were commissioned by Peter the First to put up a building with the aim of collecting and researching of rarities which were made so by the nature as by the human. Up to the moment it houses 2 museums – the museum of Ethnography and Anthropology of People and the Lomonosov museum, but originally it was built as Peter the Great's Cabinet of Curiosities and later on in 1724 it became a part of the newly formed Academy of Sciences. Tsar’s collection included extraordinary variety of curiosities, which were gleaned by Peter the first during his foreign travels: different outlandish animals, wet specimens of anatomic abnormalities, a number of freaks and monsters acquired in Amsterdam formed the basis of collection together with such items as deformed foetuses preserved in spirit, stuffed animals and large selection of strange instruments and gadgets. It is indicative that to shill people to the museum every visitor was entitled to a free glass of vodka.

Furthermore the building also accommodated a big library, an anatomy theatre and the first Russian observatory and later on it became a home for the Lomonosov Museum. One of the most famous Russian scientist- Mikhail Lomonosov worked in this building for nearly 24 years and in 1947 the museum bearing his name was founded here. Nowadays the visitors of the museum can see original documents and objects of Lomonosov's time, including scientific tools, books, portraits, and prints. It should be noted that Kunstkamera owns the unique Globe-Planetarium, which was developed in Germany and was presented to Peter the First who brought it to Saint Petersburg. The exceptional feature is inside planetarium which was the first planetarium in the world.

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