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Palaces and museums of St. Petersburg - The Museum of Arctic and Antarctic

The Arctic and Antarctic Museum was established in 1930 as part of the Soviet Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, but was not opened for the next six years later. It is necessary to notice that it is the only museum of its kind in Russia which is devoted to the discovery and history of exploration, natural environment, and the economy and culture of the polar regions of the planet. The museum is located in the building of former Avraam Melnikov's Neoclassical church created by the architect A.Melnikov in 1838.

Nowadays the museum is one of the largest museum in the world which collection contains more than 100 thousand exhibits, including personal collections belonging to polar explorers and materials relating to the Russian expeditions of Semen Dezhnev, Ermak, Vitus Bering, Fedor Matiushkin, Fedor Lutke, Gavriil Sarychev, Georgy Sedov, Faddei Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev, documents, photographs, archaeological artifacts, models of ships, and authentic objects and equipment from the historical expeditions of Willem Barents and the Soviet and international expeditions of the recent past. There are 4 categories of exposition: Arctic environment, the discovery and history of exploration of the Northern Sea Route, economy and culture of the Northern regions, and Antarctic. Also the museum presents a numismatic collection which contains 4000 pieces including the coins dated back to XVI - XVII centuries, honor medals used to award polar explorers of the USSR, Norway, the USA  and other countries.

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