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Palaces and museums of St. Petersburg - The Museum of Political History

The State Museum of the Political History of Russia is a successor of the State Museum of Revolution which was created on October 9, 1919, after the decree of Petrograd Soviet of Workers and the Red Army Deputies. Figures of the Bolshevik Party, narodnik movement (populism), and representatives of intelligentsia took the lead in creating this museum.

Anatoly Lunacharsky, Michael Novorussky, Maxim Gorky, Pavel Shchegolev, G. Zinovjev ,O. Oldenburg, and V. Sreznevsky were the first members of the museum staff. The official opening took place on January 11, 1920, in the halls of the ground and first floors of the Winter palace.

The museum display original objects, documents, photographs dedicated to the Russian history of the XIX-XX centuries as well as exhibiting diaries, letters, personal effects (including a sketch she made of the future tsar), and photos of the former owner of the mansion - an outstanding Russian ballerina M.Kshessinskaya who also was the lover of Nicholas II in his pre-tsar days.

The Winter Palace was the home for the museum of the political history of Russia for 25 years. In 1955 it was transferred in two buildings: Kshesinskaya and Brandt’s mansions. Kshesinskaya’s mansion was the project of the great architect A. von Gogen. The second mansion was created by architect R. Meltzer for a timber merchant Baron Vasily Brandt.

In 1972 the Museum began functioning under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and became a branch of the Central Museum of Revolution of the USSR. Nowadays the State Museum of Political History of Russia is one of few museums which carry out documentation and expositional demonstration of processes taking place in political, economic, and social life of Russian society in the 19th-21st centuries.

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