Kunstkamera, St Petersburg, Russia

Officially known as the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, this was the first museum in Russia, and is one of the oldest in the world. The museum’s founder, Peter the Great, had begun collecting curiosities – stuffed animals, model ships, tools and astronomical instruments. In 1718, The Tsar gave the order for the establishment of a ‘kunstkammer’ (a chamber of art), and himself enriched the collection with exhibits brought back from each of his journeys abroad. The core of the collection is still made up of exhibits collected during Peter’s lifetime, including the anatomical specimens and assorted freaks prepared by the Dutch anatomist Frederick Ruysch.

Epic Russia Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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