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Collections of Peter's Kunstkammer

It makes sense that the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (the Kunstkammer) bears the name of Peter the Great. The first Russian museum open to the public was conceived and created by this illustrious tsar. Everything in the museum is imbued with Peter’s spirit: the walls erected during his days and the exhibits collected during his lifetime, not to mention his personal belongings. Here we can commune with a particular historical period through original objects and personal items. The first collections of the Kunstkammer were displayed in the Natur-cabinet, which contained flora and fauna displays, in the Kunst-cabinet and in the Muntz-cabinet with its exhibition of coins and medals, as well the Physical cabinet. The tsar’s study was designed and created after Peter’s death to introduce visitors to the tsar’s personal life.

The same system was used to create a new, updated exposition of the Round Hall of Peter’s Kunstkammer in 1998. Over the course of several years, researchers at Peter’s Kunstkammer studied the collections, restored items and developed a new design which would blend naturally into the 18th-century interiors. Now visitors to our museum have a chance to feel the original atmosphere of the first Russian museum and see its unique collections arranged in the same way as the founders of the museum had wanted them centuries ago. Here one can spend plenty of time viewing the personal belongings of the first citizen of St. Petersburg and get a good idea of the time in which he lived.