The Russian Museum is a huge architectural and artistic complex located in the center of St. Petersburg. At one time, it became the first state museum displaying works of Russian fine art, and today it is the largest in the world.
The museum collections contain more than 400 thousand exhibits covering the thousand-year creative history of Russia. It displays paintings, sculptures, archival photographs, numismatic material, works of arts and crafts and folk art. The complex includes palaces, gardens, pavilions, a castle and other architectural monuments.
History of discovery
The idea of creating the Russian Museum belongs to Emperor Alexander III, and the implementation of the project - to Nicholas II. The decree on the foundation of the institution was signed in 1895, and in 1898 it was inaugurated. By this time received from the Academy of Arts, the Hermitage, suburban palaces and private collections.
In the future, the exposition was replenished at the expense of allocated funds and donations. After the October Revolution, the Russian Museum received a huge number of nationalized works of art. During the Second World War, the most valuable exhibits were evacuated, the rest were mothballed and hidden in basements.
Russian Museum: Exhibitions
The buildings of the complex house permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibitions.
The Mikhailovsky Palace presents collections of ancient Russian painting of the 12th-17th centuries, Russian art of the 18th-19th centuries, as well as works of folk art, arranged in chronological order. A special place is occupied by ancient Russian icons.
In the Benois building you can get acquainted with the arts and crafts of the last century. Porcelain and glassware, textiles and furniture, works by the founders of Russian avant-garde art and an exposition dedicated to the development of new trends in art that appeared at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries are exhibited here.
The Stroganov Palace presents the Mineralogical Cabinet with the richest book collection and collection of minerals. In addition, the palace has a permanent exhibition "Russian Empire".
In the Mikhailovsky Castle there is an open fund of sculpture with works by masters of the 19th-20th century, the best works of avant-garde artists of the 20s of the last century and works of modern experimenters. In separate rooms there is a portrait gallery and paintings that characterize the St. Petersburg society of the Romanovs. The pavilions of the Mikhailovsky Castle are intended for temporary exhibitions.
The Marble Palace presents a unique collection of the Rzhevsky brothers, who in 1998 handed over to the Russian Museum a rich private collection that had been formed over about 50 years. It includes works of graphics, painting, sculpture. In addition, the Marble Palace houses the Ludwig Museum, the exhibits of which were donated to the complex by German collectors. Here you can see works of the second half of the 20th - early 21st century. Visitors to the Marble Palace can get acquainted with the study and the musical drawing room of the last owner of the building, one of the founders of the Pushkin House, Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov.
In the Summer Palace of Peter I, the interiors are preserved, in the environment of which the emperor periodically lived. In the House of Peter I, objects are displayed in one way or another connected with the Peter's era. The walls are upholstered with canvas, the windows are fitted with "moon" glass, in one of the rooms there is an emperor's chair.
Buildings of the Russian Museum
The museum complex includes four palaces, a castle with pavilions, one building and a house.
The author of the project of the former grand-ducal palace, named after the youngest son of Paul I - Mikhail Pavlovich, is Carlo Rossi. The construction of the building was carried out in the period 1819-25. It was sold in 1895 to the state treasury by the grandchildren of the Grand Duke. It was the Mikhailovsky Palace that served as the basis for the creation of the Russian Museum of Emperor Alexander III. The area of the palace is more than 24 thousand square meters. m.
Address - st. Engineering, 4
The building is named after one of the authors of the project - the architect L. Benois. The building was built in two stages - before and after the October Revolution. The Rossi wing, which connected the Mikhailovsky Palace with the Benois Wing, appeared in the post-war years.
Address - st. Engineering, 4
The construction of the palace complex began in the 1720s. By the middle of the 18th century, separate buildings were united according to the project of F. Rastrelli. The Stroganov dynasty owned the palace until 1918.
Address — Nevsky prospect, 17
The unique architectural monument was built by order of Catherine II in 1768–85 for Count G. Orlov. After the death of the owner, the empress bought the palace for her grandson, Konstantin Pavlovich. Subsequently, representatives of the imperial family inherited it, until the complex was forced to be sold due to lack of funds for maintenance. At the beginning of 1917, He was in national ownership.
Address - st. Millionnaya, 5/1
Summer Palace of Peter I
The building was built in 1712 by the architect D. Trezzini. Foreign craftsmen were involved in the design of interiors and facades. The palace has remained practically unchanged. After the death of the emperor, courtiers and influential dignitaries lived within its walls. After Peter I, the residence was never used for its intended purpose. The building has been part of the Russian Museum since 2004.
Address - Summer Garden, letter, A
The imperial residence was erected by order of Paul I on the site of the Summer Palace of Elizabeth Petrovna, dismantled after the death of Catherine II. The castle is one of the largest architectural monuments of St. Petersburg and is a vivid example of the architecture of the 18th century. Several eminent architects of that time were involved in the development of the project. Work on it lasted about 12 years. Construction period - 1797-1800
Address - st. Garden, 2.
East and West Pavilions
Initially, they were intended for the residence of maids of honor and state ladies of the imperial court. The buildings were built in 1800, and 19 years later they were transferred to the management of the Engineering Department. The pavilions became part of the Russian Museum in 2001.
Addresses - st. Engineering, 8 and 10.
House of Peter I
The wooden blockhouse was erected in 1703. Despite the fact that the unique architectural and historical monument has a compact size (only 12,7 by 5,7 m), it is the most important object that has survived since the times of Peter the Great.
Each object of the architectural and artistic complex is unique in its own way. In order to get acquainted with it, it will take more than one day. Online walks through its halls will help you prepare for a fruitful visit to the grandiose museum.
The palace and park complex of the Russian Museum includes two gardens - Summer and Mikhailovsky. Their total area, including the palace courts, is about 30 hectares. Park areas have been finalized in the 21st century.
A large-scale festival "Imperial Gardens of Russia" is held annually on the territory of the palace and park complex.
The summer garden was laid out in 1704 by decree of Peter I. Russian, Italian and Dutch landscape architects worked on its project. The emperor personally drew the original plan of the garden, more than once made corrections to the project of the Dutchman J. Roosen and supervised the arrangement of the park area with passion. The last complex reconstruction was carried out in 2009–11, and in 2012 the Summer Garden was opened to visitors. There are several facilities on its territory.
The Mikhailovsky Garden is one of the unique parks, within which different landscape styles are organically combined. It was created by the order of Peter I by the architect Leyblon at the beginning of the 18th century, and at the beginning of the 19th century it was redesigned according to the design of Rossi. After the October Revolution, the park was transferred to the public domain. Variety podiums, entertainment pavilions, children's and sports grounds were built here. A large-scale reconstruction was carried out in 2001–2007.
Russian Museum: working hours
The objects of the museum complex are open to the public daily except Tuesday:
- Monday - from 10:00 to 18:00 (Mikhailovsky Palace and the Benois building - until 20:00);
- Wednesday, Friday-Sunday - from 10:00 to 18:00;
- Thursday - from 13:00 to 21:00.
The weekend is December 31 and January 1.
Mikhailovsky and Summer Gardens can be visited all year round, with the exception of April. Working hours:
- from 01.05 to 30.09 - from 10:00 to 22:00;
- from 01.10 to 31.03 - from 10:00 to 20:00.
The Summer Garden is closed on Tuesdays.
Certain categories of citizens, including children under 16, have the right to free admission to the museum. As an experiment, on the 18th of each month, young people under the age of 18 get free access.
Russian Museum for Children
The staff of the museum complex is systematically working with children and adolescents. The main directions are: creativity, aesthetic education, artistic development, the formation of initiative. Classes are held in groups divided by age and interest. The programs can be found on the official website.
Branches of the Russian Museum
The only European branch of the Russian Museum today is located in the Spanish city of Malaga. Temporary exhibitions are located on an area of 2300 sq. m in the building of a former tobacco factory. The opening took place in March 2015 in the presence of the management of the museum, the Mayor of Malaga and the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Spain.
The Russian Museum offers to take part in sightseeing and thematic excursions, accompanied by licensed guides and researchers.
How to get to the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg
Nearest metro stations:
- "Nevsky Prospect";
- "Gostiny Dvor";
Before the Russian Museum follow:
- buses - No. 3, 22, 27, 46, 49, K76, K212;
- trolleybuses - No. 5, 22;
- trams - no. 3.
From the house of Peter I century. walking distance are:
- Gorkovskaya metro station
- stop "pl. Troitskaya "- trams No. 3, 6, 40; bus number 49 and minibus number 30.
In St. Petersburg, there are mobile taxi applications Uber, Yandex.Taxi, Gett, Maxim.