Unexpected Sides of Saint Petersburg

Believe it or not, St. Petersburg is not only a city of superb architecture and the so-called “capital of culture”. There are some striking places and museums that remain a discovery, even for the city know-alls.

Visit bright, interactive museums.

Open up new horizons of the “Northern Venice” with St. Petersburg Card.

In the world there are only 3 museums devoted to a fan. They are situated in London, Paris and in 2013 a museum “Art of Fan” opened in St. Petersburg. A fan brings freshness of chill and decorates. It is graceful and functional. The language of a fan can express a lot without the help of words. Curiosity lovers will be able to find some truly antiquarian exhibit items: Japanese fans with secret pictures which are visible only when they open in a special way, fans of emperor families’ members and orthodox church patriarchs, and even some modern items of the XXth century. The refined interior of the museum matches well with its precious contents.

Zoological museum traces its origins to the Kunstkamera museum. It still contains the original items from Peter I collection. A lot of famous travelers enlarged the museum collection with exhibits from all over the world. In the course of time a scientific research Institution of the Zoological museum was established there. Items are displayed according to zoogeographical approach. Here you can see stuffed animals in their recreated life environment. Visitors will astonish at the size of a great blue whale skeleton, see mummies of mammoths and animals, which belonged to the first Russian emperor, and a plenty of different life forms.

One of the oldest and largest scientific and technical museums, Museum of Communications and Philately invites tourists to a mansion which once belonged to a chancellor Bezborodko, a former post principal. An amazing state collection of postal payment signs demonstrates its treasury of stamp letters predecessors, post-mark envelopes, a draft of the first Russian stamp and postal stamps of different countries, including modern samples. It is never boring in this museum – where else will you have a chance to send a letter by a pneumatic tube conveyer, observe postal transport models, watch retro TV programs and memorise visually the history of postal, telephone and radio communication development in Russia.

In the History of Religion Museum you will get a splendid opportunity to learn a wide range of mythological consciousness forms and discover exhibits, the most ancient of which relate to 6 000 A.D. Have a glance at a recreated shaman’s tent, a primitive men’s cave, ancient temples, chambers devoted to the main world religions, try to meditate in the chamber of Buddhist paradise Sukhavati. Throughout its history since the 1930s the museum has specialized in research of different religions and maintenance of more than 200 thousand items.

In “Aquatorium of Peter the Great, Malaya Morskaya Str. you can admire a miniature of the XIX century Petersburg, see various palaces. Some of them have remained until today, others sank into oblivion. In central part of the exposition the city water area is recreated. It is surrounded with city ensembles and suburbs. Superb balls, fountains, interactive pictures, are scattered along realistic landscapes, unique ships float across the water. The historical scale model shows Petersburg splendor during different seasons and offers a tour into the past of Russian Navy capital.

Museum of Printing is located in the building of a former guest house of the XIX century. Expositions dedicated to the guest house history give a detailed collection of facts: how it was built, who was the owner, who were tenants and in what conditions they lived. The cabinet and the living room interiors show the authentic furniture of the late XIX - the early XX century. In the canteen you will find a collection of unique musical instruments. “Rus” and “Selsky vestnik” (Country News) papers were printed in this house. In 1917 “Pravda” (Truth) editor’s office was situated here, too. The head of the paper was Lenin, political leader of bolsheviks. You will see editor’s rooms with a fully reconstructed previous style, including the wallpapers and a composing room. A wonderful opportunity to take a look at the ordinary city life in Petersburg of two centuries ago.

The city is looked at from a very unusual perspective in The Universe of Water, a museum complex. You may choose one of three expositions and visit it for free with St. Petersburg Card. “The Underground of St. Petersburg” displays a captivating detailed model of the central part of the city, where you can practically “travel” with water along the city pipes. “The Universe of Water” confirms the well-known truth that water is a source of life. You will learn about the significance of water in every person’s life as well as the whole planet, understand the importance of water element in the connection between St. Petersburg and Kronshtadt. The 3rd exposition “The Water World of St. Petersburg” is situated in a building of a historical water tower. Here you will get acquainted with the history of city waterpipe construction, will see a collection of plumbing items, learn about life sustenance of waterpipe infrastructure during WW II, as well as its modern condition.