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The Kunstkammer. The Custom-House

On return from his travel around Western Europe in 1698, where he saw Cabinets of Curios, Peter the Great took a decision to establish such a museum in Russia. He wanted to have a special building constructed for it, the house of learning and rarities or, as they said in those days, the “House of Solomon”, after the wise Israel king.

The University Embankment. The Kunstkammer.
Architect: Sawa Chevakinsky. Architects: Georg Mattarnovi, Nicholaus HArbel,
Gaetano Chiaveri, Mikhail Zemtsov

The Kunstkammer

The Tsar wanted to demonstrate the entire science of the time in this universal museum, “so that people would see and learn.” Russia’s first museum was based on the collections of the Tsar himself. The exhibits included the famous anatomical collections of Frederick Ruysch, the zoological collection of Albert Seba and a variety of other objects strikingly unusual for that time. The building, unparalleled in St Petersburg for its design, suited the ideas of Peter the Great. Even today it stands out in the panorama of the Neva banks as a perfectly preserved example of the early Petrine Baroque. With the construction of the Kunstkammer the Tsar intended to make Vasilyevsky Island the centre of Russian science. After his death, fulfilling his will, as it were, the buildings of the Academy of Art and academic
institutes and the Library of the Academy of Sciences were put up and the former building of the Twelve Collegia or ministries began to house the University.

The Custom-House.

The Custom-House

The dome of the Custom-House balanced the tower of the Kunstkammer and became an integral part of the ensemble of the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island. Today the building of the Custom-House is known as the Pushkin House – the Institute of Russian Literature.

One Response to “The Kunstkammer. The Custom-House”

  • Вопросы наличного кредитования:

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