Travel bucket list idea:
St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia|en.rusmuseum.ru|
A staggering 400,000 exhibits are spread across the complex of palatial buildings that make up the Russian Museum, with some artefacts dating back as far as the 10th Century. Housed in the elegant former residences of Russian royalty and nobility, this is the world’s largest collection of Russian art; walking the halls offers a fascinating insight into the country’s art history.
Originally opened in the Mikhailovsky Palace in 1898, the collection has steadily grown over the decades, and now includes a number of private art collections and works of religious art, confiscated during the Russian Revolution.
Mikhailovsky remains the main building, holding a collection of early, folk, 18th- and 19th-century art, while the Marble Palaces, Benois and Rossi Wings and St. Michael’s Castle house the permanent collection, including works by 20th–century avant-garde artists including Vasily Kandinsky.
Getting there & doing it
The museums’ buildings are all within the city’s historic center next to Metro or boat stations. Individual tickets are needed for each palace you plan to visit; book ahead on the museum’s website. If you only have the time for one, the Mikhailovsky Palace is the one to visit. You can download an app with an audio guide from the website.
When to do it
The Russian Museum’s buildings are not as crowded as the Hermitage or suburban summer palaces, but demand is always higher during summer or during popular temporary exhibitions.
Consult the museum’s excellent and informative website for opening times, which are extended during the summer months.
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