Museums in Russia

Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, includ ...
Founded: 1764 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

State Historical Museum

The State Historical Museum is a museum of Russian history wedged between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of prehistoric tribes that lived on the territory of present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum"s collection comes to millions. The place where the museum now stands was formerly oc ...
Founded: | Location: Moscow, Russia

Russian Museum

The State Russian Museum (formerly the Russian Museum of His Imperial Majesty Alexander III) is the largest depository of Russian fine art in St Petersburg. The museum was established in 1895, upon enthronement of Nicholas II to commemorate his father, Alexander III. Its original collection was composed of artworks taken from the Hermitage Museum, Alexander Palace, and the Imperial Academy of Arts. After the Russian Revol ...
Founded: 1895 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Cruiser Aurora

Aurora is a protected cruiser, currently preserved as a museum ship in St. Petersburg. One of the first incidents of the October Revolution in Russia took place on the cruiser. Aurora was one of three Pallada-class cruisers, built in St. Petersburg for service in the Pacific Far East. All three ships of this class served during the Russo-Japanese War. The second ship, Pallada, was sunk by the Japanese at Port Arthur in 1 ...
Founded: 1900-1903 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Kremlin Armoury

The Kremlin Armory is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1808. The Kremlin Armoury originated as the royal arsenal in 1508. Until the transfer of the court to St Petersburg, the Armoury was in charge of producing, purchasing and storing weapons, jewelry and various household articles of the tsars. The finest Muscovite gunsmiths (the Vyatkin brothers), jewelers (Gavrila Ovdokimov), and painters (Simon Usha ...
Founded: 1508 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Kolomenskoye

Kolomenskoye is a former royal estate situated several kilometers to the southeast of the city center of Moscow, Russia, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna. The 390 hectare scenic area overlooks the steep banks of the Moskva River. Kolomenskoye village was first mentioned in the testament of Ivan Kalita (1339). As time went by, the village was developed as a favourite country estate of grand princes of Mu ...
Founded: 1532 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Museum of the Defense and Siege of Leningrad

Dedicated to the Defence of Leningrad during the Second World War, or as the Russians call it, the Great Patriotic War, this museum is sombre yet absorbing. Full of displays showing the famine ravaged city (in November 1941, the bread ration was just 250gms a day for workers) and the heroic efforts to somehow get food in from beyond the blockade across the frozen Lake Ladoga, the famous "Road of Life" are depic ...
Founded: | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum

The memorial apartment of one of Russia"s most renowned and prolific writers is conveniently located just one block away from Vladimirskaya metro station. Dostoyevsky lived here, his last apartment in St. Petersburg, between 1878 and 1881 and the flat is still filled with memorabilia relating to his life and work. Dostoyevsky based many of his stories and novels in St. Petersburg, especially in the Vladimirsky region ...
Founded: | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Bunker Museum

This bunker was the underground command post of the German general Otto von Lasch during the Battle of Königsberg in 1945. A museum of the city"s German past (which lasted 689 years) and Soviet 'liberation' of the city, including several interesting dioramas of events during the days of the battle.
Founded: 1945 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Pskov National Museum

The Pskov state historical, architectural and art museum, opened in 1876, is one of the oldest museums of Russia. It comprises three separate museums and a wide range of displays. The 2nd floor of the new building houses the war collection, with photos and artefacts from WWII, as well as information on more recent conflicts like Afghanistan and Chechnya. More interesting is the 1st-floor picture gallery, which has works f ...
Founded: 1876 | Location: Pskov, Russia

Kaliningrad Museum of History and Arts

The Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Arts, originally a Stadthalle (city hall), was planned by Oberbürgermeister Siegfried Körte in 1907 and opened in the Vorder-Roßgarten district in 1912 according to designs by Richard Seel. It included concert halls, a restaurant, and a garden cafe by the Schlossteich. The Königsberger Philharmonie often performed in the 1,600-seat center. The Stadthalle ...
Founded: | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.