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

Château de Chaumont

The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.

Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.

Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.

In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.

The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.