Saint Petersburg


Alternative Museums


For tourists St. Petersburg is a citymuseum with a distinct bias towards the arts. However, the Northern Capital has always been a cradle not only of culture but also of science and technology. Evidence of its achievements in this field is featured in a fairly large number of specialized museums.

The Museum of Soviet Slot Machines

At the Museum of Soviet Slot Machines (Letter B, 2 Konyushennaya Ploshchad. T: 740 0240) you can play “Naval Battle”, “Sniper-2”, “Main Line”, “Winter Hunt” and other vintage games on machines from the 1970s. Afterwards you can enjoy a 15-kopeck glass of aerated water with syrup or a milk shake prepared in a “Voronezh-2” mixer. The guided tours include a great deal of interesting information, including concerning the “hacking” practised by Soviet children so that they could play the machines without paying.

The “Universe of Water” complex


The “Universe of Water” complex (56 Shpalernaya Ul. T: 438 4375) is situated in a former reservoir of the Main Waterworks and in the Water Tower. The waterworks were built in the second half of the 19th century, marking the beginning of a centralized water supply for St. Petersburg. One of the three permanent exhibitions, entitled “Universe of Water”, is a multimedia display with exhibits of various formats, from technological to traditional, which visitors are permitted to touch. Perhaps the main merit of the display is that it enables people to look at the everyday substance in a new light. In the guided tours they are told about great expanses of water — of the world, the country and the city — and also of much smaller areas of water: for example, the display includes an interactive model of a human being, showing how much liquid we have in our organs and tissues.

The Glushko Museum of Space and Rocket Technology


At the Glushko Museum of Space and Rocket Technology (Ioannovsky Ravelin, Peter and Paul Fortress. T: 230 0332) you can see life-size models of legendary space machinery, including the first sputnik PS-1, launched in 1957, and the “Vostok” spaceship in which Yury Gagarin made his first flight in 1961. Besides them the museum contains the landing craft from the “Soyuz-16” spaceship (1974), a model of the International Space Station (on a scale of 1:50), the first rockets to use smokeless fuel and various rocket engines.

The St. Petersburg Museum of Sound


The St. Petersburg Museum of Sound (“Pushkinskaya 10” Art Centre, 53 Ligovsky Pr. T: (960) 257 0241) is a unique museum of its type founded in 2015 at the GEZ-21 Club. The display includes unusual (original) musical instruments which visitors are allowed to play — they can also listen to a varied repertoire in which these instruments can be heard. The “Sound Map of St. Petersburg” reveals the audible characteristics of important locations in the city — the Alexandrovsky Park, the Haymarket, Nevsky Prospekt and others. The museum is also notable for the fact that it has a functioning concert hall.

Museum of Optics


A Museum of Optics opened recently in the building which formerly housed the laboratories of the State Optical Institute (14 Birzhevaya Liniya. T: 457 1779). The exhibits introduce visitors to this complex science in great detail but in an interesting and comprehensible way. Those whose school days are far behind them will certainly be interested to be reminded of the interference, diffraction and polarization of light — a separate programme is devoted to those phenomena. Besides a variety of exhibits and stands the museum also has a laser game attraction and a mini-planetarium.

The Russian Academy of Sciences Zoological Museum


The Russian Academy of Sciences Zoological Museum (1 Universitetskaya Nab. T: 328 0112) is one of the oldest museums in the world, founded in 1832 on the basis of the zoological collections of the Kunstkamera. The museum’s collection includes the baby mammoth Dima from Magadan, a heliconia butterfly from South America, a large bird of paradise, a blue whale and tens of thousands of other stuffed animals and birds. You can also visit the taxidermist’s laboratory, where you will be told about the intricate process of creating the exhibits.

Photos provided by the museums

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Where St.Petersburg

August 2019

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