Museum of Curiosities

by Adrian on July 1, 2012

Today we had intended to head over to Peterhof palace, but we deferred the visit due to morning rain. Instead, we visited the ‘Kunstkammer Museum of Curiosities’ in the city.

The main attraction is Peter the Great’s collection of scientific curiosities.

Based on his quest for scientific and medical knowledge, this collection contains numerous rare and unusual specimens of the time, including preserved body parts, foetuses, skeletons of conjoined twins, deformations, pickled brains, manuals of dissection and much more.

His realisation of the importance of understanding and medicine brought much needed objectivity to the field of science. Peter and St Petersburg sponsored and provided an environment for medical research and investigation unparalleled across the rest of superstition-constrained Europe.

This exhibition shows some of the more macabre and unusual items from his personal collection, including the full skeleton of Peter’s favoured man-servant, who was 2.2m (7’5″) tall.

Photos were strictly forbidden inside the museum by very scary fat Russian women janitors, but somehow these found their way onto my camera…

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