Oldest museum in Russia. Founded on the basis of the collections of Peter the Great, acquired during his travels in Western Europe or as personal commissions (1714). Originally located in the Summer Palace. Opened to the public in the former mansion of Alexander Kikin, a naval official beheaded for helping Tsarevich Alexis Petrovich to flee to Austria (1719). Awarded to the Imperial Academy of Sciences and transformed into a full-scale museum with collections of minerals, skeletons of animals and birds, anatomic anomalies, works of art and firearms (1724). Peter the Great memorial collection added after his death (1725). Special building was designed by Georg Johann Mattarnovi, Nicolaus Friedrich Harbel, Gaetano Chiaveri and Mikhail Zemtsov (1718–34). Rebuilt by Savva Chevakinsky following a fire (1754–58).

Random articles