Secrets of Saint Petersburg: what else you can be surprised at in the Cultural capital

26 February 2021

"World's Leading Cultural Destination" - Saint Petersburg is not waiting for tourists on New Year holidays. Bars, cafes, restaurants and even museums, which are open now, unlike museums in the capital, will be closed. But you can plan a trip for the future. Even those who have walked around all the halls of the Hermitage museum and the Kunstkamera have something to be surprised at. RIA Novosti informs of unique, but little-known museums of Saint Petersburg.

 Svetlana Baeva

Louboutins and angels

 One of such interesting points of the Northern capital - Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art - can be reached by walking or driving along Vasilievsky Island from the Kunstkamera and the Zoological museum to the 29th line between Sredniy and Bolshoy Prospects. Here, for example, you will understand which hemisphere of your brain is dominant. Just put your hand to the installation "Model of Bipolar Activity" and hear the music: if it is melodic – left hemisphere, if it is chaotic – right one. Find out the time on a Swiss electronic watch: numbers are composed of naked bodies - male and female.

The collection includes a painting by the St. Petersburg musician Sergey Shnurov. You will immediately understand where it is - by the "louboutins" in front of it. And the original figures of angels: sculptures of girls with the Boeing wings printed on a 3D printer (several of the same girls decorate Pulkovo Airport). There is a life-sized Matryoshka, a symbol of Russian hospitality and souvenirs, here. And inside it, like a medieval instrument of torture, is an iron maiden. But, at first glance, scary thorns are actually soft. It is a kind of thinking about stereotypes. The museum regularly hosts unusual exhibitions. For example, works of the hat maestro Philip Treacy are on display until 21 March. His headdresses are worn by members of the British royal family and many stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, Madonna.

From the first position to the iron chair

After visiting Erarta, there is only one stop to "Gostiny Dvor" from the metro station "Vasileostrovskaya". And nearby there is the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theater and Music. You should visit it, for example, before a performance or a concert. One of its five branches, the Theater Museum, is located near Alexandrinka. It will tell you which play by Anton Chekhov was booed by the audience, and it will show you a record of Anna Pavlova's brilliant dance. And you will even be allowed to stand in the first, second and other positions holding on to the ballet barre. It is said he came from the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, so, for example, Rudolf Nureyev could work at this barre. A separate hall is dedicated to the repression in theaters. There is an iron swivel chair in the middle of the hall: when you sit on it, you feel like a cog in a totalitarian system - that's probably the way it was intended.

Naryshkinsky F-Sharp”

The second branch - the Museum of Music - is located about a kilometer from the theater, in the Sheremetyevsky Palace. It has one of the world's largest collections of instruments. There is, for example, an English bumbass (both noise, string and percussion), in the manufacture of which the dried bladder of a bull was used. The guide will tell you a legend dedicated to the Mongolian morin-huur. The dead horse appeared to the owner in a dream, offered to create an instrument from his bones and hair, promising to put his own voice into it. Yes, in Mongolian poetry, this sound is compared to the neighing of horses and the wind in the steppe. Guitar-harp, guitar-lyre, balalaika, Chinese gongs, spinet (a kind of harpsichord) of the XVI century - there is everything here, even the Russian horn orchestra. Once in it, a recruit of 25 years (by the way, it was for this period that they were taken into the army) played the same note (for each its own horn). So they introduced themselves: not by name, but, for example, "Naryshkinsky F-Sharp". And you can also take a look at the unique interactive halls. You listen to a symphony orchestra there and immediately see which of the exposed instruments are involved, because they are highlighted.

"Mukha" named after Stieglitz

If you go further along the Fontanka Embankment, along Pestel Street to Solyanoy Pereulok, you will get to the St. Petersburg State Art and Industrial Academy named after Stieglitz. Previously, it was named after the sculptor Vera Mukhina, so it received (and retained) the nickname Mukha ("Fly"). There's a museum there. It also contains a unique collection of porcelain. The guide says that initially it was taken from China — only there they knew the secrets of production. For a cup the size of two hands, they gave a ship with sails. If the dishes were broken, the pieces were not thrown out, but framed with gold, and the ladies wore them as jewelry. At the beginning of the XVII century, the first Meissen manufactory was opened in Europe. Her products are also presented in the exhibition.

With these refined dishes, there were also peculiar entertainments. "We ordered, for example, porcelain fruits and put them in vases. A careless gourmet will try to take a bite and ... teeth fly, blood, "fun", - says the head of the tour desk Ksenia Garmidr. Another "deception" is a dish, on the bottom of which snakes, toads, and lizards are very naturally depicted. Some young lady took an apple from it, saw a "frog" and fainted. One of the halls is dedicated to tiled stoves. There is an "autograph" - the author drew himself on the tile and wrote: "Trubitsyn worked in 1770. The price is small."

The original and the surprise in the egg

You should definitely look at the Faberge Museum - it is almost opposite the music museum. There is not only jewelry, but also paintings, household items made with amazing skill. In the collection of Easter eggs there is a copy, inside of which there was a miniature copy of the carriage made for Catherine II in 1793 by the famous court master Buckendahl. It participated in the coronation of Nicholas II. The copy is so accurate that it was used to restore the original. And you can see it in the Restoration and Preservation Center of the Hermitage "Old Village", the only thing you need to take a ride to the metro station of the same name. It is being run in small groups, so you can't walk around the halls yourself — all the doors are opened by employees. There are old stained-glass windows, icons, a collection of costumes of Peter I, the wedding dress of Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova, the wife of Nicholas II, and the mourning dress of his mother Maria Feodorovna. A separate room is given to the coaches. We thank the Federal Tourism Agency and the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg for their help in preparing the material.

The material was prepared as a result of a series of 5 informational and informational press tours that took place from November 28 to December 7, 2020 in the Northern Capital. It was attended by 50 journalists and bloggers from different regions of Russia.