Kunstkamera: Is This the Weirdest Museum in St. Petersburg?

Museum of the Month is a series where I share my experiences of visiting unique and often strange museums from around the world. My aim is to rebuff the notion that museums are boring. Join me on my quest! Kuntz-Kamera St Petersburg

This museum has everything from Siamese twins to encephalitis-swollen skulls, and from a giant skeleton to jarred tumours. However, it isn’t for everyone so if you’re easily squeamish you might want to pass.

Obviously, I don’t think you should skip it, it’s a fascinating museum if a little odd, and old and dusty around the edges.

Interestingly, KunstKamera was the first museum in Russia. It was opened by Peter the Great in 1727 and is now currently housed inside the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. KunstKamera is now therefore a museum within a museum which should iron out any confusion for people looking for the KunstKamera museum – look for the Russian Museum of Ethnography and ye shall find!

Outisde the Russian Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography

True to his name, Peter the Great really was indeed a great man, one of the reasons he opened KunstKamera was to educate his country about science in order to combat prejudice. At that time in history people ascribed physical abnormalities or disabilities to supernatural powers so opening this museum was a way of raising the awareness of medical conditions that can be explained scientifically as opposed to make-belief nonsense.

His foreward thinking ways were in line with the Enlightenment school of thought, characterised by intellectual and scientific discovery. Originating in Western Europe, Enlightenment influenced Tsar Peter after a trip to Europe in the 17th Century. He used the principles of reason, scepticism and science to reform Russian Society at the time.
KunstKamera Museum Petersburg KunstKamera Museum in St Petersburg

If you live in the UK and enjoy the idea of visiting a museum reminiscent of this place, I suggest the Hunterian Museum or the Grant Museum of Zoology. Both, which are located in London are utterly divine places. You can find my adopted Loris in the Grant Museum of Zoology. Just look at my baby… isn’t it cute?

Loris, Grant Museum of Zoology

Thinking of all the museums I’ve visited, KunstKamera is not only the weirdest museum in St. Petersburg, but probably in the whole of Russia!

General Information about KunstKamera

How to get there: 3 Universitetskaya Embankment, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russia
Admission Fee: 250 RUB adults; 150 RUB children/student
Opening Times: 11am-6pm daily; closed Mondays and the last Tuesday of every month
Website: www.kunstkamera.ru/en/

Now then, what’s the weirdest museum you’ve ever visited?

A travel & culture blog specialising in Scandinavia and the Arctic, peppered with the rest of the world in between.

'Kunstkamera: Is This the Weirdest Museum in St. Petersburg?' have 13 comments

  1. October 2, 2014 @ 10:54 am RealGunners

    Possibly even the weirdest museum in Russia, or the world!


    • October 11, 2014 @ 12:42 pm admin

      Actually, why did I say Russia? And indeed, possibly the world! But I’m not sure… the Penis Museum in Iceland takes a lot of beating! 😀


  2. October 6, 2014 @ 6:28 pm Mike

    Wow Russia, I’m so happy for you that you made it there, Shing 🙂 I’m always up for trying new adventures (within reason of course) and would definitely go to this museum. That is amazing that this was opened by Peter the Great and “to educate his country about science and combat prejudice”. I love history. Sorry I’ve been away but it’s been a very rough patch for me personally. I hope all is well with you, my friend 🙂


    • October 11, 2014 @ 12:51 pm admin

      Hi Mike! Russia was a whirlwind of sensory punches! Yes, aren’t the motives behind this museum great? It’s good to hear from you, I hope you’re doing better and you’ve been doing things you enjoy.


  3. October 8, 2014 @ 12:48 pm Franca

    This is truly a creepy and unusual museum, I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere quite like this, I’m usually more into art 🙂


    • October 12, 2014 @ 6:12 pm admin

      Hahaha, don’t get me wrong, the Tate Modern is my favourite museum in the world 😉


  4. December 13, 2014 @ 12:25 pm John

    Only surpassed by the Sex Museum in St. Petersburg – it’s in an STI clinic waiting room and has Rasputin’s penis pickled in a jar.


    • December 13, 2014 @ 4:05 pm admin

      NOOOOOOO WWAAAAAAYYYYY! Years before I went to Russia I had read that Rasputin’s pickled penis could be found somewhere in a jar but then when I finally got round to visiting Russia my hopes of seeing it began to disappear! The more I read of its location the more it seemed to be an urban myth!

      I was so close to going to the Sex Museum but I didn’t have time. However, had I known that Rasputin’s jewels were laid inside there I would have gone but I don’t ever recall reading anything about it on their website – surely if it were there they would have that information in big capital letters?!!!

      Did you see it and do you have a post about this? I NEED to know more!!

      P.S. Nice to meet you, awesome that you lived in Russia for a while!


  5. December 26, 2014 @ 10:51 pm Nanda | vontadedeviajar.com

    Great blog! I love the museum series!
    I’ve had the chance to see this kind of “cute stuff” in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow University… Very creepy but scientifically relevant I guess 🙂


    • December 28, 2014 @ 12:00 pm admin

      Hi Nanda, glad you like the museum series! Ahhh I’ve been wanting to go to the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow ever since I went to the one in London at the beginning of the year! It is a bit creepy isn’t it? But highly delicious! 😀


  6. December 13, 2016 @ 10:18 pm 13th December  | Buenos2Beijing

    […] Actually check out this link for more information: http://www.theculturemap.com/kunstkamera-weirdest-museum-st-petersburg/ […]


  7. June 10, 2017 @ 5:39 pm Dancing Bear

    I live in St. Petersburg, we have more than 200 museums


  8. December 31, 2017 @ 8:32 pm Linda Everett

    Well you probably have never seen the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, Pa. One whole display is things people have swallowed. Truly amazing.


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

Copyright © 2018 Shing Lin Yoong | All Rights Reserved | Designed by Paradigm Creations | Links