Hidden gem(s)

As a future Geology student, I decided to visit the Vernadsky State Geological Museum.

This is a very particular place to visit. There are very few people apart from a handful of passionate geology students, jotting down a few notes on their notepads, sketching minerals… Therefore visiting the museum feels like a discovery walk in a very quiet library. Here the stones are the primary source of information. This is actually why the museum was created in a first place. When Lomonosov undertook the creation of the Moscow State University in 1755, he stated that we should not only learn through books, but also through the study of natural material objects. From then on, families of Ural provided the University with many rock samples to study.

Precious amethyst from Mironov's collection
Precious amethyst from Mironov’s collection

The Museum is, to be completely honest, difficult to enjoy completely without a very good understanding of Russian. All the signs are in Russian and of course the vocabulary used is very specific. Some explanatory graphs are provided but it does not of course replace the extensive written developments on the minerals and geological phenomena.On the other hand, it is a wonderful opportunity for everyone appreciate the diverse and unique beauty of nature’s creation. It is also very interesting as it focuses on Moscow’s and more generally on Russia’s very rich geology.

 

The Museum is also host to many lectures, mainly on geological topics. I had attended a few last year, including one dedicated to geological research in the Artic. These conferences I would recommend to all as they are much more approachable and interactive than the actual exhibition. The language used by the lecturers is rather simple and there is the possibility to ask questions at the end.

Therefore, if you are near the Red Square square, looking for a less touristy exhibition, this is definitely a place you should consider visiting.

 

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