Visit the Museum of Political History in St.Petersburg!
02 February, 2015
Over the weekend I spent a day visiting the Museum of Political History in St.Petersburg. It a located in a beautiful part of town, very near the Gorkovskaya metro station.
The museum itself is historically significant. It took over what used to the the State Museum of Revolution, founded in 1919. Prominent members of the Bolshevik party kept the museum running, according to the museum’s website, “the first members of the museum staff were Anatoly Lunacharsky, Michael Novorussky, Maxim Gorky, Pavel Shchegolev, G. Zinovjev ,O. Oldenburg, and V. Sreznevsky.” It was here that revolutionary posters, banners, and propaganda were collected. The museum that resides there today is in an old mansion that was built for Mathilda Kshesinskaya, a ballet dancer for the famous Mariinsky Theatre. The Museum of Political History was assembled between 1989-1991.
The building that the museum is housed in is truly incredible. The mansion is a huge maze of impressive architecture, where they incorporated modern exhibits and designs into the original building. I had no idea how large of a collection the museum displayed. There are exhibits dating back far before the revolution, as well as exhibits about politics during different periods during Soviet leadership, and post-Soviet modern history. All of the displays are very interactive, and the museum staff were surprisingly helpful. Although I encourage you to try reading the Russian displays, everything was very English-speaker friendly.
Every exhibit is very hands on and aesthetically pleasing. There are many touch screens that will show you family trees of important political figures and old tsar families, along with important facts and photos of them. Music and video are incorporated into many displays, and in some areas you can actually hear historical speeches, such as a speech given by Stalin. There is an entire room devoted to personal videos and commentary. Additionally there were some special exhibits that are more interest focused. One of the exhibits was about sports, and it had artifacts from the Olympic games in 1980 and even new material from the Sochi 2014 Olympic games. Another was about trains and the railway system.
I would highly recommend that you make the time to visit this museum during your stay in St.Petersburg. It is informational and enjoyable, and nearby the Peter and Paul Fortress, Alexandrovsky Park, Peter the Great’s cabin, and plenty of delicious restaurants and cafes. Here is a link to the location. Enjoy! 🙂