In the very heart of St. Petersburg, on Universitetskaya Embankment, immediately beyond the Palace Bridge, is located one of the largest and most visited museums in the city on the Neva - Zoological. And it is not at all accidental that the Kunstkamera, the progenitor of this museum, was located nearby. It was on the basis of her collections that in 1982 the Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded.
The history of this repository of truly unique values of the animal world began in 1684, when Peter I brought from Holland collections of dried ancient fish and mammals.
After the separation of the museum directly from the Kunstkamera, it began to constantly replenish with collections acquired through repurchase or exchange with similar institutions in Europe, in particular France and Italy, as well as obtained during expeditions to the Far East, Eastern Siberia of Russia and the Aral Sea.
Thus, in the middle of the 19th century, the collection of exhibits of the St. Petersburg Zoological Museum exceeded in many respects the collections of thematic foreign museums and, in 1901, it was finally open to visitors.
During the Great Patriotic War, the museum was not evacuated, but remained in its place. The building was bombarded several times, but, fortunately, the exhibits in it were not damaged.
In the postwar years, the collection collections continued to be replenished mainly due to trophy exhibits, as well as exhibits donated to the museum by the allied countries of Russia participating in the Great Patriotic War.
Zoological Museum today
Today, the Zoological Museum is not only a favorite place of leisure for Petersburgers, but also a historically significant architectural monument, which contains the centuries-old works of zoologists, freight forwarders and wildlife researchers.
Mammoth and mammoth
The museum welcomes its guests with the famous Mammoth Hall. The skeleton of a giant mammal, larger than a five-story house, rises in the very center of the room, unwittingly attracting the attention of visitors. Next you can see the mummy of a mammoth found during excavations in Siberia.
The tour continues through the spacious halls of the museum, the left side of which contains mainly alcoholized copies of single-celled invertebrates, mollusks, reptiles and ancient fish. The right side of the exhibition shows representatives of the animal world in their natural habitat. Animals are presented in the form of stuffed animals, made so naturally that, sometimes, it seems that they are about to start moving and can get out of the glass display cases that limit their movement. This is a flock of wolves tearing a roe deer captured, a fox guarding a hole with his newborn cubs, and a pair of deer collecting reindeer on an autumn clearing.
On the second floor of the museum are collections of dried insects. Here you can see a lot of exhibits, ranging from several species of mosquitoes that live in central Russia, and ending with the most exotic species of tropical butterflies. For a small additional fee, you can visit the zoo of living insects - sticks will not leave anyone indifferent, which are quite difficult to see among the brushwood scattered in the terrarium, and giant cockroaches, which are tens of times larger than our usual insects, will continue to be imagined by visitors after exiting the museum.
Leaving the exposition, visitors to the Zoom Museum have the opportunity to buy souvenirs in the form of animals, insects, fish, to take with them a small piece of the story, which began from the time of Peter the Great and has survived to this day, continuing to delight children and adults.
The author of this article is our regular reader, Marina Voronina.