Author Topic: January 31: Kunstkamera Foundation Day  (Read 2235 times)

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January 31: Kunstkamera Foundation Day
« on: February 01, 2010, 03:45:40 AM »
Located on the Neva river embankment in the historical center of St. Petersburg Kunstkamera is a symbol of Russia Academy of Sciences.

When visiting England and Holland Tsar Peter I was very interested in innovations in the form of the Cabinet "kunshtov" ( "kunsht" - a rarity, a miracle). Peter decided to organize a similar study in Russia.

He immediately bought the first exhibits, which subsequently became the inhabitants of "the sovereign's Cabinet". Even moving the capital to St. Petersburg did not stop the plans of the great leader: "The Cabinet of curiosities" moved with it's creator.

By order of the tsar Kunstkamera was positioned in the Summer Palace. Birthday of the museum is on January 31, 1714. Collections grew, from all over Russia and from abroad flocked to the museum by a variety of curios. However, visitors were afraid of the exhibits. Peter "lure" visitors to this: men - a glass of vodka, women were treated to a cup of coffee.

For the burgeoning museum in 1718 the Tsar ordered the architect Mattarnovi to make a draft of a new building.

Georg Johann Mattarnovi, started to build, but did not complete it (1718-1719). After the death Mattarnovi work was supervised by Nikolai Fedorovich Gerbel (1719-1724), the project has been somewhat modified. Thus, the window openings were decorated with bricks that look richer, but not consistent with what was on the original drawing. The lower frame of a two-storey tower has three storeys. When Gerbel's building was built in the rough, with the unfinished tower in the brickwork which appeared threatening cracks.

Gerbel, whom were replaced by Italian architect Gaetano Kiaveri (1724-1727), to detect defects in the tower, insisted on the establishment of a commission, which was attended by famous architects of that time Domenico Trezzini, Michael Zemtsov and several other architects. The Commission proposed tower was dismantled. G. Kiaveri put up a new project building design. The appearance of the whole tower is changing dramatically. The lower part of the volume is higher. Instead of four pavilions around a cylinder of the tower there is a light colonnade. Height of the cylindrical part of the tower increases. Finally, the tower is crowned with a tower mounted on its astronomical (armillary) sphere.

In the Kunstkamera building of XVIII - XIX centuries were located the Great St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences founded by Peter the Great, which became the cradle of modern Russia Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Academy of Sciences Library, the Main Astronomical Observatory and a dozen other modern Russian scientific and museum institutions.

At the moment, the collection of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Kunstkamera, named after Peter the Great, Russia Academy of Sciences is one of the most complete and interesting in the world. It has more than a million artifacts and reflect the diversity of cultures of the Old and New Worlds.

You can see a short video of Kunstkamera here:
« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 11:56:34 PM by Mariria »