The 5 unusual museums of Petrograd

Petrograd, an area in Saint Petersburg, has a lot to offer to a keen history fan. There are many historical places, including the famous Peter and Paul Fortress and Botanical Garden, and also some less known museums dedicated to fascinating topics like dreams or photography. Here is an overview of the 5 hidden gems.

Museum of Leningrad Childhood

Located in a local secondary school, the museum offers its visitors the opportunity to see the history of Saint Petersburg (former Leningrad) through the eyes of kids. The tour is guided by the most experienced staff – the students themselves. The museum’s most valuable treasure is the extensive doll collection that includes over 300 items. They were a present from Nadezhda Murygina, a Leningrad Siege survivor, who had to give up her first doll for food.

Museum of the History of Photography

This is not just a museum, but rather a peculiar interactive playground, with a theater, an installation and an amusement site for anyone who is a fan of rare photographic equipment and films. Walking from one exhibit room to another, you’ll find yourself in a late 19th-century photo studio, an early 20th-century photographic shop, a foreign photo agency of 1920-30s and a communal apartment in Leningrad, home to the Soviet cameras ‘Kiev’, ‘Druzhba’, ‘Iskra’, and ‘Zenith’. The museum has about 10 thousand items, including a unique collection of photographs, printing equipment, and photographic devices.

Museum of the History of Money

Home to the world’s largest collection of Russian money from ancient times to present day, the museum is located in the Peter and Paul Fortress that served as the first coin production site during the reign of Peter I and gave birth to the St. Petersburg Mint, now a branch of Gosznak and the museum itself. Here one can see the first money used in Ancient Russia, the first flake coin, Peter I rubles and Soviet-time chervontsi. The collection also includes paper money mockups, once developed, but never printed for various reasons.

Deryabkin Museum of Gramophones and Phonographs

Opened in 1997, the museum has an amazing collection of gramophones from all over the world. Here you can find the devices used by the renowned Feodor Shalyapin and Konstantin Stanislavsky, and items produced by the most famous manufacturers, such as Rebikov, Tsimmerman, and Burchard. In all, the museum collection includes over 300 exhibits.

Museum of Freud’s Dreams

Opened in 1999 to mark the 100th anniversary of Sigmund Freud’s notorious Interpretation of Dreams, the museum is one of three world museums inspired by Freud’s work. As to be expected, the place takes visitors to the world of dreams, with their irrationality, oddity, and unreality reflected in the numerous mirrors, shadows, and moving surfaces. The collection also includes research sources used by the famous psychologist for his study.

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