- State Memorial Museum of Leningrad Defense and Siege
The museum commemorating the 900 day Siege of Leningrad didn't have the easiest start. The museum opened in 1944, immediately after the Siege ended. However, in 1949 Stalin became afraid of the uniting power that the survivors started to generate and thus destroyed everything to do with the Blockade, including the museum. Over 37,000 exhibits were either destroyed or handed over to other museums and the managers of the museum were shot. It was not until 1989 that the museum was eventually reopened.
Today, the newly created exhibition focuses on the history of the defence of Leningrad (1941-44), and the life of the city during the siege. There are more than 35,000 exhibits, including the personal belongings of the defenders of the city, army newspapers, diaries, soldiers' letters from the front, photographs, weapons, decorations, paintings and drawings by front-line artists. The walls of the museum follow the advances of the German and Finnish troops during the blockade, and the centre of the museum explains how life was during the time. Exhibitions on children's life, education, sport, food and science really give an insight into how people struggled through the 2 and half years.
The museum is a real eye-opener to the difficulties that both the military and the civilians went through in order to defend themselves and their country against the German attacks.