- The Central Naval Museum
Founded by Peter I at the beginning of the 18th century, the Central Naval Museum is one of the oldest museums in St. Petersburg. Its collection of exhibits illustrates in detail the epic 300-year history of the Russian Navy. In this museum, you can see pictures of ships and portraits of great naval commanders, as well as banners, maps, and historical documents.
The museum originates from a repository of models and workers drawings of naval vessels, which Peter the Great housed in the Ship-Model Chamber in the Admiralty building. In 1805, the Chamber was reorganized into the Naval Museum. Since 1939, the museum has been housed in the building of the former Stock Exchange on Vasilievsky Island.
Today the museum boasts over 700,000 exhibits telling the story of the Russian Navy from ancient times to the present day. These include about 2,000 models of old and modern ships, 5,000 paintings from famous maritime artists, about 11,000 examples of weaponry and combat equipment, and a collection of medals, coins, navigational devices, maps and photo-material. It also houses a great number of flags and banners, numerous war trophies and the personal effects of famous Russian seafarers and naval commanders.
The museum uses vivid models and displays to narrate the history of the Russian Navy: its victories at Gangut (Hango), Chesme, Corfu and Sinope, amongst others; its contribution to round-the-world voyages of discovery; and its legendary cruiser Variag and other heroic ships. A number of documents attest to the participation of sailors in the three Russian revolutions and the Civil War. The exhibition ends with an overview of naval activities in the USSR, from the operations of the Soviet Navy during the Second World War to its development in the post-war period. Among the most remarkable exhibits are Peter I's small boat known as the "Grandfather of the Russian Navy", the first Naval Regulations printed in 1720, and models of Russian ships (the Aurora, Azov, Variag, Vladimir, and Kirov) and submarines.
The museum has the following branches: the Cruiser Aurora, the Narodovolets D-2 Submarine, the Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt, the Road of Life Museum, The Baltic Fleet Museum in Baltiysk, And the Cruiser Mikhail Kutuzov in Novorossiysk.
In April 2013, the museum was completely moved to a new building - Kryukov (Marine) barracks.
If you are interested in the navy or maritime dealings then this is the place for you! It is one of the largest naval museums in the world, so an enthusiastic wouldn't want to miss out on this opportunity!