Chamber of Art

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Chamber of Art

This fine example of Russian baroque is painted bright azure with white trim and stands out from the surrounding classically designed architecture. Also known as the Kunstkammer (from the German Kunst, "art," and Kammer, "chamber") and the Chamber of Curiosities, the building was commissioned in 1718 to house the collection of oddities Peter the Great gathered during his travels. It was completed in 1734, destroyed by fire in 1747, and almost entirely rebuilt later. Today it houses the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography but still includes a room with Peter's original collection, a truly bizarre assortment ranging from rare precious stones to preserved human organs and fetuses. The museum is enormously popular, so buy your entrance ticket early in the day.

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