Celebration of the Russian Science




Recently Russia celebrated 300 year jubilee of Kunstkamera – the very first Russian museum established by Peter the Great. The Russian Academy of Sciences also celebrated 290 years since its establishment.


The reign of the first Russian emperor Peter I brought a great number of very important reforms and other changes to the Russian way of life. In fact, the whole huge country had been steered into much more modern progressive course. New concepts and ideas where introduced from Europe including the idea of scientific approach to the nature instead of religious one that was customary in the old Russia.

Clever and reform-minded Tzar Peter took notice of 'cabinets of curiosities' when travelling in Europe at the very end of XVII century. He bought there some collections: books, scientific tools, nature artifacts and anatomy specimens.

When returned to Russia, he established his new westernized capital Saint Petersburg, moved there his collections and in 1714 established the first museum. A few years later he ordered to build a dedicated building for the museum at the tip of Vasilyevsky Island. The building, when finished, also housed the first Russian Academy of Sciences, observatory, planetary, library and studies of the scientists.

Among the later was the great Russian scientist and writer Mikhail Lomonosov. He was a member of Russian Academy of Sciences which had been established some years earlier in 1724. Alongside with Russian scientists many foreigners worked in the Academy, including many Germans, Swiss, Dutch, French nationals and scholars from other countries.was the first Russian world class scholar. Lomonosov was truly a Renaissance man, his spheres of interest including optics, chemistry, physics, astronomy, mineralogy, geography, language studies, history and art among others. His most famous achievement was discovery of atmosphere of Venus planet.

Nowadays the Russian Academy of Sciences includes about 550 branches all around the country with 55 thousand researchers, 481 Full Members and 732 Corresponding Members. Currently the Academy is undergoing one of the biggest reforms in its history. The reform has many supporters as well as many enemies. The former point out at inefficiency of the current structure that seen by them as largely bureaucratic. The latter argue that the reform should not further endanger situation in the Russian science that even without reform is presently not in the best shape. Who of them is right or wrong only time will tell.

Program of the tour: 5 Days/4 Nights



Day 1


Day 2

City tour, including Peter and Paul Fortress, Alexander Nevsky Lavra (the tombs of famous scientists) St.Petersburg\'s National Library of Russia (one of the biggest in the world).

Day 3

Kunstkamera tour, Observatory, Museum of Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography,historical Twelve Collegia building and Saint-Petersburg University, Archive of St.Petersburg, Academy of Sciences Library, Walk on the Vasilyevsky Island Promontory

Day 4

Pulkovo Observatory – built in 1839. Tour to Pushkin and Katherine Palace (optional).

Day 5