Central Naval Museum

Central Naval Museum in St Petersburg


St.Petersburg, Bolshaya Morskaya ul.,69

Working time:

Monday - Tuesday: Free
Wednesday - Sunday: 11:00 - 18:00
Every last Wednesday of the month is the day of free visit


During the years of Peter the Great, shipbuilding developed in Russia. Not everything went smoothly at the first stage: one vessel was well supported in the water, others were irretrievably killed. Peter the Great, visiting Western European countries, gained experience. He saw that the drawing workshops had a special building for the collection of models. The construction of the ship began with its design, construction of drawings and the creation of a layout. In the future, the most successful models were stored at the shipyard for the sample. The room for their collection and storage was called “model kamera”.

Already on the experience of foreign countries, Peter the Great decides in 1709 to create something similar on the Winter Mansions /Zimnie Horomy. There, the Model Kamera did not stay long. She was transferred to the Main Admiralty in the same year, closer to the direct construction of ships. The collection is gradually replenished. In addition to models and drawings, various maps were stored here. For work materials were issued strictly according to the inventory. But over the years, shipbuilding began to rely only on design drawings and scientific calculations. The need to create ships in miniature has disappeared.

There was a thought to transform the "Model Kamera" into a museum, where ordinary citizens can get acquainted with all the exhibits. So by the order of Emperor Alexander I the Maritime Museum is formed. Russian fleet made a significant contribution to the formation of the collection. True, there was no definite direction or distinction between the subjects of the exhibits. Experience in this regard was very little. Therefore, things appeared in the museum that were only remotely related to the marine theme. The captains of the ships, the legendary sailors donated to the institution all the most valuable things, in their opinion: weapons, exotic animals, minerals, ornaments and clothing of the natives, etc.

In 1827, the Maritime Museum experienced a great transformation. The consequences brought him back to the original state. Deciding that the collected exhibits do not meet the stated theme of the institution, they were distributed to other funds. Some of them are lost without a trace. It became the property of private individuals. At the time, only 546 exhibits remained in the Model Kamera.

But over the years, interest in the development of the fleet began to rise. There is a need to preserve historical monuments and recreate the Maritime Museum. In the period from 1867 to 1917, the collection grew. Its departments occupy the second and third floors of the Main Admiralty. It was renamed the Central Naval Museum in 1924. And in 1939 he was given the use of a beautiful building, which housed the former Stock Exchange. The grand opening in the new premises took place in early February 1941.

Since the beginning of the 50s, the museum has created a number of branches in the city. We are talking about the cruiser "Aurora" and the submarine "Narodovolets". The “road of life”/Doroga Zhizni is formed on the shore of Lake Ladoga, and the “Chesme victory” /Chesmenskaya pobeda - in the church of the same name.

The role of the museum as a keeper of the fleet culture, historical heritage is invaluable in the state. Its employees are doing a great deal of patriotic and consulting work. Having survived its 300th anniversary, the Maritime Museum plans to move to the Kryukovskie barracks, where reconstruction is underway. The famous history of the Russian fleet should be placed in a decent room.

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