Russian Far East Culture Guide
Since time immemorial, the austere and mysterious Russian Far East has been a magnet for the bold and adventurous. Even running a museum here is for those who are strong in spirit: many generations of fellow researchers have helped safeguard the wild nature of Kamchatka, multiply the treasures of Yakutia, keep the memory of the Russian explorers and indigenous people of the Pacific coast alive, and spread knowledge.
34 Kluchevskaya St., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Tel.: +7 (963) 832-02-02
Adepts of any science can barely speak a language understandable by laymen. The creators of Vulcanarium, the Samoilenko family – a couple of scientists – have found a solution to this problem. They have put VR at the service of volcanology, enabling visitors of the museum to enter a lava cave and observe a volcano erupting and emitting volcanic gases. The Vulcanarium also organizes educational quests, shows popular science films and delivers fascinating lectures.more info: visitmuseums.ru
Museum of Nature of the Kronotsky Reserve
48 Ryabikova St., Elizovo, Kamchatka
+7 (4153) 171652
The Valley of Death, the largest hot spring fields in the continent, the active Kronotsky Volcano, the caldera of the Uzon volcano, vast expanses of fresh water lakes, a bay with whales and walruses. The landscapes of Kronotsky Reserve are capable of exciting even the most well-seasoned tourist.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The Museum of Nature of Kronotsky Reserve presents spherical panoramas of these unique natural objects which can be manipulated through touch screens. The beauty of the wild Kamchatka is further introduced through the interactive exposition which reproduces its natural zones, flora and fauna with maximum accuracy. The tour ends in the cinema room with a session of videos featuring volcanos, hot springs and inhabitants of the protected territories.
Sakhalin Regional Museum of Local Lore
29 Kommunistichesky Prospekt, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
+7 (4242) 727555
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is a city in the Far East. It is situated on Sakhalin, the country’s largest island, which has changed hands between Japan and Russia several times.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The Sakhalin Regional Museum of Local Lore is housed in a Japanese building constructed in 1937 in the traditional national style of teikan-zukuri – unique to Sakhalin and Russia. Today this building is a landmark of the region. Within its walls resides a repository of collections dedicated to Sakhalin’s nature, its ancient past, indigenous people, explorers and political history from the 19th century up until the present day.
Literature and Art Museum dedicated to the book “Sakhalin Island” by Anton Chekhov
104 Prospekt Mira, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
+7 (4242) 436636, +7 (4242) 436774
In 1890, Russian writer Anton Chekhov visited Sakhalin, “the isle of the exiled convicts”. One year later he published his book Sakhalin Island, which he had written based on materials from his traveling notes. Upon publication, the book became a real eye-opener and sparked a public discussion on whether to put an end to the exile of criminals and especially children’s penal labor.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The museum dedicated to Sakhalin Island by Anton Chekhov was opened in 1995. Its collection comprises paintings and graphic works, sculpture and arts-and-crafts items, numismatics, photographic materials and written sources, as well as household items, including authentic belongings of the Chekhov family. The Museum maintains a broad exchange with the descendants of the exiled: it records stories, legends and biographies, and seeks out items associated with everyday life and work in prisons of the 19th century.
Vladimir K. Arseniev Museum of Far East History
20 Svetlanskaya St., Vladivostok
+7 423 2411173
Vladivostok was founded in 1860; only 24 years later, its forward-looking residents – merchants, city officials and military – founded the Amur Krai Research Society and the museum to which they handed over their own collections of archaeology, anthropology and botany. In 1903 the scientist, writer and traveler Vladimir Klavdievich Arseniev joined the society. He became a major contributor to the museum’s collections.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The museum’s first collection was dedicated to archaeology. Valuable anthropological items from the indigenous people of Priamurye and Primorye constitute the Tree collection. Its gem is a full armament set of the 19th century Itelmes, including band armor, a whale fin helmet and a spear. The Far East’s best selection of carved and engraved bone includes items of traditional Kerek and Koryak art. The Museum features a photography collection, an archive, a numismatic section, large repositories of stamps, cold arms, items of locally produced porcelain, pottery, ceramics, glass, painting and graphic works by Primorye artists, orthodox icons, etc.
The Museum has three branches in Vladivostok: Vladimir Arseniev Memorial House-Museum, Russia’s only public official’s Memorial House-Museum of the Sukhanov family, and the City Museum exploring local myths, folklore, history and art. Five more branches are scattered across the cities of Primorsky Krai.
Museum of Vostochny Cosmodrome
12 Marshala Nedelina St., Tsiolkovsky, Amur Oblast
+7 41643 91-9-00
The first successful launch from Vostochny Cosmodrome took place in 2016. This fact is commemorated by the exposition of the cosmodrome museum, opened in 2019.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The recently founded museum is equipped at a state-of-the art level. Visitors can travel to space in VR chairs or learn about the cosmodrome’s operation using a media panel. Among its unique exhibits are smaller copies of Soyuz carrier rockets and models of satellites launched into space; mock-ups of the two operating carrier rockets Soyuz-2 and Soyuz-2.1v; and a model of the prospective rocket Soyuz-5 with the new-generation Federation piloted spacecraft.
Museum of History of Buryatia named after Matvey Khangalov
29 Profsoyuznaya St., Ulan-Ude
+7 3012 214008
Founded in 1923, the History Museum of Buryatia bears the name of an outstanding anthropologist and folklore specialist, Matvey Nikolaevich Khangalov. The Museum’s pride is its archaeological collection which comprises, inter alia, the artefacts of the ancient nomadic people Xiongnu, whose forefathers had driven the construction of the Great Wall of China. Another remarkable section of the exposition is dedicated to the anthropology of the peoples of Predbaikalye and Zabaikalye. The Museum also retains documents and photos, orders and medals, cold and fire arms, devotional items, arts-and-crafts, and rare books. Its world-famous exhibit is the Book of 19th Century Tibetan Medicine: an illustrated guide for monks studying the art of healing.more info: visitmuseums.ru
Anthropological Museum of the People of Zabaikalye
17B Verkhnyaya Berezovka village, Ulan-Ude
+7 3012 332510
One of the largest Russian open-air museums occupies an area of several dozen hectares. Since 1968 it has accumulated immovable memorials of history and culture from across the place to integrate them into a typical surrounding and obtain a panoramic picture of the past of this multi-national region.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The archeological section of the museum displays stone-slab graves of cattle herders, dear and watch stones, fragments of rock with drawings and petroglyphs, and khereksure funeral structures of the bronze era. The Buryat section consists of wooden and felt tents, and a special type of Buddhist temple known as duskhang, influenced by Russian ecclesiastical architecture; the Evenki section comprises tepees and stores with utensils. The Predbaikalye section showcases the life of a homestead of a Buryat cossack and the house of a wealthy Buryat. The Zabaikalye section is dedicated to the history of exile and penal labor. Reconstruction of customs of the Russian settlers is made in the format of city complexes: Old Verkhneuldinsk, Old-Resident and Old-Believer.
Treasury of the Republic of Sakha
12 Kirova St., Yakutsk
+7 4112 425290
The Treasury is a constituent part of the State Fund of precious metals and precious stones of the Republic of Sakha. The exposition comprises unique natural gold nuggets, bank standards, ceremonial clothes and household items of the ancient Yakuts, sections of a fossil mammoth tusk, and authentic works which won all-Russian jewelry craft contests. Natural unwrought crystals, and sparkling piles of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, are presented in such abundance that the viewer is content to just observe rather than possess them.more info: visitmuseums.ru