If you only visit one museum whilst visiting Russia, The Russian Museum is probably the best one to choose. This beautiful museum is housed in a number of historical buildings and dedicated to Russian fine art over the ages. This means you can combine history, art and architecture in one short visit. The state museum was established in 1895 in St Petersburg and was opened to visitors three years later. It currently contains a collection of approximately 400 000 exhibits and is a stunning tribute to Russian art.

The Russian Museum, which was established under the decree of Emperor Nicholas II, is today housed in a complex of museum buildings. The main complex is the Mikhailovsky Palace which is combined with the Benois Wing. Both of these house a permanent exhibition which takes you on a brief but engaging tour of Russian art from the tenth century to the twentieth century. It features aspects from all genres, forms and schools of movement used during this time period and is the best place to start.

However the tour doesn’t end there. Over the last twenty years or so the museum complex has grown to include a further five buildings and three gardens. The buildings are the Straganov Palace, St Michael’s Castle, the Marble Palace, the Summer Palace and the House of Peter the Great. The gardens affiliated with the Russian Museum are the Mikhailovsky Gardens, the Engineering Garden’s and the Summer Garden. Besides holding permanent exhibitions of more traditional art at a number of these locations, The Russian Museum also features over fifty temporary exhibits which constantly change to keep things interesting. It is involved in the display of Russian art both in Russia and abroad and it has created catalogues, albums and booklets for many of the exhibitions with which it is affiliated.

The Russian Museum is far more than just a museum. Dedicated to art and the preservation thereof, the museum also has a restoration centre and is considered to be a major centre of culture and education in the country. Besides enjoying a large store of beautiful Russian artworks, it is also in charge of roughly 260 art museums in the country. The Russian Museum is the top authority on art in Russia and is considered to be a national treasure. You can be sure that a visit to the museum is an unforgettable experience.