Off the Beaten Track

Museum of Musical Instruments

OFF THE BEATEN PATH

We’d like to tell you about some places that will definitely not be on your route if you are part of a big group or are in the hands of a young and inexperienced guide.

To start with we invite you to look in on Stroganov’s secret wine cellars which were and are located in the basement of his beautiful palace. Between ourselves, the count was very fond of both beautiful women and exquisite French wines and this found its reflection in a big wine collection and tiny, cozy underground rooms which he shared with his numerous mistresses…Above there is the most expensive, exquisite and beautiful restaurant in Russia, ”Ampir”,where, if you wish, you can dine in the evening. The excursion is free (but not the restaurant!).

Another place worthy of your attention is the Ananov jewelry shop which is the private property of Mr. Ananov. He tries to follow Faberge’s ideas in his pieces of art: pendants, eggs, earrings, little statuettes, brooches etc. Nobody expects you to buy one of his pieces — they are extremely beautiful as well as extremely expensive — but we are sure you’d like to share our admiration of them. And, who knows? You might just be tempted . . .

The Museum of Musical Instruments’ collection is the biggest in the world and it is a paradise for music lovers. You will not only see many unique instruments (including one that was invented by the American president Mr. Franklin Roosevelt) but hear how they sound…. And in addition they have a very specific exhibition devoted to Russian Tsar’s and Tsarina’s hobbies: the collection of their private musical instruments. Actually each Russian Tsar and Tsarina played some musical instrument – you will learn all about their infatuation with music.

The St Petersburg Porcelain Factory was founded many years ago – in 1744 by Elizabeth the beautiful daughter of Peter the Great. Even now the best possible gift from St Petersburg is a cup and saucer (or small tea/coffee service) from this factory. Prices vary from very cheap (which doesn’t mean poor quality) up to very expensive. On the fourth floor, above the porcelain shop there is a porcelain museum…. Since the foundation of the factory a specimen of each piece of porcelain which was ever produced by the masters of the factory has found its way to the museum (and you can order a copy of, for example, a Golden dinner service of her Majesty Maria Fyodorovna). We can organize a visit to the factory for you – but let us know in advance, please.

To be continued……

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