Russia and St Petersburg have had a long and rich association with the sea, Peter the Great was fascinated by anything nautical and went about building a formidable navy and one could say that the great River Neva is the life blood of the city.
Recognizing this, August 1st 2013, saw the grande re-opening of the Central Navy Museum, which is now housed in the Kryukovy Barracks in Truda Square, close to the the world famous Mariinsky Theatre and Potseluev Bridge.
The building's showrooms and Atrium (covering more than 3 thousand square meters) now holds one of the most extensive and historically important collections of the sea to be held by any major city of the world.
This museum is not only a must for enthusiasts, but this writer believes that within all of us lies some sense of the adventure of exploration, commerce and of military might, without which, our city could never have been realized and Russia would never have been one of the world's super powers.
This new museum is growing and will eventual have 19 exhibition halls, restoration workshops, a studio of marine painters, a scientific and technical library, a photo laboratory, a cafe and a conference hall and Our guides are seeing something new very time they visit.
The prize exhibits here are the botik (boat) in which Peter the Great learned to sail - a vessel dubbed the " grandfather of the Russian Navy" and Russia's oldest surviving submarine, designed in 1881.
A host of intricately made modal ships, among them Russia's first naval battle ship (amour clad) from 1877 are also on display.
Exhibits recounting the Disaster at Tsushima Bay, a sea battle with Japan in which the Cruiser Aurora took part and was one of only a handful of ships to survive and surrounding rooms chart events during the Revolution and World War II.
A fine collection of carved figure heads from eighteen-century vessels, numerous marine paintings, banners, flags and pendants and photographs of the Potemkin mutineers and Kronstadt sailors.
The museum concludes with the Russian Navy's postwar expansion during the Cold War and competition with America as a world superpower.
Come with us to St Petersburg's Naval Museum and our guide will enthusiastically give you the background stories to go with all there is to see and do here.