Kirov Museum

Museum in Petrograd & Vyborg Sides

Image by Ksenia Elzes Lonely Planet

Leningrad party boss Sergei Kirov was one of the most powerful men in Russia in the early 1930s. His decidedly un-proletarian apartment is now a fascinating museum showing how the Bolshevik elite really lived: take a quick journey back to the days of Soviet glory, including choice examples of 1920s technology, such as the first-ever Soviet-produced typewriter and a conspicuously noncommunist GE fridge, complete with plastic food inside.

Many of Kirov’s personal items are on display and his office from the Smolny Institute has been fully reconstructed in one of the rooms. Kirov lived for 10 years at this flat until his murder at Stalin’s behest in 1934, which sparked a wave of deadly repression in the country.

The floor above the Kirov collection has a recreated school room and shows what life was like for children in the 1930s. The 'boy's room' contains actual childhood objects belonging to Eugeny Porsin (including a cheery watercolour he painted), who was born in 1925, and was later drafted to serve in WWII. He died from wounds sustained near Vienna just 10 days before the end of fighting.