Rumyantsev Mansion

St Petersburg

History buffs should not miss this oft-overlooked but superb local museum. Part of the State Museum of the History of St Petersburg, the mansion contains an exhibition of 20th-century history, including displays devoted to the 1921 New Economic Policy (NEP), the industrialisation and development of the 1930s, and the Siege of Leningrad during WWII. Exhibitions are unusual in that they depict everyday life in the city during these historic periods. Each room has an explanatory panel in English.

The museum is housed in the majestic 1826 mansion of Count Nikolai Petrovich Rumyantsev, a famous diplomat, politician and statesman, as well as an amateur historian whose personal research library became the basis for the Russian State Library in Moscow. The history of the mansion and its owners is fascinating in itself, and the few restored staterooms at the front of the house suggest daily life for the Rumyantsevs was an opulent affair.

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