Why the residents of St. Petersburg Kunstkammer was considered a cursed place

History 14/02/20 Why residents of St. Petersburg Kunstkammer was considered a cursed place

the Cabinet of curiosities is one of the main attractions of St. Petersburg. So traditionally called the Museum of anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great. It involves a lot of shocking facts.

the seal of the Antichrist

the Name “Cabinet of curiosities” derived from the German “Kunst” – “rarity”. The first exhibits of the Museum collection was bought in 1714 by Peter I to Dutch Professor Frederick Ruisi and so on. They were mostly preserved in alcohol specimens of different physical pathologies, for example, a two-headed babies and other carriers of congenital malformations.

the First exposition was opened for public viewing in the Green room the Summer garden, and in 1718 she was transferred to Kikin’s home on Vasilievsky island. But people are not really sought to look at rarity. There were rumors that they bear the seal of the Antichrist, and in the Museum and did the usual evil spirit. Said, for example, that the shadow of the exhibits are separated from the objects and to move independently around the room.

in Order to lure Museum visitors, the Emperor ordered not to take entrance fees and to bring each guest a bottle of wine or vodka, and if someone does not drink, then a Cup of coffee.

after the death of Peter, in 1734, to the Kunstkammer has built a new spacious building. But in 1747, there happened a fire. Many of the exhibits were destroyed. Part of their saving from the fire, the Ministers threw out on the street, where the Museum’s welcome forever pilfered by passers-by. Later people thought that the fire was started again, running at the Museum of supernatural forces.

the Giants and dwarfs

some time when Peter served in the position of Hayduk Frenchman Nicolas Bourgeois. He was a giant: the growth of this man was 226,7 cm. In 1724, Bourgeois died of apoplexy, and his skeleton and heart took place in Kunstthe Americans.

One legend says that during a fire at the skeleton of the Bourgeois gone head and subsequently it was assigned to another skull. Since then, the Ghost of a giant wanders the halls, looking for the lost body part.

But the dwarf Fedor Ignatiev, and all lived at the Kunstkammer 16 years in an exhibit. The rise of Theodore was 126 centimeters, besides he was a freak of nature: on the right hand and on the feet of Ignatieff had only two fingers. It seemed that it’s not human limbs and claws. According to the stories, Peter king, appearing in the Cabinet of curiosities, always personally greeted the dwarf’s hand.

Exhibits, bringing misfortune

There are several legends about stored in the Kunstkammer artifacts with mystical powers. For example, there is a clock in mahogany case, arrows, which are usually, but supposedly sometimes they suddenly start moving backwards, stopping always at the same position 9 hours and 45 minutes. And then, as a rule, the death of the Museum staff.

Another “damn” exhibit – a bronze statuette of a cat. They say that from time to time it blinks, and if it is anyone, then it waits for imminent death. So, one student decided to spend the night in the pantry next to the infamous statue, and the next morning in the pantry and found nothing, only the cat grinned evilly. More young man was never seen.

In the Cabinet of curiosities was kept human heads

Another legend says that once in the vaults of the Kunstkammer were two glass vessels, each of which alcohol was a human head. One allegedly belonged to the officer and lover of Catherine I, Willem Mons, who was executed by Peter, the other – the former favorite of Peter I, Mary Hamilton, which was beheaded because she killed her own child, though not from a Royal lover, and his servant Ivan Orlov. Hamilton as chambers-lady-in-waiting of the Empress, stole her jewels.

At the end of the XIX century historian Mikhail Semevsky was trying to find tanks with the heads in the cellars of the Kunstkammer, but to no avail. According to one version, they were buried on the orders of Catherine II.

Irina Shlionskaya

© Russian Seven

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