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The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia
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From the history of the Museum

The governor of Olonets G.G. Grigoryev

The National Museum of the Republic of Karelia was founded in 1871. It is one of the oldest museums in the Northwest Russia.The original name of the Museum was Olonets museum of nature, industry, history and ethnography.

Since 2000, began a phased renovation and restoration of buildings of the ensemble. In 2003, the first stage of reconstruction of an ensemble of Round Square, which culminated in the opening set of premises of the Hall of Nobility for the 300th anniversary of Petrozavodsk.

June 8, 2010 Halls opened the first phase of a permanent exhibition illustrating the nature, archeology and history of Karelia.


The branches of the Museum

Two branches of the Museum are situated not far from Petrozavodsk: The Museum of the first Russian resort “Marcial Waters” and the Vepsian ethnographic museuom in the village of Sheltozero. Both of these museums are in the top ten sights of the Republic of Karelia. They are the most well-known and the most frequently visited by tourists.

The Museum of the first Russian resort “Marcial Waters”

A small museum of the fisrt Russian resort "Marcial waters" is situated near the springs of marcial water in the house of the Committee of Mines (1830). Construction of the first Russian Spa resort Marcial Waters in Karelia is associated with the name of Peter I.

According to the drawings of Peter I the Curch of Peter the Apostle in West-European style was constructed there in 1721. It is a unique monument of the kind in Karelia. In the interior of the church there remained the two-level iconostasis with 14 icons and carved ornaments of the beginning of the 18th century and two home-produced pig-iron furnaces.

The exhibition of the museum consists of the things from the Tsar’s palaces of the resort, the production of the Peter’s factories during the war with Sweden. The guides tell the tourists about the first Russian resort, its oblivion after the death of Peter the Great and its rebirth in XX century.

There is a memorial pavilion above the spring, from which Alexander II took water in 1858. Nowadays there are 4 springs in the resort. Each of them is different in its chemical structure and cures a certain system of organism.

Address: Marcial Waters, The Republic of Karelia

Phone: +7 8142 788 998


Working hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10.00 - 17.00, Monday - closed

The Vepsian ethnographic museum

The Vepps ethnographic museum is the most fantastic place in Sheltozero. The founder and the keeper of its rich collection is Rurik Lonin, Sheltozerian specialist of local lore and the collector of Vepps folklore. He started his collection in the 60-ies. He asked his countrymen to look for different ancient articles and collected more than 300 wooden, iron and tissue objects. So the first exposition was opened in 1979 and in 1980 the museum became a branch of Karelian State museum of local lore.

The museum is in a traditional Vepps house, which was built in the middle of XIX century by merchant Melkin, whose descendants still live in the village. This is one of the biggest and most beautiful houses in the Vepps volost and it is also a monument of Karelian wooden architecture. Nowadays the funds of the museum consist of more than 6000 units of issue. These are articles that were collected in the Vepps villages of Karelia and in Leningadskaja and Vologodskaja regions.

One of the rooms of the museum is devoted to the trades, which the ancient Vepps went in for - fishing and hunting. Here one can see traps and fishing equipment: homemade hooks, fishing-lines and maps made on rind. There is also a loom and a cradle made of bast, which is attached to the ceiling. There is copper and earthenware crockery on the shelves. One can also see a working sarafan and a patchwork quilt. There are lots of documents and pictures in the museum. A famous ethnographer Maikov traveled around the Vepps villages in the late XX century and collected many interesting stories.
In the museum one can not only touch the pages of the history but also listen to the national Vepps songs in the performance of the national chorus and to taste traditional Vepps dishes.

Address: 28, Pochtovaya St., Sheltozero, Prionejskiy district, The Republic of Karelia

Phone: +7 8142 539 150


Working hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10.00 - 17.00, Monday - closed


Print version
1, Lenin sq., Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185035
Phone: (8142) 55-96-20
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