The State Museum of City Sculptures was founded in 1932 dedicated to the study, restoration and protection of city sculptures and gravestones and the museum is responsible for the upkeep of many of St Petersburg's most famous sculptures. The museum has several branches around St Petersburg, but the main ones are concentrated within the former territory of the Aleksandro-Nevsky Lavra which was granted to the museum upon its founding.
The Aleksandro-Nevsky Lavra's Annunciation Church was the first church in St Petersburg to be constructed out of stone, having been built between 1717 and 1724 in the baroque style. The church includes a burial vault where several members of the Russian imperial family, state officials, diplomats, members of noble families and military leaders are buried. It is located on the north-eastern corner of the lavra but since 1932 it has been run as a branch of the State Museum of City Sculptures. As well as the burial vault itself, also exhibited inside the church are various tombstones which have been bought here for protection. The most famous person interred in the church's burial vault is probably Generalissimo Aleksandr Suvorov, who is famed for never losing a battle.
Necropolis of Masters of Culture (Tikhvinskoe Cemetery)
The Aleksandro-Nevsky Lavra's Tikhvinskoe Cemetery was established in 1823 and named after the Our Lady of Tikhvin Church which was built here between 1869 and 1873. In 1931 the church was closed and in 1932 the cemetery became a branch of the State Museum of City Sculptures, known as the Necropolis of Masters of Culture. The branch is so named as many leading figures of Russian culture have been laid to rest here including: writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Karamzin and Ivan Krylov; composers Aleksandr Borodin, Mikhail Glinka, Modest Musorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Pyotr Tchaikovsky; and artists Boris Kustodiev, Ivan Kramskoy and Ivan Shishkin, among many more famous names.
18th Century Necropolis (Lazarevskoe Cemetery)
The Lazarevskoe Cemetery was established at the same time as the lavra itself. Located in the south-eastern corner is St Lazarus' Church which also serves as a burial vault. The current version of this church was built between 1835 and 1836. Since 1932 the cemetery has been run as a branch of the State Museum of City Sculptures. The graves of many notable Russian statesmen, academics, architects and nobles can be found here, including Mikhail Lomonosov (who founded Moscow State University), Sergey Witte (who served as prime minister under Nicholas II) and architects Ivan Starov (who designed the neighbouring Trinity Cathedral) and Carlo Rossi (whose work can be seen all over St Petersburg). In addition the cemetery also has many examples of interesting and beautiful tombstones.
The exhibition hall located on Nevsky Prospekt just next to the museum's headquarters holds a permanent exhibition entitled 'Monumental Sculptures of St Petersburg'. The hall holds the largest collection of models of city monuments in Europe, which allows visitors to see all of St Petersburg's fine monuments at once.
|Location||179 Nevsky Prospekt|
|Clock||Necropolises: 09:30-18:00, daily. Church: 11:00 - 17:00, closed on Mondays and Thursdays. Exhibition: 10:00 - 17:00, closed on Thursdays.|