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Sheremetevskiy Palace in Museum of Music

Emb. Reki Fontanki, 34, St. Petersburg 191014, Russia
+7 812 272-44-41
Review Highlights
Off the beaten tourist track; especially interesting for the musical instruments

I went here having read about it in the cultural history of Russia by Orlando Figes, which was... read more

Reviewed 29 June 2017
David S
Average palace and musical instrument collection

This is an optional stop. The palace is pretty but not up to the level of the Yusupov across town... read more

Reviewed 10 May 2017
Frazier S
Tampa FL
Read all 68 reviews
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The former mansion of Counts Sheremetev is a unique historical and cultural monument, which represents rare for St.Petersburg pattern of an urban mansion. The site on the bank of the Fontanka was granted by Peter I to the field–marshal Count Sheremetev in 1712. The existing two- storied stone palace was built in 1750 by the architect S.Tchevakinsky. There are also reasons to believe that the sketches by F.–B.Rastrelli were also used. It took two centuries for the mansion to be completed in its development. At different times different architects participated in the decoration of the Palace and its outhouses (F.Argunov, I.Starov, A.Voronikhin, J.Quarengui, Ch.Meier, J.Quadri, I.Korsini, N.Benois, A.Serebryakov and others). Up to 1917 the Palace and the land had belonged to the five generations of the senior branch - the Counts - of the old Russian family of Sheremetev.. After the Revolution the Palace was turned into a museum and existed as the Museum of Russian Nobility up to 1931. The private collection of the Sheremetev, which they had been gathering for 200 years, served as the basis for the museum's archievs. The collection, complex in its composition, was universal and at the same time versatile. It comprised a picture gallery, a collection of sculptures, arms, coins, samples of decorative and applied arts (among them collections of bronze articles, china, silver, furniture), a library (both music sheets and books; manuscripts, post–cards), church plate and icons (from the Fountain House church), etc. Later and up to 1984 The Sheremetev Palace premises had been used for the needs of a research institute. The interiors had perished, and the collections had been given over to the major museums of Leningrad and Moscow, except for the few items of interior decoration left in the building. In 1989 the Palace was handed over to the Museum of Theatre and Music, with the idea of setting up a Music Museum of St.Petersburg and housing the State Collection of Musical Instruments, which also belonged to the Museum of Theatre and Music. Since the 1980's restoration work has been in progress in the Sheremetev Palace, with a view to restoring the gala and memorial interiors of the 19th century. At present the majority of the Sheremetev halls, given to the museum in dramatic state, have been restored. The exhibition is arranged in three directions: a) The history of the Sheremetev family and life of Russian nobility in XVIII - XX cc. b) Open stores of the unique collection of musical instruments c) The exhibition of private collections. The permanent exhibition "The Sheremetev family and the Musical Life of the 18–20th cc." was organized in 1995 in collaboration with the State Hermitage, the Russian National Library, Pushkin House, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Ostankino Memorial Palace, the Russian Porcelain Museum in Kuskovo, as well as owners of private collections. Another notable exhibition is a private collection of A.M.Sarayeva–Bondar (wife of V.V.Strekalov–Obolensky - a Petersburg collector). The collection numbering over 700 works of fine and applied arts (18–20th centuries) is one of the most precious recent acquisitions of the museum. The permanent Musical Instruments Collection displayed at the Palace has three thousand exhibits. "The Open Stores" exhibition opened in the October of 1997 in the Gallery Wing of the Fountain House. Here one can hear the Russian bells, replicas of antique musical instruments, copied in the 19th century from authentic pieces, which had been discovered during the excavations of Ancient Etruria. The fancy shapes of the baroque instruments of the 17–18th centuries - the old harps, viols, harpsichords- go extremely well with the style of the Palace, the delicate design of the iron railings, the stucco moulding of the interiors. The famous collection, framed by the old baroque architecture, is perceived as a new page in the musical–historical annals of the Fountain House, in which there are the names of famous artists of the past, renowned historians, painters, architects. The museum has become a popular place for concerts. The principal exhibition projects initiated and carried out by the museum: Back in the Homeland open 30 May 2003 The Sheremetev Palace (Naberezhnaya Fontanki, 34; branch of St.Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music).
  • Excellent62%
  • Very good26%
  • Average11%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“concert” (3 reviews)
“era” (2 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Emb. Reki Fontanki, 34, St. Petersburg 191014, Russia
+7 812 272-44-41
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1 - 10 of 10 reviews

Reviewed 29 June 2017

I went here having read about it in the cultural history of Russia by Orlando Figes, which was based partly around the fortunes of the Sheremetev family who lived here. They were one of the richest in the Tsarist era and great patrons of the...More

1  Thank David S
Reviewed 10 May 2017

This is an optional stop. The palace is pretty but not up to the level of the Yusupov across town. The musical instruments were very average except the interesting group of mini-violins, which was unique. Otherwise better collections in big city museums elsewhere. The attendants...More

Thank Frazier S
Reviewed 13 February 2017

This stately palace has two distinct spaces. The second floor houses a fairly empty museum of the left-overs from the bolsheviks of what used to be a grand palace. It holds exhibitions and I had a misfortune of visiting one titled Oblichya. The exhibition traced...More

Thank Dmitri K
Reviewed 29 January 2017 via mobile

This stately palace, lovely located on the bank of a canal in central Petersburg, hosts a great collection of music instruments from an exceptional variety of countries over the world. I had never seen such a variety anywhere else. The collection is presented in a...More

1  Thank Carlo R
Reviewed 2 January 2017

On the banks of Fontanka River, near the Anna Akhmatova Memorial Museum and also Nevsky Prospekt is located this real large Palace of Sheremetev that once belonged to Field-Marshal Boris Sheremetev, one of the associates of Peter the Great. There were at those times, in...More

Thank Oleg Y
Reviewed 8 July 2016

Good museum for people with a passion for musical instruments and their history. Also a nice opportunity to visit a palace and enjoy the beautiful rooms without the crowds you will experience at Peterhof etc. Concerts are held at the palace regularly so that would...More

1  Thank Andrew K
Reviewed 23 May 2016

We liked very much several holls inside palace, which have been restored recently, especially beautiful White Hall. Also, there is a huge ancient portrait of Count Sheremetev, also recentlyrestored. Besides these, there are a lot of interesting things.

2  Thank CopperTeaPot
Reviewed 24 April 2015

Excellent museum of priceless musical instruments, but also a beautiful building to tour. Well worth an hour of your time. Try to combine it with the Faberge Museum across the canal. Both are top attractions in St Petersburg and included on the Petersburg Card.

1  Thank RTWtraveler213
Reviewed 29 November 2014

Check to see if they have evening events or concerts planned, as you can see more of the building at night. Extremely diverse and well-described collection of musical instruments. Many more old recordings, costumes, sets, and ephemera related to opera/ballet are on display one mile...More

1  Thank LDSPd
Reviewed 29 May 2009

I actually skipped the museum itself and went to a concert in the beautiful concert hall in the palace. For classical music lovers, it's a great place to see some chamber music once you've already been to the larger venues in the city (Mariinsky, Kappell,...More

Thank DrSchnitzel
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Questions & Answers
11 July 2017|
Response from Olga_Bolshakova | Property representative |
Hello! OPENING HOURS: 1. Staterooms of Sheremetev Palace Exposition (1st floor) Thursday – Monday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesday: 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. Ticket office closes one hour earlier Closed: Tuesday and last Wednesday of... More
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