State Memorial Museum of Leningrad Defense and Siege
The exhibitions in this museum recount the military and political events before, during, and after the Siege of Leningrad. Displays include newspapers, photographs, propaganda posters, soldiers’ letters, and weapons. Visitors can peek inside a recreated apartment from the period, see an example of the daily bread ration, and read personal accounts and letters from those who lived through the siege.
Things to Know Before You Go
The museum has some information displayed in English, but it’s worth renting an audio guide to get greater insight into the exhibits.
Entry to the museum is free with a St Petersburg Pass.
There is limited access to the museum for wheelchair users, and you must make arrangements before arriving if you need to use the elevator.
How to Get There
The museum is located along the east bank of the Fontanka River, opposite the Summer Garden of Peter the Great. The closest subway station is Chernyshevskaya (Line 1), a roughy 15-minute walk away.
When to Get There
The museum is open Wednesday from 12:30pm to 8:30pm and Thursday through Monday from 10am to 6pm. (The ticket office closes an hour before the museum.) The museum is closed on Tuesday and the first Thursday of the month.
The Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad (modern-day St Petersburg) began in 1941, when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union and surrounded the city, cutting off supply lines and preventing citizens from evacuating. The siege lasted almost 900 days, until January 1944, and over a million civilians lost their lives, making this one of the most devastating sieges in world history.
The original Memorial Museum actually opened just after the end of the siege so that the government could document the events and preserve the memory of those who lost their lives. However the museum was closed by Stalin in 1949 and was not reopened until 1989; while it was closed, tens of thousands of documents and artefacts were lost.
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