Chelyabinsk recently made headlines as the site of a 2013 meteor, when a previously undetected asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere in a bright burst that shocked scientists and locals alike. Yet this central Russian city has a long history of political, cultural and industrial significance, which you'll discover in its diverse museums.
In the southern foothills of the Ural mountains and perched on the Miass River, Chelyabinsk is a modern industrial center with a rich cultural past. Discover the city by following this exciting museum route. With exhibitions ranging from art to artifacts, you're in for an afternoon of adventure.
Chelyabinsk Regional Picture Gallery
Over 15,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, reside just a stone's throw from our Radisson Blu Hotel, Chelyabinsk at the Regional Picture Gallery. The museum’s collected artworks include locally restored icons, landscapes and portraits from the 18th to early 20th centuries, a large collection of works from the Soviet realism movement, traditional southern Urals cast iron, and Eastern art. Keep an eye out for temporary exhibitions, like the gallery's recent display of Sergei Mikhailovich Udalova’s watercolor paintings. The museum also hosts musical performances and educational events for children and adults, including seasonal talks on the history of the Christmas tree and toy symbolism.
Chelyabinsk Museum of Regional Studies
Opened in 2006, the Chelyabinsk Museum of Regional Studies stands on the former site of Chelyabinsk Fortress. The fortress was built on the shore of the Miass river during the early 18th century, establishing Russian control of Bashkir territory. Originally founded to protect trading routes, the site gained significance during the reign of Catherine the Great, when the fortress witnessed a series of violent clashes throughout Pugachev's Rebellion. As the modern Museum of Regional Studies, this historic venue hosts over 300,000 artifacts, including the largest fragment of meteorite discovered in the region after the 2013 incident. Current exhibitions include an exploration of Czech holidays and culture, and a display on the history of gold mining in the southern Ural region. Special exhibits for children include an overview of Russian puppet theater, complete with finger puppet-making workshops.
Ural Decorative-Applied Art Museum
Extending from Kazakhstan to Siberia, the Ural region was historically home to a diverse patchwork of ethnic populations, including the indigenous Bashkirs. As nomadic tribes crisscrossed the region, seeking rich natural resources scattered along the Ural River, they established themselves as highly skilled craftspeople. At the Ural Decorative-Applied Art Museum in the city center, you'll learn about local trades like stonecutting, molding, and armor making. The museum showcases Kasli and Kusa iron-casting, steel engraving from Zlatoust (a town known for its ornamental damask sabers), Yuzhnouralsk chinaware, earthenware, needle works and other crafts.
Interesting Science Museum Experimentus
This interactive museum makes the ideal final stop on your tour, especially if you're traveling with kids. Eksperimentus offers children the opportunity to join in with carefully rehearsed experiments, like setting off a model volcano, or to learn by playing. Grown ups will enjoy learning about electricity with the museum’s new 50 cm plasma ball, or checking out their high tech digital microscope.