The Faberge Museum
On our way to the Faberge museum we passed another interesting Palace built by a Czar. This Czar was so paranoid that his Palace, ‘Michael’s Castle’, was surrounded by canals. The Czar rarely went out and instead all the intrigues took place inside his palace. He was eventually assassinated by one of his trusted guards. The palace is now a school and the surrounding canals filled in and are now roads.
We then passed through other parts of St Petersburg on the way to the Faberge Musuem.
We walked then a short distance to the museum’s entrance.
The collection of Fabergé jewellery was brought by Viktor Vekselberg from the estate of Malcolm Forbes, the famous American media magnate. Forbes did not trust his heirs to keep the collection together and in his will said the collection could only be sold as one. The City of St Petersburg leased the building to the trust that Vekselberg had set up. The interior of the building was then renovated before receiving the full collection.
Once inside we waited to join another TJ travel group. This is where we had a long wait as the two guides tried to find radio earpieces for our tour. Svetlana didn’t have any and the other guide had only a couple spare. This meant that three of us were asked to stay close to the other guide so that we could hear her commentary. We discovered that the collection included pieces that were not made by Faberge or his associates and these were part of the wider eclectic collection.
The Faberge pieces were fabulous and we learned about how the eggs were presented as presents year-on-year by the Czar and his family. Rich merchants copied the Czar and also had similar eggs made.
Faberge made more day to day pieces for sale from his shops worldwide. These were probably not as expensive but had been eagerly bought nevertheless.
The entrance was rather cramped.
Leaving the Faberge Museum was an effort as with only a couple of doors, people entering and leaving competing for the same space. We were very British and politely waiting for the rush of people coming in to subside. The Russians behind us decided this was not their way and barged past all of us and pushed their way out through the doors. I may not understand Russian but I am sure that Svetlana’s shouts at them were all X-rated.