Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve
Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve in Astrakhan, Russia is a must-see for those who wish to get acquainted with the history and nature of Astrakhan Region. The oldest and largest museum in the district, it has come a long way from its humble beginnings as an unassuming 19th-century exhibition hall. Today, the museum has fourteen branches in Astrakhan city and the surrounding region which collectively hold almost 300 thousand archaeological, ethnographical and taxidermal exhibits.
When touring the main museum, you may want to start on the top floor in order to see the exhibits in chronological order. The third-floor displays focus on local historical life, starting from antiquity and ending with the annexation of the Astrakhan Khanate to the Russian Empire. Additional halls introduce visitors to the region’s diverse flora and fauna: Lifelike stuffed animals represent the region’s wildlife in one exhibit, while another contains a diorama where you can listen to the chirpings of various local birds.
Temporary exhibitions, most of which feature various aspects of the history and culture of Astrakhan, are displayed on the second floor.
The first floor displays focus on the 19th-20th century history of Astrakhan Region, including recreated home interiors which realistically convey the atmosphere of that time. Also on the ground floor are several halls containing historic animal skulls and colorful taxidermies of long-extinct animals which once roamed the area. Fish of the Volga-Caspian Basin Hall is a rich representation of regional aquatic life, including a giant stuffed beluga whale measuring 6 meters in length and a 2-meter-long sturgeon. End your tour at the souvenir shop, where you can purchase commemorative magnets, postcards and other gifts.
The museum has several exhibitions which require an additional entry fee. These include an armory collection on the third floor featuring individual weapons and military ammunition and the first-floor Gold of the Nomads. The pride of the museum, this large collection of gold jewelry includes items that have no equivalent anywhere in the world.
Many of the exhibits at Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve have received recognition at both national and international expositions. To get the most out of your visit, we suggest you tour the museum with a professional guide who can help you to delve deeper into the exhibits and the history of Astrakhan.