Kikin Mansion - First Location of Kunstkammer
The Kikin Mansion near the Smolny Cathedral is a rare example of residential housing from the time of Peter the Great. In 1714, the architect Domenico Trezzini designed three types of houses - one for distinguished citizens, one for wealthy citizens and one for artisans. The number of floors and windows was tightly regulated, though variations on the exterior decor were permitted.
Alexander Kikin was an adviser to Peter the Great later executed for plotting with the tsar's son Alexiy. in 1718, his house was turned into Russia's first science museum - the Kunstkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities. The Kunstkammer was open to the public; visitors were given guided tours and offered refreshments. The Kunstkammer collection later formed the basis for the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, now located in its own building on Vasilievsky Island.