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This Is How It Is Possible To Reach for the Stars

People made all kinds of experiments to be able to fly! They invented so many things! Thirst for the sky is reflected in myths and legends. e.g., about Icarus. The greatest minds struggled for the concept of flight. Thousands of years went by and only in 1783 the wish to ascend to the clouds came true. The Montgolfier brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne achieved humanity’s dream and built the first air balloon named after the inventors – the montgolfier. So, starting from June 5, 1783, people kept flying to the sky. Over the centuries we have forgotten how the things started. Modern airplanes have erased memories of the first aircraft and the people who risked to set off to the first journey in the air. But the museum is the very place where it is possible to turn time back, travel centuries in the past and see the balloon created by the famous French. A small but very “airy” and beautiful exhibition This Is How It Is Possible To Reach for the Stars is displayed on the first floor at the permanent exhibition Depth. The air balloon model (1:24), the Montgolfier brothers’ portraits and the first “pilots” as well as diverse artifacts present an amazing story of conquering the sky by human and much more.

The exhibition tells about the first “aviators” and who paved the way to the stars.

Diving into the Wild Underwater World


The Museum of the World Ocean prepared an amazing undersea trip to the Wild Underwater World. This is a new exhibition located at one of the most mysterious and peculiar museum areas – a hold of the R/V Vityaz.

Everything is miraculous here: from surroundings andatmosphere to the concept of the exhibition. The thing is that the project is a real championship, a competition for professional underwater photographers held within the Underwater Photography Festival. It has been held since 2015 and has become a significant event in the culture life of Russian and other countries. About sixty underwater photographers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belorussia, Sweden, Germany, the Philippines and Thailand present their 200 photographs of deep water made in various seas, oceans, lakes and rivers worldwide. Both winners and awardees of prestigious Russian and international competitions as well as underwater photography beginners take part in the Festival. It is a great opportunity to show their works to wide audience and take part in cultural and educational activities for the younger generations.

Each picture contains great talent and enormous work. Authors had to carry an aqualung and a 15-kg photo equipment, to struggle against currents, to encounter stinging jellyfish and other dangerous deep-sea species in order to take a picture of sea inhabitants and simply capture a fish in muddy water with a lens. Please, believe us, not every fish would like to pose a portrait. But the result is worth waiting: the ocean step by step reveals its secrets and shows stunning beauty of the underwater world. Annually, the Festival starts at the State Darwin Museum in Moscow and then successfully travels around the country, so people not only know about it but wait for it as well: in Omsk, Yaroslavl, Uglich, Saransk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Kislovodsk, Obninsk and Minsk.

The geography of the festival is expanding every year. This year, residents and guests of Kaliningrad can slightly raise the edge of the water and take a glance at the amazing underwater world through the eyes of photographers. The major partners of the Festival: the State Darwin Museum and the Union of Wild Nature Photographers.

Duration: September 4, 2020 – December 4, 2020.



“The Discovery of Antarctica” The Exhibition of the Russian Geographical Society



On 16 (28) January 1820, 200 years ago, two outstanding captains of the sloops Vostok and Mirny F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev discovered the planet’s most mysterious continent – Antarctica. The main task of the expedition was to cross all the meridians in the south circumpolar zone at the maximum high latitudes and find out whether there are lands as well as opportunity to approach the South Pole. During the long expedition its participants collected extensive data on geography, ethnography, botany, etc. But although extensive research was made, its results were published only 10 years later after the voyage. The paper “Repeated Research in the Antarctic Ocean and the Voyage Round the World on the Sloops Vostok and Mirniy in 1819-1820” was a considerable and detailed report on preparation, course and results of the expedition. And so-called “Atlas” with its charts, drawings and short notes was published as an extra appendix. Its materials became a basis for the exhibition “The Discovery of Antarctica”. The charts and maps were made by Bellingshausen himself and sketches of aborigines, flora and fauna were created Pavel Mikhailov, artist and member of the expedition.

The exhibition is provided by the Russian Geographical Society.



Russian America

The exhibition Russian America on board the research vessel Vityaz invites! It is integrated with the permanent exhibition Russia Explores the Ocean.  The exhibition was created with the financial support of LUKOIL-Kaliningradmorneft.

There is a reason this topic has been chosen: it is the largest chapter in Russia’s history concerning exploration of the World Ocean. For a long time, it remained unrevealed due to many reasons but first of all because of lack of exhibits which are the most important at the museum! Thanks to charitable support of the oil-producing enterprise the museum managed to find and purchase authentic artifacts of the 19th century telling about life of pioneer navigators and inhabitants of northern Russian towns – those which let Russia possess the lands of North America, consolidate its international position and start the era of circumnavigations.

Beginning of the era
In the 18th century, Russian explorers opened the door to the World Ocean by making two Kamchatka expeditions under the leadership of Vitus Bering. The first vessel to reach Alaska was the boat St. Gabriel under the command of Mikhail Gvozdev. On 21 August 1732, they anchored at the westernmost point of North America – Cape Prince of Wales. Gvozdev explored the area and mapped about 300 km of the coastline.

Russian-American Company
In summer 1799, Pavel I ordered to establish the Russian-American Company (RAC) which dealt with fur trade. Basically, the company became an instrument to colonize the New World and successfully fulfilled economical, political and missionary tasks.

Irkutsk industrialist Grigorii Shelokhov and his son-in-law Nikolai Rezanov (well-known diplomat) were at the origins of the company. The latter made his mark in history rather with romantic love to Concepción Argüello, daughter of the Spanish governor of Alta California, than with his services. But he was one of the leaders of the first Russian circumnavigation, the first official ambassador to Japan and an author of one of the first Russian-Japanese dictionaries – he was among the outstanding people of the time!

In 1802, Alexander Baranov was appointed the first governor of settlements in Alaska. He was a distinguished merchant from the northern city of Kargopol and made numerous heroic deeds and advanced solutions: he founded Novo-Arkhangelsk fort on Sitka, moved the administrative centre of Russian America from Irkutsk to Alaska and successfully repulsed Native Americans’ attacks as well as ordered to found a trading station Fort Ross in California on Nikolai Rezanov’s proposal: up to this day goods were delivered from Russia and Alaska settlers literally starved.

The commandant of Fort Ross and actual executive of A. Baranov’s order was the Russian merchant from Totma – Ivan Kuskov. He organized vegetable gardens, developed cattle husbandry and founded a harbor in the colony. Kuskov’s great credit was absence of armed conflicts with the Native Americans that made Russians different from other colonists in California. Moreover, the commandant established good relations with the Spanish who claimed for the lands.  

Orthodox mission
The first wooden church and school on Kodiak Island appeared in 1796. Herman of Alaska devoted his life to local public education. He lived on the island till his death and later became the first American saint in the Orthodox Calendar.

In 1824, a Russian Orthodox missionary priest arrived to the Aleutian Islands - Saint Innocent of Alaska. He learnt local language and translated the Gospel According to St. Matthew, the liturgy and the catechism for the indigenous islanders. He also opened a school and erected a temple there. The latter has survived till the present days.

There is an amazing story about Aleutian named Cungagnaq who adopted Orthodoxy and a Russian name Peter. When he was hunting a sea otter nearby Fort Ross Spanish took him prisoner and tortured to death for his refusal to adopt Catholicism. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him as Saint Peter the Aleut.

The new exhibition is almost finished, it tells about all these people, their everyday life, amazing stories as well as about courage, deeds and defeats. The museum is looking forward to welcoming you again! 

The 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica

In 2020 Russia marks the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica. Employees of the Museum of the World Ocean are taking part in the most ambitious round-the-world sailing expedition held in honor to this date. In addition to performing scientific tasks they will have to implement exhibition projects on board the barques. One of these exhibitions is “P.N. Mikhailov. Journey to the South Pole” made in collaboration with the State Russian Museum.

The Museum of the World Ocean decided not only to develop the project, but also to get its guests acquainted with modern technologies used for the study of Antarctica. There are two projects aimed to accomplish this. The first project is a kind of journey into the past. The artworks of Pavel Mikhailov tell about the famous expedition of Bellingshausen and Lazarev who discovered the sixth continent - Antarctica. Replicas are not only made in the same format as the originals, but also accurately convey the itinerary of the expedition as well as the skill of the artist. The second project tells about the technologies used by scientists to study Antarctica 200 years after its discovery. Displayed items were received from “Vostok” station named after one of the sloops used in the discovery of the southern mainland. Under the station there is the largest subglacial lake on the continent. There are thermal drill bits presented at the exhibition that were used to reach the lake.

Both exhibitions provide a great chance to see the distant, discover Antarctica for yourself and learn the history of the South Pole.

   mkrf smedia