Tag Archives: tsar

Photos from The Hermitage

 

The Winter Palace, also called The Hermitage, houses a huge number of pieces of Western art. In front of the palace is Palace Square, site of the 1905 Bloody Sunday Massacre.

The Winter Palace, also called The Hermitage, houses a huge number of pieces of Western art. In front of the palace is Palace Square, site of the 1905 Bloody Sunday Massacre.

The Winter Palace, or Hermitage, now houses a massive collection of European art. Prior to 1917, it was the official residence of the Russian Tsar. It was also the site of the provisional government following the Tsar’s overthrow, and was stormed and ransacked during the Bolshevik Revolution.

Click here to see a few photographs from inside The Winter Palace.

The Museum of Erotica

Forget about the title. For titillation, turn elsewhere. This post is actually about medical privacy.

Dr. Igor Knayzkin, the chief prostate researcher of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, runs a venereal disease, prostate, and general sexual health center in a light pink building on the edge of the Tauride Palace gardens.

Dr. Knayzkin’s clinic, however, also houses a small collection of erotica in glass cases in its white, medical hallways.

Enter the center, proceed past the first images of naked women, pay the receptionist—the same one that checks in patients—100 rubles ($3), and you’ll be given blue plastic covers to put over your shoes.

Slip the covers over your shoes, proceed past the patients in the waiting room, and enter the medical center hallways to examine the cases of sexual sculptures, phallic figurines, coffee mugs with balls, and the requisite Greek and African erotic art.

Make sure to stay out of the way of the white-coated attendants exiting exam rooms in the same hallway and the patients fresh from their various intimate appointments.

Russians, apparently, aren’t quite as fanatical about their medical privacy—HIPAA remains an American innovation.

But even if you are a bit embarrassed by camera touting tourists traipsing by as your testicles are examined, perhaps there’s good reason to go to Dr. Knayzin’s clinic. And that reason has nothing to do with the prominent doctor’s medical skill, or all the ads he has bought in the St. Petersburg metro.

You see, the medical center houses the embalmed 30 centimeter penis that allegedly once belonged to Grigori Rasputin, an incredibly odd character and close adviser to the last Tsar, Nicholas II.

Simply viewing the member is said to cure impotence (Warning: Link contains an image of said device). In any event, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than any scientifically proven remedy.

Pravda, the newspaper of Russia’s Communist Party, covered the museum’s 2004 opening and scored an apparently-exclusive interview with a Rasputin descendant:

Rasputin’s great grandchild John Nekmerson is currently living in the US. He is a grandchild of Matrena Rasputina, Rasputin’s favorite daughter. After her father was murdered, she fled to Europe and afterwards migrated to America, where she began working as a tiger-tamer. She died in 1977. Recently, John Nekmerson has visited St. Petersburg in order to see his ancestor’s private part with his own eyes. The great grandson exclaimed, “This is really it, I’ve got the same one!”