7 bizarre museums on Russia’s Golden Ring circuit

Spoon Museum
From mice supporting the entire planet to horses in coats – yeah, these museums really want you to visit their collections.

The famous Golden Ring tourist route includes the ancient Rus cities of Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Vladimir, Suzdal and their surroundings. But in addition to traditional museums about local history and crafts, there are number of extremely unusual exhibits you can visit.

1. Mouse chambers, Myshkin

The mouse is the symbol of this town, and even its name, Myshkin, comes from the rodent. Several museums here are devoted to mice. The most famous is the Museum of a Mouse, which houses a collection of toy mice from around the world. But it gets even odder.

The museum is made to resemble a palace where mice live and rule as tsars. When entering, you’ll find yourself at the “World Mouse Management Center” (that’s what the hosts call the exhibit) and learn about how important these rodents are to the planet. Local tour guides are even certain that humans are descended from mice! 

“World Mouse Management Center.”

Address: Nikolskaya St. 4

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2. Horse in a coat, Pereslavl-Zalessky

This museum has, in our modern understanding, a rather peasant design. For example, did you know that a chic countryside girl could be recognized by her fashionable spinning wheel? The museum’s creators seek to debunk the myth of poor and drinking peasants by displaying a collection of trendy household items from rural homes. But why did they call it a “Horse in a Coat?” Well, it turns out that the horse was a symbol of life, and you can learn why that was at this museum.

Address: Konnaya St. 17

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3. Museum of the Kettle, Pereslavl-Zalessky

Another weird museum in Pereslavl-Zalessky is hidden behind a bright colorful fence. One of the most popular museums in town, the Museum of the Kettle welcomes guests with funny signs, such as: "We are boiling from happiness," "Teapots don’t have websites," "Entrance without a camera is not allowed," etc. Inside, visitors can see around 150 different teapots, including a navy kettle (it’s able to boil water during heavy pitching) and a hybrid of a kettle and samovar. Additionally, there are household items for tea on display, including sugar tongs, cup holders and old boxes of sweets. 

Address: Podgornaya St. 94

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4. Museum of Tricks and Savvy, Pereslavl-Zalessky

This museum’s collection contains ancient household items that celebrate savvy. There is, for example, an ancient Russian kitchen machine and an iron for small clothing. Visitors will quickly recognize that the most interesting parts are the guide's stories about all these items, but if he is in a bad mood the tour will be short.

Address: Sovetskaya St. 14

5. Spoon Museum, Vladimir

This museum’s creators probably think there is no such things as too many spoons. This unusual exhibition includes vintage spoons from the United Kingdom, the United States, the Russian Empire and many other countries (they even have ancient Egyptian tableware!) And, of course, you’ll see many spoons with traditional Russian decoration. There are even Faberge spoons.

Address: Oktyabrskaya St. 4

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6. Romanov Sheep, Tutaev 

The town’s old name is Romanov-Borisoglebsky, and Tutaev was formed from these two towns. The town’s so-called “brand” is the Romanov sheep, a breed that provides very warm and easy wool for winter clothes and Russian valenki boots. No wonder it has a whole exhibit that tells the history of this breed, its behavior… and even lets you see the real sheep.

Address: Lunacharskogo St. 40-A

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7. Museum of Myths and Superstitions of Russians, Uglich 

This unusual museum is located in a house done up in the style of a peasant hut. Inside famous (and forgotten) Slavic fairy-tale characters are gathered together. They include, Baba Yaga, Vodyanoi (a water spirit), demons…in other words, everything that’s scary to children. In addition to this devilry, check out the collection of peasant household items. You will learn how these items are related to rituals, superstitions and evil spirits. Spooky!

Address: January 9th St. 40

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