Vitebsk Museum of the History of Private Collectibles

Vitebsk Museum of the History of Private Collectibles

Vitebsk, Ave. Frunze, 13


On the threshold of the museum with private collections comes the realization that now it will be possible to touch the amazing historical values. To see the treasures of the masons, coins from Byzantium or old pipes can be far from everywhere. That is why on a walk around Vitebsk is definitely worth a look at the museum of private collecting.

Historical chronicles of the museum: how did it all start?

The very first private collection museum was created in 1993. The exposition was based on the collection of unique historical objects of I. D. Galkevich. During his life he managed to accumulate more than 7 thousand items. Most of them are Russian and European coins, commemorative awards and ancient medals. Until 2012, the museum was located in a two-storey mansion, which was located near the house Galkevichi. Later there were reconstruction, and the museum exposition found a new home, in which they are still located.

The building where the museum is located today is in the historical center of Vitebsk. Previously, there was a functioning power plant, from which the first city trams received energy. The Museum of the History of Private Collectibles is the successor to the first such museum in Vitebsk. In 2016, he again earned, offering visitors to see outlandish antiques.

What to see in the museum of private collecting?

From the time of closing in 2012 to the opening in 2016, the museum's collections have been significantly enriched, thanks to two private collections of A. Brodovsky and V. Fedorovich.

All expositions can be divided into 4 themes:

  • The role of local historians - the exhibition is dedicated to all collectors and their contribution to the development of the first museums of the city. For many historians and ethnographers, it was a great honor to exhibit their subjects in the museum;

  • V. Fedorovich - the collector is represented as the creator of the first private museum in Vitebsk. In his private collection there are collections of weapons and firearms, pipes and snuffboxes. General attention is drawn to Masonic subjects. Unfortunately, most of them disappeared during the Second World War, but what we see today is a real historical treasure;

  • A. Brodovsky - known as the founder of the provincial museum in Vitebsk. In his collection are coins of different eras, starting from the time of Ancient Rome. Among the materials of the collection are also presented samples of European and Russian porcelain, household items, embroidery, etc.

  • I. Galkevich - assembled a unique numismatic collection. In the collection of items there are coins from the Byzantine Empire and the countries of the Arab Caliphate, Ancient Rome and Ptolemaic Egypt.

An interesting fact from VETLIVA: in Galkevich’s numismatic collection there is one amazing coin with an interesting history. Once it belonged to A.S. Pushkin. It was with a few copper coins of 1811 with a denomination of 2 kopecks that the poet paid for the repair of his boots. The shoemaker Toporkov recognized Pushkin, who was already famous in those days. For 100 years, coins were kept in his family as great value. After one of them was presented to a friend of the family of a shoemaker. A coin got to the collector with a note: Keep this coin, as the Toporkovs kept it for about 100 years and I have kept it for 42 years. This coin is an expensive relic and the memory of the great Pushkin. 

What other museums worth visiting in Vitebsk?

In addition to the complex with unique private collections, the northern city opens its doors to other museums:

  • Marc Chagall Museum. Vitebsk is the birthplace of a famous artist. It was here that he spent his teenage years and created his early masterpieces. The collection of the museum contains about 300 original works of the author. Some of them were created with the help of an amazing and unusual technique of painting - aquatint. Engravings are obtained due to the chemical reaction of the acid and the metal. Masterpieces of Marc Chagall, except for the Vitebsk Museum, exhibits only the National Art Museum in Minsk.

VETLIVA tells: the building in which the museum is located is present in one of the most famous paintings of the author - Above the City. It was built in the 19th century by Prussian mechanic Längenfeld. Before the revolution, the building belonged to the colonel's wife, and in the post-war period it became a haven for Soviet communal apartments. Only in 1992, the art center of the famous artist settled here securely.

  • Vitebsk Museum of Local Lore is a real book of city life. It is located in the town hall building. Here are picked collections of more than 200 thousand exhibits. Each exhibition is a new epoch and historical story about the ancient city. You can visit a unique museum as part of excursions in Vitebsk or on a regular unhurried walk.

Recommendations from VETLIVA: better to see once! Travel around Belarus, find amazing sights, open the doors of unique museums. We guarantee: you will definitely enjoy what you see!

Map location


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, Vitebsk , Belarus
  • Distance to airport: 248 km
, Vitebsk , Belarus
  • Distance to airport: 15 km

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