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Mining Institute Building

Despite its location some distance west of St. Petersburg's more famous institutions of higher education and the seemingly prosaic nature of its title, the Mining Institute boasts a splendid neoclassical building in the style of a Greek temple, and has an absorbing museum housed in its remarkably ornate interiors.

  • Neoclassical portico of the Mining Institute in St Petersburg, Russia
    Neoclassical portico of the Mining Institute
  • State decorationations on the facade of the Mining Institute in St Petersburg, Russia
    State decorationations on the facade of the Mining Institute
  • Statue of Pluto abducting Proserpina at the Mining Institute in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    Statue of Pluto abducting Proserpina at the Mining Institute

The first technical college in Russia, the Mining Institute was founded in 1773 with the purpose of training engineers and geologists to expand the mining of precious metals and minerals. It was originally housed in two residential buildings from the 1720s built to a template by Domenico Trezzini. At the start of the 19th century, Andrey Voronikhin, who was already at work on the Kazan Cathedral, was commissioned to redesign the building for what then became the Mining Cadets College. He used the load-bearing walls of the old buildings, but added a portico with twelve monumental columns, decorated with statues by the renowned sculptors Vasily Demuth-Malinovsky and Stepan Pimenov.

Inside the building, the museum occupies the finest halls, with a wealth of classical murals and marble columns. During the Soviet era, the college was renamed the Plekhanov Institute after the leading revolutionary Georgiy Plekhanov (although he never actually completed his degree course). Now known as the National Mineral Resources University, it continues to maintain a reputation for excellence in the field.

Address:45, Naberezhnaya Leytenanta Schmidta / 2, 21st Line, Vasilyevsky Island
Metro:Vasileostrovskaya
Getting there:From the bus stop opposite the metro station, take a No. 1 bus or a 359 marshrutka minibus.
What's nearby? Ice-breaker Krasin, Neva River, Bolshoy Prospekt VO
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