russian museum st. petersburg russia

The Hermitage Museum - St Petersburg, Russia 

The Hermitage Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, with over 3 million items in its collection. The Museum sits on the Neva River and was once the winter home of the Russian Czars. 

The Art collection features many works from Rembrandt, Rubens, Picasso, and Matisse. Other exhibits have been collected from around the world, including India, Rome, Italy, Greece, China and Egypt. 

The Nartov Battery Gun

Invented in 1754, this weird device was the creation of Alexei Konstantinovich Nartov, an engineer working for the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Forty four 3 pound cannons were arranged in a circle on a cart.  The cart had a special gear system where as the wheels turned, so did the turntable mechanism of the cannon.  When armed, the forwardmost  gun would fire, and as the cart was wheeled forward, the next cannon would turn into position and fire.  The purpose of this contraption was to break up enemy columns.  As Russian soldiers advanced upon the enemy, the device would continously fire solid cannon balls, grapeshot, or large grenades.  While ingenious, the device was too large and heavy for practical use, and did not see much combat.

Nartov’s Battery is currently on display at the Russian Museum Artillery, Engineer, and Signal Corps, St. Petersburg, Russia.