The Pushkin House (the Institute of Russian Literature) was established in 1905 as a museum and a center for Pushkin studies. Its collections were based on the Fund of Literature, the Direction of the Imperial Theaters, the Department of the Russian Language of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as on many private collections.
The museum has the greatest trove of icons, memorial and historic materials connected with Russian literature of XVIII-XX centuries. Permanent expositions are devoted to A.S. Pushkin, M.Yu. Lermontov, L.N. Tolstoy et al.
Since 1927, the institute has occupied the building of the former St. Petersburg Customs (I.F. Luchini, 1829-1832) on Admiral Makarov embankment. The classical edifice is decorated with a portico and statues of Mercury, Neptune and Ceres. The dome that crowns the building harmonizes with the tower of the Kunstkammer. In front of the Customs building, there is an approach to the water with granite figures of lions. They were set up in 1809.
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