Yakutia's Kingdom of permafrost Museum, Siberia’s Frozen Louvre
Written by 56th Parallel
A glittering transparent door swings open to an underground cavern where winter never ends. Welcome to the icy domain of the Yakutia’s Kingdom of Permafrost.
Enter the kingdom of ice
Located just 30 kms out of town, the Permafrost Kingdom’s tunnel walls lead visitors through a network of caves packed with an extensive collection of eerily lit ice sculptures. Replicas of the Venus de Milo and Egyptian pharaohs sit side by side with impossible creations carved by local Siberian ice-carving masters. Quirky pieces, like a frozen aquarium or life-size frozen office reception room, delight kids and adults alike. You can even see the local Santa Clause’s glacial bearskin covered throne and icy sleigh (reindeer included). Take a second and leave him a letter in his frozen mailbox.
Photo by Alexandr Golovko
Siberia’s magical ice sculptures
Other “non-ice” exhibits include the largest frozen block of milk in the world (note the certificate of authenticity) and actual woolly mammoth remains that you’re allowed to handle. Pretty cool.
But this museum’s not just for looks. A lengthy ice slide dominates one room (winter’s supposed to be fun, remember), and a sculpture called “The Wish Tree” encourages visitors to stick their coins to it in a Siberian version of a wishing well. If your coin sticks right away your wish will come true. Just don’t lick it to make it stick.
Photo by Alex Cheban
A vodka bar too???
And of course what Russian ice museum would be complete without a functioning vodka bar to welcome you? Enjoy a shot and a slice of frozen meat upon arrival. It’s the only way to stay warm down there.