The world’s only active anatomical theatre belongs to the Department of Normal Anatomy of the State Medical University of Kazan, which was one of the first departments to open at the Imperial University of Kazan back in 1804. The department began collecting exhibits right away. The collection currently consists of six sections, namely: Man in Detail. A Glance through the Centuries, Bodily Life After Death, How I Work, From Conception to Birth, What Makes Me Different From Animals, Was Darwin Right? and 21st Century Man. The exhibits include some 16th-century mummies, and an impressive assemblage of skulls and skeletons.
Above the building entrance runs the inscription in Latin: Hiс lokus est, ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae (This is the place where death is glad to be of help to life). This 1837 building was designed by Mikhail Korinfsky, who drew his inspiration from anatomical theatres of the Renaissance. The great mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky, who was then president of the Imperial University of Kazan, personally contributed to the project.