Russia’s The State Hermitage, otherwise known as Hermitage Museum, is one of the oldest and biggest museums of art and culture in the world. The museum was founded by Empress Catherine the Great in 1764, a time when her passion for collection of fine art bloomed. It was during this era when she purchased a collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings from the Berlin art collector Ernest Gotzkowski. It was opened to the public in 1852, and since then, it has been attracting millions of visitors worldwide, making it a top destination in St. Petersburg.
Housed in the equally lavish, Baroque-style Winter Palace that sits on the bank of the Neva River, Hermitage Museum is undoubtedly St. Petersburg’s most attractive landmark. The museum has a huge collection of 3 million items such as Western European Art Collection from the 13th to 20th centuries, Egyptian antiquities, classical antiquities, pre-historic art, jewelry, and decorative art, Italian and Spanish fine art, Dutch Golden Age and Flemish Baroque, German, British, Swiss and French fine art, Neoclassical, Impressionist, and post-Impressionist art, and of course, Russian art.
From the tiniest masterpiece to the most precious antiquity, from ancient art to contemporary pieces, the Hermitage Museum presents them all. Probably one of the highlights of the Hermitage Museum are the masterpieces of famous art personalities around the world. The Hermitage Museum displays the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian and with its impressive collection of paintings, the grand museum becomes the famous host of the largest collection of paintings in the world.
The Hermitage Museum showcases grandeur that no other museum can match. Inside, the glittering frescoed rooms of the museum mirrors the extravagance, wealth, and class of its founder. Originally, the building that housed the collection was the building called the Small Hermitage. Now in the modern times, and after the museum encompassed many buildings in its neighborhood, the Hermitage Complex now composed of the Old Hermitage also known as the Large Hermitage, the New Hermitage, the Hermitage Theatre, and the Winter Palace where the Hermitage Museum sits. The green and white 3-story museum boasts of 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows, and 1,057 of halls and rooms combined–all of which are elegantly styled and lavishly decorated.
Every traveler exploring the beauty of Russia must spend time in the magnificent Hermitage Museum. To be one with one of the world’s most important museums and seeing relevant pieces of history is something worth experiencing, and the Hermitage Museum is the perfect place for it. Experts say that if one has to spend a minute to look at all the items displayed there, the visitor will take years to finish all the collections housed in the grand museum. So for a more organized and convenient visit, participating in a guided tour is the best to do it. But whether the museum tour is done in a guided tour or not, just being on the grounds of the Hermitage Museum will surely be one of the memorable moments of the Russia visit.