in St.Petersburg:
ATTRACTIONS
Hermitage
Russian Museum
Cathedral of our Lady Kazan
Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Church Of Christ's Resurrection
Admiralty
Smolny Ensamble
Nikolskiy Naval Cathedral
Peter and Paul Fortress
Summer Gardens
Alexander Nevsky Lavra



Attractions in St. Petersburg
  Main -> Attractions

THE HERMITAGE

Situated in the centre of Saint-Petersburg the State Hermitage Museum is housed in five magnificent buildings created by celebrated architects of the 18th to 19th century. The Winter Palace, formerly the residence of Russian Emperors which was constructed between 1754 and 1762 after a design of Bartolomeo Rastrelli, occupies an important place amongst other constructions of the whole Museum ensemble. The architect designed the palace as a part of the city landscape - a huge closed space with an inner court and free facades secluded from all other buildings.

Francesco Bartholomeo Rastrelli said about his creation, the Winter Palace, that it was constructed "...for the glory of Russia solely" and was to become the embodiment of greatness and power of Russia that in the mid 18th century became one of the most significant countries. The Winter Palace startles with grandeur scale, luxury and variety of ornamentation, integrity and proportionality. This building presents all characteristic features of Rastrelli's style, the Russian Baroque style: majestic gala forms, abundance of decorative details, irrepressive brilliancy, luxury and buoyancy.

During the reign of Catherine II the grandeur palace ensemble became the official residence and the storehouse of the art treasures, also private appartments of the Russian Empress was erected. After the death of Catherine II the Winter Palace became deserted.

On 7 February 1852 in the building of the New Hermitage the first Russian public museum was open for the visitors. The tradition of collecting works of art became a part of the state policy. 19th century brought changes into the life of the royal residence. Interiors of the palace ensemble were changed according to the new tastes. Official and private life of the members of the royal family was connected with the walls of the palace, as well as the last page of the reign of the Romanovís dynasty.

By the end of the reign of Nicholas I the "public Museum of the New Hermitage", that already possessed one of the world best collections of the West-European art, built up new collections - of Antiquities and of Oriental Art, the Gallery of Jewellery and the Gallery of Peter I, and became famous in Europe.

Put together throughout two centuries and a half, the Hermitage collections of works of art (over 3,000,000 items) present the development of the world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century.

Today the Museum is creating its digital self-portrait to be displayed around the world. Computer technologies enable the State Hermitage Museum to provide people from all over the world with wider access to information about the Museum and its treasures.

Address: Dvortsovaya emb., 34
Open: Tuesday-Sunday from 10:30 to 5:00