MUSEUMS. Hermitage Museum
- 34, Palace Embankment (Dvortsovaya Naberezhnaya)
- Metro - Nevsky Prospekt.
- Open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10.30 am to 05.00 pm, till 04.00 pm on Sunday.
One of the world's great art galleries, set in magnificent palace from which tsars ruled Russia for one-and-a-half centuries, the State Hermitage fully lives up to its reputation as one of the country's chief glories. Its collection consists of some 2.7 million artworks exhibited in 400 of Palace's 1.057 rooms. Its origins go back to 1764, when a Berlin merchant brought a collection of 226 paintings to St. Petersburg to pay off his debts. Only two years later the first Rembrandt was acquired and still later other collections from auctions in France, England and Germany were added. After the Revolution, many priceless collections were plundered by the Bolsheviks from nobles like the Sheremetyevs and the Yusupovs and incorporated into the museum.
The enormous collection amounts to a history of Western European art, displaying the full range of artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Picasso, and schools including the Florentine and Venetian Renaissance, Impressionism and postimpressionism. And there are also Prehistoric, Egyptian, Russian and Oriental sections. Excellent temporary exhibitions take place.
As you already know, today the museum occupies several buildings on the bank of the Neva River. The museum route is 12 miles long and it would take you ten years just to glance at each object stored in the Hermitage. And you'll wish to see more even leaving this unique place.
You are welcome to Saint-Petersburg!