THE STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM

The Hermitage is one of the oldest and at the same time the largest museums in the world. If you are going to come to Saint-Petersburg, you should include a visit to the Hermitage into your plans. The museum collection is displayed in five historical buildings (the Winter Palace, the former tsars' residence, the Small Hermitage, the Old Hermitage, the New Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre). About 3 million items, from prehistoric till modern times, are kept in the museum, and one can view them in more than 400 splendid rooms. There are about 2500 paintings by famous artists (Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Cezanne, Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh etc.), cameos and gems, decorated clocks, objects of gold and silver, porcelain, statues, antique vases, a large collection of coins and medals, tsars' dress, thrones, tsars' carriages, collections of weapons and many other exhibits.

After the construction of the Winter Palace, Catherine the Great, an eager collector, ordered to put up the Small and the Big (today the Old) Hermitages to house her art collections. The New Hermitage was the last to appear. Nicolas I opened the New and the Old Hermitages as the public museum in 1852. Since 1918, after the abolition of the monarchy, and the revolution, the Winter Palace has been gradually converted to the museum. Today the Old and the New Hermitages mainly display paintings. The majority of the state rooms are situated in the Winter Palace.

Open: from 10.30 a.m. till 6 p.m.; on Sundays till 5 p.m.
Address: 34, Dvortsovaya Emb.
Closed: on Mondays
www.hermitagemuseum.org