The Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace) is a major highlight of any visit to St Petersburg. We visited as part of our coach tour to Russia and must say we were amazed by the beauty and extravagence of this Palace.
The size of the rooms and beauty of the high ceilings, the decoration of the cornices as seen in these photos was something to see and remember.
No restriction on cameras, so make certain you have a large card.
Many of the rooms open to the public have outstanding paintings by the Masters. So many to view and being able to get so close to the paintings and be allowed to take photos is a huge bonus.
Crowds can be a problem and often restrict the view. I am tall and most times could look over shoulders. If people waited their turn it would benefit everyone.
Many paintings are of a religious theme.
When we walked into this room the first thing to catch my eye was this marble carving of the Crouching Boy. I knew it must be something special as it was in a roped off section. Details of Michelangelo were on the notice. Well woth viewing.
Our tour arrived at the Hermitage Museum just after 1pm and from the crowds ahead of us I gather it must have been close to the busiest time of day, in fact after being there for 2 hours I would think it most likely is crowded at all times.
Only a small portion of the Palace is open to the public, however the rooms are massive with ceilings that must be 20 foot high and that provides enough room to present the exhibits. I thought the Palace and its magnificent decoration was the highlight, but others might prefer the paintings of Da Vinci etc, or the sculptures, vases etc etc.
One thing for certain give yourself plenty of time, you could easily spend a half or full day here, however most tourists have limited time to see the abundance of other attractions in St Petersburg.
The Hermitage is a huge conglomeration of buildings, but even in the main museum are they have many other types of exhibits besides just paintings. Some of the departments were:
Machinery and Mechanisms
Furniture and Carriages
Arms and Armour
Ceramics and Porcelain
Numismatics and Glyptics
When you go to any large museum, you need to decide beforehand what it is that you want to see. Otherwise you will be completely worn out without having seen anything of interest to you. When I was in Madrid, I looked at the Spanish painters and the Bruegels. When I was at the British Museum in London I wanted to see the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles and also visited the Roman Britain exhibits. So after we admired the building when we appeared to be mired in the Renaissance, I asked to skip to the Impressionists and particularly to see Van Gogh which was my granddaughter's favorite. The museum has eight of them which are (in alphabetical order)
1) Arena at Arles 1888
2) Cottages 1890
3) Landscape with House and Ploughman October, 1889
4) Lilac Bush 1889
5) Memory of the Garden at Etten (Ladies of Arles) 1888
6) Morning: Going out to Work (After Millet) January, 1890
7) Portrait of Madame Trabuc September, 1889
8) White House at Night June, 1890
There was one set that we weren't allowed to photograph.
You can look up an artist or type of exhibit that interests you on the Hermitage website in advance.
We had an early opening appointment at the Hermitage at 9:50. Our guide got the tickets, a wheelchair for me and a ticket for permission for a camera to take photos. My granddaughter wheeled the chair.
Having early admission is the only way to go. We had enough space to actually see the building itself (The Hermitage is a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace) in addition to the paintings. We could take pictures of the elaborate inlaid floors and the vases and decor around the walls. And of course we could have always taken pictures of the ceiling. We could see the Throne Room (photo 3) without a lot of people milling around in it.
We went up in an elevator which only took the wheelchair and my granddaughter (the guide walked up), and started in on the art collection which was chronological. We saw a couple of mosaic 'paintings', and an awful lot of pictures. We went up in another larger elevator and at this point I decided that we should see the paintings that were of specific interest to us instead of slogging through the whole place by date. My granddaughter wanted to see Van Gogh and I was more interested in the Impressionists.
BEFORE YOU GO: Go online : The Hermitage official website. You can purchase tickets to the museum, online, in advance and the tickets are not dated so you don;t have to decide before you go which day you intend to visit. Children (under 17 years of age) go free and all adult tickets come with permission to take photography. You will need to print out your receipt and, once at The Hermitage, you simply swap this for tickets. In the queue for pre-booked tickets there were 4 of us. In the queue for ticket purchase there were hundreds!
You should also know that bags the size of a standard handbag are acceptable to take into the museum. Anything larger is not and will have to go into the cloakroom. There is a queue for this. NB: It is a strict policy and the guards will not care if your bag contains valuables os items you might need during your visit. Anything forbidden is not, under any circumstances, permitted.
You will pass through a scanner, as will your bag. NB the moving platform that your belongings will be placed on goes at quite a speed and MANY people could not catch their belongings before they got spewed onto the floor. This included cameras and watches! Be careful. The bored guards are not there to facilitate a pleasant day out for you!!!
You WILL need a map but you should get given this as standard when you collect your tickets. You will need to get orientated and you probably will, despite having a map, get lost and/or be unable to find the place that you desperately want to get to! Most staff can speak enough English to help.
The Hermitage is the oldest, and the largest museum boasting the most comprehensive collection of art and histiry of art. With over 3,000,000 items available to see and more in the vaults!!! You could probably spend a number of years wandering around looking at every piece. However, unless you are an absolutely die-hard, you will probably be done in and art-worked out after 1/2 a day.
The main building is the stunning Winter Palace but this museum is so incredibly large that one buidling would not suffice and so there are others that are linked and connected and you will wander from one to the other, losing yourself in the unbelievable decadence of the structures as well as the collections and masterpieces they contain.
It was wonderful day to visit the city. Wonderful day to visit one of the largest museums in the world.
The State Hermitage (Russian: Госуда́рственный Эрмита́ж) is long time back know like Winter residence of royal family Romanov. Today is known as one of the largest and oldest museums of the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great Romanova and has been open to the public since 1852.
Winter Palace was design by Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, which was designed and Monastery Smolni. The building was design in,, Western-style''. The total area of the castle is 46 000 m2 and there is room 1057, 1786 doors, 1945 windows and 117 steps. In the middle of the castle is courtyard.
Impressive outside, fantastic surroundings and priceless collection inside. We dint have much time to see everything, of course. Four hours was pas very quickly.
I try to remember some interesting fact about Winter Palace:
- Today the museum has a priceless collection of over 3 million art objects;
- Although the October Revolution began with attack on the Winter Palace in 1917, fortunately, much of the splendor has survived to this day.
- Peter the Great never been in this palace because is build after his die but, yet, in Palace is build The room of Peter the Great.
- Hall of Arms - is room where is display all arms of Russians provinces. It was build after fire 1837, and restore after WWII.
- In the Gallery of portraits from patriotic war 1812th against Napoleon are display: General Kutuzov; Wilhelm III, king of Prussia and Franc II, king of Austria, both Russian alleys and Russian tzar Alexander I.
- The tron room, where tron itself is not original.
The design is work of Carlo Rossi, 1820th.
My group was enter for free, we all get plan of museum and ticket like souvenir. My tour guide say that this tour is a gift of Russian brothers to us - Serbs. Probably is a day for free entry like some other museums have and with ISIC benefit card the entree is free. Still, I like this story also. Like I wrote before - wonderful day!
En la tercera planta del museo hay una de las mejores y más impresionantes colecciones del impresionismo Europeo, de los siglos XIX y XX , con obras de Matisse , Picaso , Kandinsky , Rodin, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Delacroix, Cézanne, Pissarro, Monet, Degas...
Un auténtico placer
On the third floor of the museum is one of the best and most impressive collections of Impressionism European Art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including works by Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Rodin, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Delacroix, Cezanne, Pissarro , Monet, Degas ...
A real pleasure
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