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The famous Hermitage — a great museum which summarizes the Russian passion for art and culture is located in a pompous building called the Winter Palace on the bank of the Neva River. Inside the museum there are exhibitions with the world’s most famous and valuable paintings. By most calculations Hermitage is home to more than 3 million art masterpieces.
At first, the Hermitage was a collection of paintings that belonged to the Empress Catherine the Great. The empress’ representatives were sent all around the world to find and to buy the most stunning art works. In 1852, this collection was finally presented to the public. Nowadays the Hermitage is known as one of the most significant art museums in the world. As of May 2018, a one-day ticket to the Hermitage costs 680 rubles, while a two-day ticket that allows you access to the Hermitage and all of its museums and exhibits will send you back 1020 rubles.
Galleries to visit in the Hermitage
It is obvious that not all the art pieces can be exhibited at the same time. Guided tours to the Hermitage last for about 3 hours and are in a great demand among the tourists. Visitors can go to any of the several galleries located chiefly along the Palace Embankment. The complex consists of many halls and several basic buildings: the Small Hermitage, the initial cradle of the collection; the Great or Old Hermitage, the gallery’s first expansion; the New Hermitage, opened simultaneously with the Old in 1852. In addition, there are other small galleries, like Malachite and Great Nicholas rooms.
Artists displayed in the Hermitage
One of the collection’s pearls are the works of the great artists of Renaissance (Raphael), Impressionism (Cezanne and Monet) and the 20th century artists (Picasso, Matisse, and Kandinsky).
The adjoining Palace Square has also an interesting history. Above the Square rises a huge granite sculpture called the Alexander Column. It is devoted to Tsar Alexander’s input in the demolishment of the French army in the time of Napoleon Bonaparte’s attack on the Russian Empire.