It was Catherine the Great who was responsible for creating the celebrated Hermitage museum within the walls of her glorious ... More
Gosudarstvenny Ermitazh (The State Hermitage Museum)
It was Catherine the Great who was responsible for creating the celebrated Hermitage museum within the walls of her glorious Imperial residence, the Winter Palace. At the time of her death the collection contained nearly 4,000 paintings. Today there are more than three million items making the Gosudarstvenny Ermitazh (The State Hermitage Museum) one of the largest and most prestigious museums in the world. Visitors can be forgiven for being unsure where to begin, coronation carriages, the Malachite Room, centuries old porcelain and antiques, Faberge, Rembrandt, Raphael, DiVinci, Michelangelo, and Van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir, Degas, and Rodin, and all that just for starters. It can take a complete day to see the highlights, but investigating every corner in each of the five linked buildings could take years.
Reviews for Gosudarstvenny Ermitazh (The State Hermitage Museum): 6
2 day pass
By A Yahoo! Contributor, 3/24/08
I'd recommend getting a two day pass so you can stretch out your experience. You will probably be walking around the place in a daze for a while just admiring the architectural details of the buildings and then you can start over and go back and look at all of the incredible art you just missed! I don't recommend taking a tour because they will try to rush you past every great painting to get you to a couple of their 'prized' paintings that aren't nearly as impressive as some of the things you will miss (an average painting by an old master is still just an average painting). Don't miss the Monets.
My wife and I visited the Hermitage in June 2009 while on a Baltic cruise.The art collection was immense and impressive, although somewhat thrown together. The building was extremely crowded, and there is no climate control, which created a humid atmosphere. Our tour guide did rush our group a lot, and an elderly couple had to drop out because they couldn't keep up. But all in all I would go back again because of the sheer amout of art. We also got to view the 'Golden Room' where there are artifacts that farmers have found in fields, as well as gifts presented to the royal family from other governments.The amount of jewelry and gold in the exhibit is awesome, more than I have seen even in Egyptian shows.Go and enjoy!
The Hermitage is a castle of wonders. I got lost in its spacious halls and kept discovering myself next to new wonders. I took a staircase... and ended up in a room of Picassos. Turned a corner... and encountered a Michaelangelo. There are marble halls of sculptures, unforgettable art. But the building itself is so worth a visit.
Take your children, but remember to feed them. The cafe downstairs, though pricier than you'd like, serves excellent food. There is even internet access in the museum.
Arrive early to avoid long lines.
I returned several times, on free student access. I lived in Russia for 9 months, and in my entire time there, the Hermitage was far and away the best.
The Hermitage is a must see if you are in St. Petersburg. Even if you are not an art buff you would have appreciation for this mansion. It is simply breath taking. It is a once in a life time opportunity to see the famous pieces of art that it holds and to look back on the history of the home . I loved the throne room and was in awe to see in person my most favorite piece of art, "the prodigal son".
I went there in June 2006 and absolutely loved it. I took a 2 day pass and even then I did not have time to see it all. I wanted to go back again and again! Getting in was a problem, as there are always queues and annoying touts hanging around. You have to register your cameras and bags and put them in the cloakroom. Take your camera if you want, don't bother buying the photo permission thing because they hardly ever check. The museum itself is stunning, the former residence of the Russian emperors and empresses, take special note of the stunning Jordan Staircase and the throne room, and imagine the opulence and sumptuousness of the Romanov court. Fortunately, the Winter Palace was not left to decay too badly by the Soviets, although fortunately all reference to Soviet art has been thankfully removed. There is a huge collection of Western artists, from Michaelangelo, Matisse, Rembrandt, Picasso and Monet. Also take time to check out the Oriental, classical, and ancient Egyptian exhibits - definitely not to be missed. An opportunity of a lifetime.
The Hermitage is one of the top 5 must see sites in St. Petersburg. Buy and study a good travel book before your visit so you can map out the top 10 things you want to see in the museum, as like most people, you probably can't devote little more than 1/2 a day to visit the Hermitage. The Palace is in many ways the most impressive part of the visit. The Grand Staircase, the mosaic, the gold leaf . . . the display of opulence is overwhelming. There are so many works of art, that a good visit plan is essential. You are allowed to take photographs inside, for an extra price. You cannot bring in jackets, umbrellas, bags, backpacks, etc. - - but they do offer a free bag check just inside the entry. Directly in front of the Hermitage, on the river Neva, are boats that will take you down the Neva and across the Bay of Finland to Peterhof, which is another must see during your St. Petersburg visit. If you have a short time in St. Petersburg, I recommend taking a morning visit of the Hermitage and then taking the boat down to Peterhof or visa-versa. The Hermitage is packed first thing in the morning, but we found the crowds manageble for the first couple hours. Then we ran into the tourist groups which made some rooms packed shoulder to shoulder.
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