State Hermitage Museum
State Hermitage Museum is the most visited museum in Russia and one of the most popular museums in the world. The collection of State Hermitage Museum is numbering about three million works of art and monuments of world culture. It includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, objects of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material. The main exhibitions of the State Hermitage Museum located in the historical centre of St. Petersburg. The Main Museum complex consists of six buildings constructed in 18th-19th centuries, the most famous is the Winter Palace – former Imperial residence. It was one of the key place during Revolution of 1917.
1764 is the year of foundation of State Hermitage museum, when Empress Catherine II purchased a collection of paintings of the Berlin merchant Gotskovsky. The day of its Foundation the Museum celebrates on 7 December – the feast of St. Catherine. During the reign of Alexander I and Nicholas I, the collection continues to grow with rare masterpieces. In 1852 Nicholas I decided to open the collection of the Hermitage for public visits. After the revolution the Hermitage became national heritage. Museum exposition is considerably increased by the expense of private collections, they were nationalized by the Soviet authorities. In the 20th century the Museum collection has been enriched with works of the leading Impressionists like Picasso, Matisse and van Gogh.
The Great Patriotic War was a difficult period for Hermitage. Almost all exhibits were evacuated to the Urals, a bomb shelter was organized in the basement of the Museum. After the war the Hermitage was renovated and re-exposed all of the exhibits, all of them were returned to the Museum. Fortunately, during the many shipments all exhibits have been preserved. Due to the collection continued to grow, the third floor of Hermitage was opened for the public visits in 1957.
Tips & tricks
To avoid lanes to ticket service you need to order tickets via Hermitage official web-site, in this case the separate entrance to the Main Museum Complex through Shuvalovsky Proezd (which can be accessed from Millionnaya Street and Palace Embankment) will be available for you.
You can’t bring large items to Museum like bags, briefcases, backpacks, umbrellas, and food and drinks. Photography with flash is prohibited. Photo-and video recording of temporary exhibitions is prohibited. If you don’t like to go with guide you can rent an audio guide in museum. Also you can buy souvenirs in museum gift stores and take a rest in museum café.