The State Hermitage is known as one of the largest museums in the world. It ranks together with such museums like the Louvre, the Prado and the British National Gallery. Today the collections of the Hermitage outnumber 3 million items; being paintings, sculpture, applied art they represent all stages of world culture development. Among its treasures are works of art by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, rich collection of French art impressionism and postimpressionism through the first half of the twentieth century. Be prepared for a long walk in the museum and better work out a route in advance – all in all there are about there are about 16.000 paintings, 600.000 prints and drawings, 12.000 sculptures and 250.000 of applied art. They say if you spend only one minute in front of each exhibit, even doing this in the 24/7 mode, you will have to spend ten years inside the museum. Containing one of the best art collections in the world, the Hermitage is a jewel of the Russian culture.
The Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the river Neva. The splendid Winter Palace, the main building of the museum and the former residence of russian tsars, was designed by the architect F. Rastrelli and built in the years 1754-1762.
The following buildings situated along the embankment belong to the museum as well: these are the former palaces of the members of the tsar family. As it happens, the closeness to the tsar (in personal and genealogical terms) was straightforwardly defined by the proximity of one’s palace to the Winter Palace.
Official website: www.hermitagemuseum.org