Guided tour of the State Hermitage


View of Hermitage View of the Hermitage from Palace Square

No visit to St. Petersburg would be complete without a tour of the Hermitage Museum - one of the world's most famous museums, virtually wallpapered with celebrated paintings. Today the art collections of the Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artefacts of the world culture.

Hall of art of the ancient world at the Hermitage
Hall of Jupiter. Art of Ancient Rome
Hall of Dionysus. Art of Ancient Rome
Petrovsky or Small Throne Hall was created in 1833 by Auguste de Montferrand. 
    Throne Hall is dedicated to the memory of the Russian Emperor Peter of First
Military Gallery in 1812. The unique monument of Russian military glory at the Hermitage

Richest collection of the Hermitage of all times and all countries can not be inspected during a private tour, is impossible per visit to survey all ceremonial halls and the rooms of the former residence of the Russian monarchs and the Russian Empresses. Nevertheless, the guided tour of the Hermitage provides a wonderful opportunity to feel the scale and unique art collection.

The main architectural complex of the Hermitage situated in the centre of St. Petersburg consists of five large blocks stretching between the Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad) and the Neva River embankment: the Winter Palace - the former state residence of the Russian emperors, the buildings of the Small, Old (Great) and New Hermitages, the Hermitage Theatre.
The Winter Palace which dominates the Square replaced earlier crowded royal residences and rose in its present form between 1754 and 1762, in the reign of Empress Elizabeth. Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli (later ennobled by his patrons) succeeded in creating an outstanding example of what is know as Russian Baroque.

The complex next to Winter Palace is the Hermitage. Its building was started by Catherine II who wanted to have a home for the art collection which she was just beginning to acquire abroad, and a retreat (hence the name) connected to her private apartments in the Winter Palace. This is know as the Small Hermitage. It is adjoined by the Old Hermitage which was built in stages, and which for a number of years served as a conference chamber for the tsar's ministers. A wing of this building, called the New Hermitage, built by the German Leo von Klenze (the designer of many other European art galleries) is in fact Russia's first purpose-built museum.
Of interest also is the Hermitage Theatre, created by Quarenghi for Catherine's private theatricals. It is linked with the Old Hermitage by an arch over the Winter Ditch (Zimnyaya Kanavka) - a touch of Venice in this nothern city. Another example of Italian influence is the Raphael Gallery, a replica of the Vatican's, with copies of great painter's works.
The whole museum complex (i.e., the Winter palace and the various Hermitage buildings) is now know as the "State Hermitage". The setting is magnificent and lavish; malachite, jasper, agate and marble provide a fine backdrop to the treasures. In the 19th century tourists visiting the Winter Palace had to wear court dress or military uniform, but now the treasures of the tsars and the hoarded wealth of the nobility and rich merchants have become the property of the State and available to all.

Among the Hermitage’s treasures are artworks by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Tintoretto and a large collection of impressionists and post impressionists including Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin and Vasily Kandinsky as well as many others. Today the art collections of the Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artefacts of the world culture.

Fragment of ceiling paintings in the Hermitage
Duration of 2.5 hours
Car Minivan Coach
Number of pax 1 2 3 4 - 9 10 - 14 15 - 19
Price in € / person 117 66 51 43 32 29
Belt plate with a scene torment animals. Gold, casting. Sakskaya culture - 6th century BC
Portrait of a Woman. Cranach, Lucas the Elder. Oil on wood. Germany. 1526
Revellers. Steen, Jan.Oil on wood. Holland. about 1660
Lady in Blue. Gainsborough, Thomas. Oil on canvas. The end of 1770 - beginning of 1780
Guitar and Violin. Picasso, Pablo. Oil on canvas. France. About 1912
Composition VI. Kandinsky, Vasily. Oil on canvas. Russia-Germany. 1913
Fragment of ceiling paintings in the State Hermitage - St. Petersburg Fragment of ceiling paintings in the Hermitage
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