The Winter Palace was built between 1754 and 1762 for Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great. Unfortunately, Elizabeth died before the palace’s completion and only Catherine the Great and her successors were able to enjoy the sumptuous interiors of Elizabeth’s home. Many of the palace’s impressive interiors have been remodeled since then, particularly after 1837, when a huge fire destroyed most of the building. Today the Winter Palace, together with four more buildings arranged side by side along the river embankment, houses the extensive collections of the Hermitage. The Hermitage Museum is the largest art gallery in Russia and is among the largest and most respected art museums in the world.

The museum was founded in 1764 when Catherine the Great purchased a collection of 255 paintings from the German city of Berlin. Today, the Hermitage boasts over 2.7 million exhibits and displays a diverse range of art and artifacts from all over the world and from throughout history (from Ancient Egypt to the early 20th century Europe). The Hermitage’s collections include works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, a unique collection of Rembrandts and Rubens, many French Impressionist works by Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Monet and Pissarro, numerous canvasses by Van Gogh, Matisse, Gaugin and several sculptures by Rodin. The collection is both enormous and diverse and is an essential stop for all those interested in art and history.

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Founded: 1754-1762
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Russia

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Ashley (2 years ago)
My first thought when I entered the winter palace was Wow. My last thought as I left was Wow, wow.unbelievable opulence. The only negative for me was not enough time to take it all in. It is a must see attraction.
Jared Bowen (2 years ago)
The sheer size of the structure and amount of historical items to see here are seldom rivaled. This was a truly exceptional experience, both historically and culturally. From the grandiosity of the interior to the unique art exhibits, one can easily find any number of items of interest. An absolute must while in St. Petersburg. Pro tip: get in at the opening hour and beat the crowds. Also, kiosks just past the center gate allow you to purchase tickets and skip the line.
Anthony Hurford (3 years ago)
Grandiose with many many interesting exhibits and features. I would advise wearing comfortable footwear as you will be doing a lot of walking to see all you want. When we went, we bought our tickets at a booth near the main entrance with no queue and no trouble. At the same time, there were enormous queues to buy tickets inside. The tickets we bought allowed us to skip this queue and walk straight in. TL:DR Buy tickets from kiosk and walk straight in, don't queue.
D Castillo (3 years ago)
Just a warning, it's too huge to enjoy in one day! Be prepared select the areas you really want to know and enjoy, otherwise, get a guide. It's beautiful and it has so much history, and arts. It's worth the visit. Besides, if you're a student regardless country or age, you enter for free! So don't pay tickets in advance, however, bear in mind you need to wait a lot of time in line. It's always busy there.
Tejas Joshi (3 years ago)
Excellent place to visit. Historical place. Worth to see it. Colourful rooms, many historical stories are related to this palace. Place is neat and clean well decorated and maintained. Ticket is little high and must be reduced for foreign. Toilet facilities is available but drinking water facilities not available. Crowds is bigger problem for free roaming. It take more than 3 hrs for quick glance. Every one come to Russia must visit this historical palace.
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