The State Hermitage is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are also part of the museum. The museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property. Since 1990, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky.

Of six buildings of the main museum complex, four, named the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage and New Hermitage, are partially open to the public. The other two are the Hermitage Theatre and the Reserve House. The entrance ticket for foreign tourists costs more than the fee paid by citizens of Russia and Belarus. However, entrance is free of charge the first Thursday of every month for all visitors, and free daily for students and children. The museum is closed on Mondays. The entrance for individual visitors is located in the Winter Palace, accessible from the Courtyard.

Hermitage Museum consists of 11 collections from the Egyptian and Classical antiquities to the fine art of Dutch, German, British, French and Russians. There are lot of remarkable masterpieces for example from Leonardo da Vinci, Goya, Rubens and Rembrandt. Also a Neoclassical, Impressionist, and post-Impressionist art is well represented. The collection including works by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh and Gauguin, is displayed there in the southeastern corner of Winter Palace.

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Founded: 1764
Category: Museums in Russia

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Francisco Flores (2 years ago)
The museum is terrific. Nevertheless, one reduces the excitement during the long queues in the entrance door. I am not against waiting, but information is needed. Otherwise, one can easily spend two hours outside. I have seen a lot of people changing their minds during that time. There should be labels informing the alternative doors. Moreover. They should improve the wardrobe service. It is a mess.
Jared Bowen (3 years ago)
Truly phenomenal location. Great views, lots of history, and a plethora of interesting items to lose a day or two studying. Words do not do this location justice. Only in person can you gain a full appreciation for this wonderful part of the world.
RAVI KOUL (3 years ago)
Another beautiful part of the Hermitage is the Winter Palace. Many tourists know it as the main building of the Hermitage Museum beautifully constructed in green and white color. The palace was constructed for Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great. Sadly, the empress died before the palace was completed. When the museum was found in 1764, Catherine the Great bought a collection of 255 paintings from the German city of Berlin. This original collection still remains in the Hermitage. Catherine continued to collect paintings throughout the rest of her life. The State Hermitage Museum possesses nearly three million items of art dating back to the era of Stone Age to the present days
James Vdb (3 years ago)
Get ready to get lost in a maze of architectural brilliance lined with masterpiece after masterpiece. I found the best approach was to pick a route on the free map that would take me to the highlights and then stop at anything that captured my attention on the way. This place is way too large to try and see it all and unless you are a serious art aficionado you don't need to. Just soak up the experience and marvel in wonder at the serious collection before you
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.
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Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.