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

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Francisco Flores (3 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 (4 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 (4 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 (4 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 (4 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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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.