The Russian flag still waves proudly above the roof of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the former Winter Palace of the tsars. However, despite the meaning of its French name, it is no longer a place of seclusion. Designed by Rastrelli and built between 1754 and 1762, today the Hermitage is the centre of an art museum that consists of several buildings.
The impressive Peter Hall is dedicated to the legendary founder of the Russian Empire, Peter The Great. Indeed, it is a remarkable work of art in its own right and both the Parade Stairs and Jordan Stairs are fine examples of the Winter Palace’s dramatic architecture.
The purchase of more than 200 paintings from Berlin formed the basis of the Russian aristocracy’s passion for art and served as the catalyst for the subsequent museum. Works by the most famous Italian artists, including Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffael, have their own splendid exhibition rooms within the Hermitage. In addition to its remarkable works of art, the museum also contains a large number of archaeological discoveries and artistic treasures from entire cultural epochs.
The Hermitage is an art museum of the superlative. It contains a total of 2.7 million exhibits many of which are the finest examples of their kind.
The Hermitage, the former Winter Palace of the Russian tsars and today the greatest museum in Russia, is a veritable palace of outstanding art and history.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.