Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

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Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison

The Hermitage (officially the State Hermitage Museum) is one of the most famous museums in the world. Spread over several buildings lining the Neva River in St. Petersburg, this museum is way too large to see in just a few hours. Most cruisers visit with a tour group on a half-day excursion and can see many of the art pieces and gaze at the beautiful decor.The Hermitage was once the palace of Catherine the Great, who used it as a private place of retreat and solitude, or a Hermitage. Tours enter through the Winter Palace on the ground floor and walk up the magnificent Jordan Staircase to the first floor. The rooms on the first floor are breathtaking, with many of the rooms restored as they were during Imperial times. The second floor is not architecturally as dramatic as the first floor but has many important French paintings. Be sure to glance through the windows on the second floor for a great view of the Palace Square and the Alexander Column.

The Hermitage was once the winter residence of the Russian Tsars. It was designed by Rastrelli.

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Sign at the Entry of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

Sign at the Entry of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Main Staircase of the Winter Palace

Main Staircase of the Winter Palace, One of the Buildings at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison

The main staircase of the Winter Palace is also known as the Jordan Staircase since it was used by the royal family to go to the Neva River for christenings.

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Jordan Staircase in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Jordan Staircase in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Jordan Staircase at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Jordan Staircase at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Ceiling of the Jordan Staircase at the Hermitage

Ceiling of the Jordan Staircase at the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Marble Jordan Staircase in the Winter Palace Building of the Hermitage

Marble Jordan Staircase in the Winter Palace Building of the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Imperial Carriage in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg

Imperial Carriage in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Armorial Hall in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia

Armorial Hall in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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St. George Hall in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

St. George Hall or the Large Throne Room in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Peacock Clock in the Pavilion Hall of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

Peacock Clock in the Pavilion Hall of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison

The Peacock Clock is the only large 18th-century automaton in the world to still be functioning in its original unaltered condition.

The Peacock Clock of the Hermitage also includes the figures of a cockerel and owl. All three of the birds move. Catherine II loved collecting, and Grigory Potiomkin ordered the piece for her from celebrated goldsmith and clockmaker James Cox.

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Carpeted Stairway in the Hermitage Museum

Carpeted Stairway in the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Malachite Vase near the Council Staircase of the Hermitage Museum

Malachite Vase near the Council Staircase of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Carved Wooden Door at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

Carved Wooden Door at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Doorways in the Hermitage Museum

Doorways in the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Hermitage Theater Foyer Connects the Large Hermitage to the Theater

Hermitage Theater Foyer Connects the Large Hermitage to the Theater
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Drawing Room at the Hermitage Museum

Drawing Room at the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Hermitage Museum - One of the Hundreds of Interior Rooms

Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Paintings in the Hermitage Museum

Paintings in the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Chandeliers in the Hermitage

Chandeliers in the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Gallery in the Hermitage

Gallery in the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Elaborate Ceiling Paintings at the Hermitage

Elaborate Ceiling Paintings at the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Chandelier at the Hermitage

Chandelier at the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Imperial Throne in the St. George Hall at the Hermitage

Imperial Throne in the St. George Hall at the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Tile Floor of the Pavilion Hall at the Hermitage Museum

Tile Floor of the Pavilion Hall at the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Wall Tapestry in the Hermitage Museum

Wall Tapestry in the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Boy and Dolphin Statue at the Hermitage Museum

Boy and Dolphin Statue at the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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The Crouching Boy Statue by Michelangelo in the Cabinet of Italian Art

The Crouching Boy Statue by Michelangelo in the Cabinet of Italian Art at the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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The Raphael Loggias at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia

The Raphael Loggias at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison

The Raphael Loggias of the Hermitage are almost an exact replica of the loggias at the Vatican.

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Close-up of the Frescoes on the Raphael Loggias at the Hermitage

Close-up of the Frescoes on the Raphael Loggias at the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison

One of the differences between the Hermitage Rapael loggias and those at the Vatican is the double headed eagle, the symbol of Russia, on this panel.

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Lapis Lazuli Vase in the Italian Skylight Hall of the Hermitage

Lapis Lazuli Vase in the Italian Skylight Hall of the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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Italian Skylight Hall of the Hermitage Museum

Italian Skylight Hall of the Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum (c) Linda Garrison
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