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