Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Hermitage Museum

Hermitage Museum

Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage Museum is an art and culture museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, having been founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the collections consist of over three million items. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along the Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors.

A Tour of the Hermitage Museum

Collections of Hermitage Museum

Prehistoric Collection

The Prehistoric Collection dates from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age and were excavated all over Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire. Among them is a renowned collection of the art and culture of nomadic tribes of the Altai. The Caucasian exhibition includes a selection of Urartu artifacts from Armenia.

Egyptian and Mesopotamia Collection

The Egyptian collection occupies a large hall on the ground floor in the eastern part of the Winter Palace. A collection of the culture of Ancient Mesopotamia, including Assyrian reliefs from Babylon, Dur-Sharrukin and Nimrud, is located in the same part of the building.

Classical Collection

The Classical Collection features Greek artifacts from the third millennium to fifth century BC, ancient Greek pottery, items from the Greek cities, Hellenistic sculpture and jewelry, including engraved gems and cameos. Roman art from the 9th to second century BC, Roman marble and bronze sculpture and applied art from the first century BC – fourth century AD, including copies of Classical and Hellenistic Greek sculptures.

Western European Art Collection

The Western European Art collection includes European paintings, sculpture, and applied art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. It is displayed on the first and second floor of the four main buildings. Drawings and prints are exhibited in temporary exhibitions.

Jewelry and Decorative Art Collections

The Jewellery and Decorative Art Collections feature western jewelry from the 4th millennium BC to the early 20th century AD. A highlight of the collection is jewelry from the Pontic steppes, Caucasus and Asia, in particular, Scythian and Sarmatian gold.

Italian Renaissance Collection

The Italian Renaissance Collection features artists such as Titian, Veronese, Leonardo da Vinci. In the eastern wing of the New Hermitage are paintings, sculpture, majolica and tapestry from Italy of the 15th–16th centuries.

Italian and Spanish Art Collection

The Italian and Spanish Art Collection features Italian and Spanish canvases of the 15th -18th centuries, including Veronese, Giambattista Pittoni, Tintoretto, Velázquez, Goya, Murillo, Michelangelo, and El Greco.

Arms and Armour Collection

The Arms and Armour Collection features Western European weapons and armor from the 15th-17th centuries and parts of the Hermitage Arsenal collection.

Dutch Golden Age and Flemish Baroque Collection

Devoted to Dutch Golden Age and Flemish Baroque painting of the 17th century, from artists that including Van Dyck, Rubens and Rembrandt, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Frans Snyders, Gerard ter Borch, Jan van Goyen, and Gerard van Honthorst.

Russian Art Collection

The Russian culture collection host Russian art from the 11th-19th centuries.

Impressionist, and post-Impressionist Art Collection

The Impressionist and post-Impressionist art Collection including works by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh and Gauguin, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Alfred Sisley, Henri Morel, and Degas.

19 – 20th-Century Art Collection

Modern art 19 – 20th-Century Art features Matisse, Picasso, Malevich, Petrocelli, Kandinsky, Giacomo Manzù, Giorgio Morandi and Rockwell Kent. Caspar David Friedrich.

Oriental Art Collection

The Oriental Art Collection features collections of the Oriental art from China, India, Mongolia, Tibet, Central Asia, Byzantium and Near East.

Hermitage Museum

Hermitage in Facts and Figures

  • The Main Hermitage Museum Complex consists of the following:
    • the Winter Palace (1754–1762)
    • the Small Hermitage (1764 –1769)
    • the Great (Old) Hermitage (1771–1787)
    • the Hermitage Theatre (1783–1787)
    • the New Hermitage (1842–1851)
    • the Reserve House of the Winter Palace (1726–1742)
  • The State Hermitage Museum inventory has over 3 million items, in the following categories:
    • Numismatic Collection – over 1 million items
    • Archaeological Artefacts – nearly 800 thousand items
    • Graphical works – over 600 thousand works
    • Applied Art – over 300 thousand works
    • Photos – nearly 60 thousand items
    • Paintings – over 17 thousand
    • Arms and Armoury – nearly 14 thousand items
    • Sculptures – over 12 thousand
    • Documents – nearly 3 thousand
    • Historical Technology – over 2 thousand items
    • Rare books – over 340
    • Printed materials – over 270
    • Other Historical Items over 140 thousand.
  • The Hermitage Museum is the most extensive art gallery in Russia and is among the largest art museums in the world. It has over 1 thousand rooms, and a walk of over 20 kilometers would be required to see all parts of the Hermitage.
  • The Hermitage maintains about 50 cats to protect the items from rats and mice.
  • The Winter Palace was once the official residence of the Romanov Tsars.
  • The museum was found in 1764 when Catherine the Great bought a collection of 255 paintings from Berlin. This original collection can still be seen at the Hermitage.

Visiting the Hermitage Museum

The core of the collection is located in five connected buildings of a Hermitage architecture complex. For most visitors, the five buildings are a subtle distinction, and most people refer to the whole complex as the Winter Palace. The address of the main entrance is Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square. Entry to the museum is through the gate across the Great Courtyard. The oCourtyardlegal) address of the museum is 34, Dvortsovaya (Palace) embankment.

Tips for your Hermitage Visit

  • Purchase your ticket online in advance because the ticket lines can be quite long.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that will not damage parquet made of primary timber.
  • Don’t touch the exhibits.
  • Large bags and backpacks need to be left in the cloakroom.
  • No drinking and eating inside the halls and galleries.
  • All the bags are X-rayed.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • The nearest metro station to the museum is Admiralteyskaya. Also, the stations Nevsky prospect and Gostinny dvor are next best alternatives.
  • The café is located on the ground floor, with Internet access via Wi-Fi.
  • Collect your Museums Map with your entrance ticket.
  • Don’s try and see everything in one day. Focus on the highlights.
  • Take a Moment to Recharge with a break for coffee, tea and to eat; you’ll be able to enjoy your experience longer.
  • Opening Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.30-18.00; Wednesday, Friday: 10.30-21.00; Closed: Mondays, as well as January 1 and May 9
  • The museum is closed on Mondays. Check the Museum website for the latest information on holiday closures and opening timings.

Essential Highlights of the Hermitage Museum

  • The Gala Staircase
  • The da Vinci Madonnas
  • Works by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian
  • The Raphael Loggias
  • The Rembrandt Collection
  • The Pavilion Hall
  • The Italian Fine art
  • Malachite Room
  • Peacock Clock
  • Armorial Hall

More Great Russian Museums

Museums in Russia

Map of the Hermitage Museum


“There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.”
– Fyodor Dostoevsky


Photo Credit: By A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) (Own work) [FAL or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons