The main building of the Hermitage Museum ideally located on the bank of the river Neva is the Winter Palace built in 1754 – 1762, which was once the main residence of the Russian Tsars. The Hermitage is one of the most prominent art museums in the world, Russia's best gallery and one of the main tourist attractions of St. Petersburg. The museum was founded in 1764 when Catherine the Great purchased a collection of 255 paintings from Berlin. All the exhibits of the Hermitage exposed in 350 halls are originals and their number goes up to 2 million 800 thousand items. The collection is constantly filled up by new exhibits.
Western Europe arts. The Hermitage features 26 canvases by Rembrandt, 42 canvases by P.Rubens, 2 canvases by Leonardo da Vinci, masterpieces by finest French artists, which are exhibited in 52 halls of the Winter Palace, 37 canvases by Matisse (including Dances and Music) and 31 Picasso’s drawings .
Eastern Arts. The remains of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Assyria and Babylon and items made by Chinese, Indian, Turkish and Byzantine artists are displayed. Some collections are unique and can’t be seen anywhere else in the world.
Prehistoric (archeological) Hall contains stone tools that date back to the Paleolithic era, cliff engravings, items made of mammoth’s tusk etc. The most popular collection is the one that features Skiff items (the 8th – 3rd centuries B.C.) found in old burials on the territory of Russia.
Antique Hall. The ground floor of the New Hermitage offers a fascinating range of ancient items such as: vases, crafts, sculptures, the grand statue of Jupiter (3,5 m high) carved by Rome sculptures in the first century B.C. and the famous Venus of Tavria, bought in Italy during the reign of Peter I .
Russian Culture Hall. A wide range of original artifacts allows visitors to experience first hand the elements that shaped different periods of the development of Russian Arts. Canvases and sculptures, different pieces of art can be observed here. Most attractive are the items passed to the Hermitage from Peter the Great’s study after the death of the emperor: a lathe, tools, the ivory candelabra made by Peter the Great and the sculpture by Rostrelli called “A wax person” that portrays Peter I.
Tuesday to Saturday 10:30 - 18:00, Sundays and national holidays 10:30 – 17:00.