The State Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg

The State Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg Russia The Golden Harp Room

Ignorance truly is bliss. I didn’t know anything about The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. I like museums. So why has my head been stuck in the sand when it comes to this one? I had no idea what I was in store for. I spent an entire day, from open to close, exploring the many visual riches The Russian Winter Palace holds.

As with many places in Russia, if you’re going to any government controlled area bring your passport so they can check your visa. Your ID gets linked to your ticket. Tickets can be confusing, take time to read the board. Its $18 dollars for access and that includes a fee if you want to take photos? Ok… You can also pay extra to access the other exhibits. A day was not enough for everything. If I had planned more time I would have paid to see them. I would suggest two solidly packed days or to fully take in everything, a more casual three days. There is that much to see and read about. Audio guides are available though I didn’t opt for one since the signs are all in English. There is a little place to have lunch, bring cash so you don’t have to leave to eat. It only gets more crowded as the day goes on. The first Thursday of the month, entrance is free. Almost three million people visit the museum every year. If you’re a cyber-tourist there is The State Hermitage virtual tour. Though, it’s not like being there. There’s also The State Hermitage app available in the App Store & Google Play. And, if there is a luxury traveler that accidently found their way here. You can say at The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel. For the latest information, check out their website: http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/02/hm2_0.html

 Outisde The Front of The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

The State Hermitage Museum Russia Jordan Staircase

Before becoming a museum, the Hermitage was the Winter Palace, home to Russian emperors. Commissioned by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in 1754 it was a home to all Russia royalty up until 1917. Read about the February Revolution were Nicolas the II relinquished his rule and the proceeding October Revolution which installed the socialist state and well, the rest you should know.

After entering, shuffle with the crowd to the main staircase called the Jordan Staircase. As you can see, it’s not just a staircase. Find a spot to take in all 360 degrees. It was made to welcome royal visitors, ambassadors, foreign dignitaries… and me.

There we’re three main highlights for me.

The State Hermitage Museum Arsenal:

I like weapons. So naturally, my favorite part was the arsenal. I hadn’t seen horse armor in person until now and wow. Talk about a prehistoric version of the tank. The exhibit speaks about the evolution of Russian craftsmanship from sword to firearm. Even the priming flask (used to hold the powder) was decorated well. It was a bright room, so don’t mind the glare on the glass. 

The State Hermitage Museum Arsenal amor The State Hermitage Museum amor in case The State Hermitage Museum flint lock guns The State Hermitage Museum arsenol crossbow The State Hermitage Museum arsenol horse armor

Landscape with the Legend of St Christopher by Mandijn Jan

I was completely engrossed with this morbid painting: Landscape with the Legend of St Christopher by Mandijn Jan. A Dutch painter from the early 1500s, he has another interesting painting called The Temptation of St. Anthony. I’m not an art guy. Especially what some pass off as “modern art” but when I see paintings and sculptures from certain points in history, especially points in history that I recognize, I get in to it. This painting did that for me. WARNING: It’s not for the faint of heart.

Jan Mandijn Landscape with the Legend of St Christopher

Michelangelo’s The Crouching Boy

The biggest surprise while touring through the sculpture collection, Michelangelo’s The Crouching Boy. What a work of art. Also from the early 1500s, to me, it’s not meant to be ultra-refined to the last detail. It symbolizes the organic growth of youth. They’re not quite whole yet. Much learning needs to take place before their traits are defined. Really, I’m not an art guy.

The State Hermitage Museum Michelangelo's Crouching Boy The State Hermitage Museum Michelangelo's Crouching Boy

Other acmes include the malachite room, various Samaritan artifacts and The Treasure Gallery. I also missed out on The State Hermitage Museum cats, Google image search to see some. Not to compare apples to oranges but I enjoyed The State Hermitage Museum more than The Louvre. In The State Hermitage Museum it feels more like you’re in history than you are just viewing it. This place truly is a piece of world history. A posh bastion previously reserved for royal eyes, now open to the public. After I win the lottery I may consider buying it as my new winter palace. Here are a few more pictures too, enjoy!

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7 Responses to The State Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg

  1. Not much of a museum person myself, but the inside of this place looks stunning! Good luck with the lottery and your new palace! Don’t forget all the other little travel bloggers when you’re rich 😉

    Katie @ From Shores to Skylines April 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm Reply
    • LOL Thanks, I’ll try. Every room you walk through has wow factor if a place could change your mind about museums, this one may.

      Shaun April 18, 2014 at 7:21 am Reply
  2. One of my favorite museums around the world. Winter palace is awesome. Thanks for sharing, Shaun.

    memographer April 18, 2014 at 11:25 am Reply
  3. Greet Pictures! My boyfriend and I will be visiting Russia next year and I will not leave the country until I visit St Petersburg as its been on my bucketlist for too long now.

    Spring Living | Picnic in the Queen’s Park

    Bianca @itsallbee April 20, 2014 at 6:05 pm Reply
    • It’s architecture is stunning. Take your time if you go. There is so much to explore!

      Shaun April 22, 2014 at 10:43 am Reply
  4. I’d love to visit this particular museum one day, we almost made to Russia once but didn’t go in the end, but at some point I will! 🙂

    Franca April 26, 2014 at 2:56 pm Reply
    • An amazing place see, don’t wait too long!

      Shaun April 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm Reply

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