Jaw-dropping beauty at every turn
If you’re into art, architecture, the grandiose, history or interested in cultural exchange, a must do when visiting St. Petersburg Russia is spend a day or two traipsing the hallways, floors and corridors of the fantastic State Hermitage Museum. This grand palace commissioned for Catherine the Great during the peak of the Russian Czar leadership now houses some of the worlds greatest artistic treasures. They have rooms and rooms of art dating back to the Dark Ages and before. There are two rooms of Picasso, a huge room of Monet with some as large as the entire wall. They have Cezanne, Matisse, entire hallways of sculptures from the Greek Era.
I remember a long time ago now someone showed me a website that the Hermitage had built containing a small fraction of their great collection of fine art. I had no clue back then, daydreaming of putting my eyes to work interpreting such masterpieces in person that it would actually happen and that music would be the catalyst for it all.
Walking through the hallways and cavernous rooms, it is hard to imagine that this was once a private residence. Well, State – Ruler owned property, I guess you’d say. Either way, it would take warehouses full of furniture to make a dent in any of these rooms. Even then, heating this place has to be a hugely expensive undertaking. The funny thing about the price tag associated with the Hermitage is it’s free if you’re a Russian citizen and it’s only $5 or 6 US to get in depending on the exchange rate.
We really only had an afternoon of about 4 hours to take in the whole museum. I recommend either spending a good 6-8 hours at once trying to hit all the rooms and highlights… or buy the two or three day pass. That way you could go back to your hotel and rest up before dinner if you were to get too tired. For us, there’s no chance of that as we spend our days acting like tourists and then our evenings are dedicated to entertaining the passengers. Best of both worlds for us.