The largest museum in the world is The State Hermitage Museum located in Russia’s cultural centre, Saint Petersburg. This beautiful collection of buildings is a museum of art and culture with gallery space covering up to 100 000 m2.
The museum was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings. The Empress bought paintings from a Berlin merchant named Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. And although the collection started in the 18th century, the museum only opened to the public in 1852.
The Hermitage consists of six buildings
The breathtaking museum consists of six buildings along Palace Embankment. And of the six, five of the buildings are open to the public – Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, and Hermitage Theatre. The Winter Palace is the entrance to the incredible landmark and always a must-see, as this is a former residence of Russian emperors.
The many collections of Russia
Only a small part of the museum’s collections are on permanent display, however, the entire collection is made up of over three million items. The art collection stretches throughout many cultures and cities. These exhibitions include Egyptian antiquities, Italian Renaissance art, Prehistoric art, Dutch Golden Age and Flemish Baroque, and of course Russian art.
The Western European Art collection includes paintings and sculptures from the 13th to the 20th centuries. And these impressive works of art are displayed in about 120 different rooms alone.
According to Go Russia, “if you spend a minute at one item and spend 8 hours in the Hermitage daily, it will take you almost 15 years to view all the museum’s exhibits! To visit all 350exhibion rooms would entail a walking distance of about 10 km”.
The Hermitage museum is also known for its vast collection of furry friends. A population of cats have made the museum grounds their home and serves as a bonus attraction for the many visitors.