St Petersburg is a popular city break destination for those travelling to Russia, thanks to its grand architecture and numerous cultural attractions.
The State Hermitage Museum – which was established in the late 18th century after Catherine the Great acquired a number of Dutch and Flemish paintings from a German merchant – is home to a massive three million objects across ten different buildings.
Among the items on display and packed away in storage are 1.1 million coins, more than 734,000 archaeological artifacts and well over 620,000 graphic art pieces.
The Main Museum Complex, the Winter Palace of Peter the Great, Menshikov Palace, the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory and the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Centre are the Hermitage buildings that are open to the public, with each offering a different experience.
Visitors to the Main Museum Complex will be able to view a wide array of coins and ancient cultural items and artworks, including exhibits from Russia, the far east and western Europe.
An exhibition of items related to Peter the Great can be found in the Winter Palace – which was named after the tsar – with a variety of Russian cultural objects from the early 18th century on display at the Menshikov Palace.
Meanwhile, more than 30,000 porcelain items can be seen in the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, many of which were made between the 18th and 20th centuries.
Holidaymakers on group Russian tours will also be able to see a variety of paintings and artefacts in the Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Centre when it is eventually completed.
Tourists on the hunt for more glittering exhibits will want to visit the State Hermitage Museum’s Treasure Gallery, which features a range of objects that used to belong to Russia’s imperial family.
Jewellery, ceremonial weaponry and artefacts from around the world can be found in the Gold Rooms section of the gallery, while the Diamond Rooms plays host to a breathtaking array of Faberge jewels, diplomatic gifts to the Russian imperial court and items from the collections of the Romanov family.
With so much to see at the State Hermitage Museum, it may well take you several days just to view all of its main exhibits!