The Hermitage has the largest art collection in the world. More than 3,000,000 works of art, from the stone age to post-Impressionism.
The State Hermitage Museum occupies six magnificent buildings along the Neva River in the heart of St. Petersburg. It is so vast and has so many treasures that you may find yourself there a week later if you don't take a guide. This unique architectural ensemble was built in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Winter Palace which is part of the Hermitage is one of the most splendid buildings in St Petersburgh. Once the residence of the Russian tsars, it was was built in 1754-1762 to the designs of Rastrelli. Nearly two and a half centuries later, The Hermitage has one of the largest collections in the world, numbering about three million works of art and monuments of world culture since the Stone Age to the present century.
The Hermitage Museum was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great. However, it was opened to the public only in 1852. The collection is placed in seven historical buildings including the famous Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. The most part of it was Catherine the Great and Alexander I. The collection includes paintings of Rubens, Rembrandt, Picasso, Greek and Scythian artefacts. Besides, each part of the museum has its own style like Malachite hall, Theatre stairs.
In the Hermitage Museum you can find one of the biggest vases in the world so-called “Big Vase” that was made on Kolyvansk fabric in 1843. It is height is 2,57 meters and its weight – 19 tons.