Hermitage (museum)

Hermitage (museum)
Largest museum in Russia and one of the most important in the world.

Located in St. Petersburg, it derives its name from the "Hermitage" pavilion adjoining the Winter Palace, built in 1764–67 for Catherine II( the Great) as a private gallery for her treasured collections. On her death in 1796, the imperial collections were estimated to total 4,000 pictures. After the Winter Palace was destroyed by fire in 1837, the Hermitage was reconstructed and opened to the public by Nicholas I in 1852. After the Bolshevik Revolution, the collections were transferred to public ownership. The museum is now housed in five interconnected buildings, including the Winter Palace and the Small, Old, and New Hermitages. Along with thousands of art objects from Central Asia, India, China, Egypt, the pre-Columbian Americas, Greece, and Rome, the Hermitage houses outstanding collections of Western painting. Russian history is represented by archaeological material from prehistoric times onward.

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