The Hermitage Museum, located in St Petersburg, Russia, has the title of being the second largest museum globally. With about 3 million art pieces, this museum has one of the largest collections you can ever see. Indeed, the museum’s collection has been expanding since Tsarina II in 1764. Today, the most famous works of many artists from Van Gogh to Caravaggio are in the Hermitage Museum. According to the rumor, even if you take just one minute for each piece in this museum, you should spend about ten years of your life in the Hermitage Museum.
Isn’t it even hard to imagine such a big museum? However, before the Hermitage Museum was turned into a museum, the royal family used it as the Russian dynasty’s winter palace. It continued to serve as a palace until the October Revolution in 1917. However, they decide to turn it into a museum later on. Now it hosts an incredible art collection that attracts millions of tourists from around the world each year.
Building the Hermitage
The Hermitage Museum’s construction started in 1754, and the famous Italian architect Carlo Rastrelli was appointed as responsible for the building. Rastrelli, who designed the building in Baroque style under the Tsarina Elizaveta order, completed the palace in 1762. However, he did not work alone in this magnificent palace. To achieve the dynasty’s superb atmosphere, masters of different subjects came from Europe and worked in other Hermitage parts.
The Hermitage is a massive palace with 1057 halls. Architects studied each exterior facade of the building separately. You can observe the same sensitivity and ornamental attitude unique to the baroque period inside. Architraves, pediments, great use of sculptures, and curved motifs are typical.
The monumental, elegant, yet richly ornamental attitude typical of the Baroque period is fully reflected in the Hermitage Museum building. The effect of light and shadow is apparent with curved plastic elements, and the splendid atmosphere desired during the Hermitage construction was tried to be increased.
The south part of the building faces the square, and Rastrelli preferred a much more formal appearance here. He divided the building into three parts with arches and emphasized it with columns. The northern facade is much more spectacular than the South. It is built with tightly ordered columns.
The western façade resembles a modest rural palace façade, while the façade facing the East is St. It overlooks the area where the houses of St. Petersburg’s nobility are located. For this reason, a large courtyard and ostentatious facade elements stand out in the East.
The building has a total facade length of two kilometers. Moreover, the Hermitage Museum does not consist of a single building! They built the palace as a building complex since the first time Rastrelli made it. Since then, it has received many different names. Many names such as Little Hermitage, New Hermitage, Winter Palace, and Porcelain Museum can refer to the Hermitage Museum.
Many of these buildings used as guest mansions when Rastrelli built the palace have turned into different exhibition areas. In other words, we cannot see all of the works in the museum in the main building. The Winter Palace, which we refer to as the Hermitage Museum today, is the center of all these buildings.
Halls of the Hermitage
Hermitage Museum is a museum that fascinates visitors with its interior as well as its facades. With its 1057 halls and numerous artworks inside them, the Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s most unusual places.
ng together of the Russian Tsarism’s wealthiest years. However, even if we all put these aside, we can say that the Hermitage Museum is a work of art even with its galleries. The Hermitage Museum, a gigantic palace with elaborate details from the decorations on the walls to the ceiling, leaves its visitors open with this feature.