A view of the Alexander Column... is the main focal point of the palace square. It was built between 1830 and 1834. It is made of red granite. This pedestal was decorated with symbols of military glory. It is very impressive when you can take a picture at sunset, when the sun beams on the column. I have seen a postcard of this column... it was a sight to behold!!
We met our tour guide in the lobby at 9:00 am for our visit to the Hermitage. The famous landmark of St. Petersburg, Russia. Everyone had their cameras with them, ready to take fantastic shots inside the museum. Our tour guide told us that we can take photos provided we do not use the FLASH and they will be asking us to pay 200 rubles in order to take photos inside the museum. I thought it was worth it. On our way to the Hermitage, our guide told us that there are 3,000,000 collections of art inside the museum and if one will spend at least 1 minute in viewing each item it will take you 5 years to see all the art collections!! Our tour lasted 3 hours and I tried to take as many interesting shots as much as possible.
Then we were all ushered inside the main entrance of the Hermitage. As the Hermitage is so enormous. Its collection is so diverse and its interiors are so attractive in its own right. Many tourists or visitors to this museum will agree with me saying this. The best way to tour the museum is to make several briefer visits rather than one frenetic and exhausting marathon tour.
The main staircase
The view of the ceiling -- entrance hall.
The origins of the Hermitage can be traced back to the private collection of Peter the Great. He purchased numerous paintings during his travels abroad and later hung them in his residence....Catherine the Great expanded the collection considerably . She and her successors built the collection by purchasing other private collections of the Western European aristocracy. By the time Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, he was the heir of the greatest collection of art in Europe.
here are some of the art pieces I liked....
The large Italian Skylight Hall....
Today the Hermitage has embarked on a major renovation. Its collection of art is in the process of being reorganized. Many of its works have become available for traveling exhibits outside the country.