Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (must see)

The former residence of the Russian Royals from 1732 to 1917, the Winter Palace also served briefly as the seat of the Provisional Government between the two revolutions of February and October 1917.

As the government led by Alexander Kerensky eventually failed and was accused of wishing to "surrender Petrograd to the Germans”, a detachment of Red Guard soldiers and sailors stormed the building on 25 October 1917. The arrested ministers were taken to the Peter and Paul Fortress, while Kerensky himself managed to escape.

A historical reenactment of the palace storming organized by the Bolsheviks in 1920, featuring thousands of Red Guards led by Lenin, proved so impressive even to the leaders of the original event (which, ironically, took place via open back door guarded by the wounded and disabled reserves), that it was later depicted in the Soviet propaganda art as an iconic symbol of the Russian Revolution.

After the Bolsheviks moved the capital to Moscow, the palace became part of the Hermitage Museum complex. The State Hermitage is one of the oldest museums in the world. Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, it has been open to the public since 1852. The collection accounts for more than three million exhibits, of which only a small part is on permanent display (350 rooms!). The world's largest gathering of masterpieces by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, El Greco, Monet, Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh is what makes the Hermitage a prime attraction.

Why You Should Visit:
The Pride of St. Petersburg! A humbling experience even for avid museum goers.
Absolutely gorgeous against the backdrop of winter snow.

You must buy a ticket to take video or photographs.
The entrance fee for foreigners is higher than for the locals. Free for all on the first Thursday of a month and daily for all students and children.
Make sure to arrive at the opening time of 10:30 to beat the crowds.
Book online on the official website and take a printed ticket with you, or get a general admission ticket from a ticket machine in the main courtyard.
The on-site café is crowded and overpriced, so have a hearty breakfast and bring a bottle of water.
A 3-hour guided tour visits all the must-sees. An audio-guide is vital if you are on your own.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in St. Petersburg. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum on Map

Sight Name: Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum
Sight Location: St. Petersburg, Russia (See walking tours in St. Petersburg)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in St. Petersburg, Russia

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

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