Tag: Hermitage

The Golden Palaces of the Hermitage | The State Hermitage, St Petersburg Russia

2 Comments
Winter Palace at night

 

The State Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s great treasures, both for its palaces and for its magnificent art collection, the world’s largest.  In the next post will be about the art. 

The exterior of the Winter Palace, a green and white 3 story building, is full of sculptures, vases and Corinthian columns.  When you enter are greeted by this magnificent staircase.

Staircase of the Winter Palace
Staircase of the Winter Palace

 

The palaces were built for various Russian czars and are the rival of Versailles.  This Winter Palace has 1786 doors, 1945 windows, 117 staircases and 1057 lavishly decorated rooms.

 

The Chapel, Hermitage
The Chapel, Hermitage

You make your way around the Winter Palace with the aid of a well designed map, which helps a great deal but you have to bear in mind that the palaces were not built with tourists in mind, so you can still have a hard time finding what you are looking for if you are not skilled at map reading.  I found that the guards could get you pointed in the right direction, despite not speaking much if any English, nor I any Russian beyond vodka and nyet.

White and gold room, Hermitage
White and gold room, Hermitage

These gold leaf columns knock you down with their luster.

Hall

 

 

There are many wonderful of caryatids, many of them in gold leaf.  

 

 

The Winter Palace throne room
The Winter Palace throne room
library
library

The ceilings are magnificent as well. 

The photos in this post come from the Winter Palace.  There are 6 others open to the public.  They are the Old Hermitage, The New Hermitage, the Small Hermitage, the Hermitage Theater, and the most recent additions, the General Staff Building and the

Winter Palace, Hermitage, St Petersburg Russia

 

In 1731 Empress Anna Ioannovna commissioned Rastrelli, the court architect, later the famous master of late baroque to build the Winter Palace.  He completed it in 1735.  Seventeen years later Empress Elizaveta Petrovna hired him to expand the building.  However he decided to start over.  The new plans were approved in 1754.  The building was finished in 1764 under Catherine.  

The Winter Palace
The Winter Palace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Palace at night
Winter Palace at night- which I have not seen at this time yet!

A brief glimpse of St Petersburg

2 Comments
Typical dress and architecture

September 8, 2017

On our first full day in St. Petersburg, after an effortless 3.5 hour train ride from Helsinki, we took trolley 3 from the Metro Pushkinskaya area to Lenin Square.  This trolley takes you through some of the most attractive areas of St Petersburg.  Being on the trolley makes photography difficult as many of the interesting structures go by quickly or are too far away.  I got a couple of snaps from my phone, though, to give you some sense of what it’s like. You’ll notice they seem to love golden domes and spires. 

The River Neva

 

Being on the tram did not make people watching difficult at all, although you could be almost anywhere in the US or Europe judging by appearance and dress.  I’ve seen several women with striking long black hair, faces as white as snow and dressed for a night on the town. Otherwise it’s very much like what you see in the photo, which I grabbed off the public domain to avoid taking photos of people on the tram.

Typical dress and architecture
Typical dress and architecture

Other than the domes the architecture is generally pretty similar.  The vehicles include many of the same brands you see anywhere in the US or Europe.  The city is often described as being the most European of Russia’s cities, entirely justified as far as I can tell so far.  

We stopped for lunch at a kind of bakery that made pies- meat, chicken, fish, mushroom, berry. Very good and very Russian.

Russian salmon pie
Russian salmon pie

 

Language is a barrier for us.  In the central part of the city most menus are translated.  This was not the case in the pie place but a waitress spoke English fairly well and served up everything with shy charm.  On our first night we ate at a posh place recommended as being very traditional by our friendly landlady.  The translations were just so so but we did get what we ordered.  In my case it was a shrimp dish with dill (everywhere here), parsley and a small portion of some cooked greens that I could not identify but enjoyed greatly.  They had Russian wine on the menu, which is almost always sweet, so we ordered some red from Spain.  It was decent and not too expensive (in Helsinki there’s nothing less than $35).  We saw also found Spanish wines in the grocery stores, not the best Spain has to offer but acceptable.  

I am enthused about being here.  This is a fabulous city known especially for the Hermitage, one of the world’s best museums= in fact it is a collection of museums in palaces built by a series of czars starting with Peter.  More to come!

Seo wordpress plugin by www.seowizard.org.
%d bloggers like this: