Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Here is a map of the whole tour and how it started.

The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. It was founded in 1754 by Queen Catherine the Great, and houses a gigantic collection of over three million items. The museum has been continuously open to the public since 1852, and visitors from all over the world can enjoy the part of the collection which is on permanent display. This is the official part of my visit in the Hermitage museum.

When I went there with our Expat group, the visit had been a nightmare. There were so many people that you were squeezed and pushed through the rooms and it was impossible to admire a painting unless you had telescope like eyes. Our Russian guide was so in a hurry that she lost half of the group and the explanation she gave through the microphone into our earplugs where mostly breathless and explained things which we hadn't seen yet because there were other groups in between.

Imagine all the people from these buses at once in the museum ! All groups had pre booked entrance tickets !!

No organisation at all. They let in as many people as wanted through the entrance and they were pushed through the museum and pushed out of the exit. Instead of letting in a certain amount of visitors and let them out before receiving the next lot, there was a mess and very angry and unhappy people. I thought I take it easy. The paintings and other items in the museum I can see in other exhibitions and read and look at the paintings in a catalogue, but what I probably would never see again was the beautiful decoration of the whole palaces ! Ceilings, chandeliers, doors, furniture wall paper, parquet etc they were real artwork and as nobody seemed to notice them I took plenty of pictures and left the paintings to the crowd who all had necks like giraffes. One American lady cried and when I asked her why, she told me she was so disappointed of this visit, she hadn't seen not even a few of the paintings she wanted to see.

Well I sneaked through the rooms which were nearly empty and took my photos and here they are.

only a very modest overview of the crowd

The beautiful ceilings

Some statues. The one with the strange thing hanging on the stick was our Russian guide. Impossible to follow what she explained.

Very pretty chandeliers

Galleries and staircases

very artful parquet

The thrown

The cavaliers and horses looked so real

By miracle I saw a few old paintings, but had no time to find out who had painted them because our guide had already disappeared into another rooms and I didn't want to loose our group.

A look over the square

At least I learned something. Not to follow a group, not to listen what a guide says, go on my own, take notes, make photos and then write !

What I learned later was that in the basement of the Hermitage live 75  Hermitage cats ! They have their own staff, a vet, a kitchen and everything else what a cat needs. They take care of the mice and rats which try to live also in this basement. The cats were introduced for this "work" by Elizabeth of Russia in the early 18th century ! They are all neutred and spayed and once a year there is a cat festival at the Hermitage !

And when the visitors are gone, they sneak upstairs and patrol through the huge rooms. Unfortunately I haven't seen a single one, even for me there were too many people !

more participants here


diane b said...

What an amazing building. It is disappointing that the tours are not very well organised. Its ridiculous squashing so many people in at once.


About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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