The Hermitage Museum is the largest Museum in the world. It is situated in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is one of the most famous art museums in the world and positively the main tourist attraction of St. Peters burg. The museum was established in 1764 when Catherine the Great purchased a collection of 255 paintings from the German city of Berlin. The central building of the Hermitage Museum is the Winter Palace, which was once the main residence of the Russian Tsars. This green-and-white three-storey palace is located on the bank of the Neva River. It is a miracle of Baroque architecture and features 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows and 1,057 elegantly and lavishly decorated halls and rooms, many of which are open to the public. The Baroque Winter Palace was built between 1754 and 1762 and its first inhabitant was none other than the celebrated Catherine the Great. The museum has been open to the public since 1852.
The Hermitage Museum consists of nearly three million items, including the largest compilation of paintings in the world. The collections engage a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. The Hermitage Museum exhibits and displays a diverse range of art and artifacts from all over the world and from throughout history. The Hermitage’s collections include works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, a unique collection of Rembrandts and Rubens, many French Impressionist works by Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Monet and Pissarro, numerous canvasses by Van Gogh, Matisse, Gaugin and several sculptures by Rodin. The collection is both enormous and diverse and is an essential stop for all those interested in art and history.