Visiting the Hermitage was an unforgettable experience. In the Winter palace, Imperial Russia’s grandeur is on full display. It seemed I was peering back in time to an age of conquest, power, and decadence. The variety of artwork was impressive. Di Vinci, Rembrandt, Picasso, there were even 16th century icon paintings from Muscovy. However, there is practically no work from Russian artists on display. This illustrates the fact that St. Petersburg was meant to bring Russia into modernity as a modern European capital. Our tour guide shared with us many profound insights, which made the experience much richer.
One interesting insight was to the size of the Hermitage complex. Our tour guide informed us that walking throughout the entire Hermitage at a leisurely place would take over a week. Another impressive display was that of the peacock clock, featuring a large mechanical golden peacock that could spread its wings at the stroke of the hour, although we weren’t able to see this itself for the sake of its preservation it was still astonishing. My personal favorite exhibits (William’s) were the religious artifacts such as precious icon and ivory scepters. All in all the Hermitage is one of the most impressive sights I’ve seen in my travels and it pains me that I didn’t get to see it all.