The Winter Palace
The Winter Palace, built by the Florentine architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli from 1754 to 1762 by order of Elizabeth I, was the fourth palace built on this site. Rastrelli's Russian Baroque masterpiece, decorated in pale green, white and gold, was the main residence of the tsars until the assassination of Nicholas II in 1917.
Tsarina Catherine II had the Hermitage built as an annex to the Winter Palace, a place where she could retire. This became one of the most beautiful art collections in the world, which occupies a large part of the Winter Palace.
To see all the exhibits in 400 Ermitage halls, one would have to travel 22 km. If you want to look at each work of art for even one minute - 8 hours a day - you would need 15 years.
I have picked out a single picture "Danae" by Titian, searched for parallel works and described the mythological background - see what came out and click on "Danae".
The staircase is full of tourists taking pictures.
One of the most photographed objects is Leonardo Da Vinci's Madonna Litta. It is behind glass and therefore very difficult to photograph.
Unless you use some magic.
You can turn off the magic again.
This is how it looks in one of the many säle in the image gallery.
As an Austrian, one looks in amazement at Emperor Franz I. His picture (Vienna can be seen in the background) is here in the Commander's Gallery because he supported Tsar Alexander I.
Rembrandt's painting of the Return of the Prodigal Son is eagerly photographed. It's a new way of visiting museums. In the museum, you don't have time to look at the pictures, so you look at them at home in peace and then delete them again because, unfortunately, they turned out to be nothing.
The Hermitage, the Winter Palace of the Tsars, seen from the Neva River
See also http://www.hermitage.ru/