10 Facts of the Hermitage You Did Not Know

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The State Hermitage Museum is the most famous and most visited museum of Saint Petersburg and the second-largest art museum in the world. It is difficult to imagine a trip to Saint Petersburg without a visit to the Hermitage and here we collected the most unusual and little-known facts of this former tsar residence.

  1. The Hermitage is on the list of the top-20 most visited museums of the world and is the most popular museum in Russia after the Peterhof.
  2. The Hermitage is the legal home for more than 50 cats. This cat population traces its history from the 18th century when people needed to protect the residence from mice and rats. Today, it is believed that the Hermitage cats still take care of the masterpieces of art.
  3. The collection of the Hermitage counts approximately 3 million items preserved in 365 halls. To go through all of them, you will have to pass 24 kilometers.
  4. To get acquainted with all the showpieces of the Hermitage, you will have to spend approximately 11 years, provided you watch each item for no longer than a minute during an 8-hour daily visit.
  5. Being a very popular museum with long lines and big crowds of tourists, the Hermitage is called so after a French word, which means “Solitude”.
  6. Today the Hermitage is available for anyone and even has a monthly day of free entrance. However, it was not always like this: before the middle of the 19th century, only wealthy noblemen upon a special invitation could visit it.
  7. Among the showpieces, there are some creepy things like a real mummy of Ancient Egypt and a piece of tattooed human skin. Another unusual item is a snuffbox, which, according to some researches, became a murder weapon of the Russian Emperor Pavel the I.
  8. The Hermitage is the only museum in Russia where you can see Leonardo Da Vince's artworks.
  9. The air conditions are used in the Hermitage from the year 1912; they worked more like the air humidifiers but it was still a progressive idea of that time.
  10. The basement levels of the Hermitage were used as an air-raid shelter during World War II.

We recommend a guided tour that takes you on a route that includes all the gems of the museum and is tailored to your interests. You can go to the website for booking using the link below:

Book a guided tour to the Hermitage
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