Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trip to St Petersburg: The Hermitage

Continuing my posts about St Petersburg, here is another one. This time a few pictures from The Hermitage Museum.

Gates of the Winter Palace - ornate and beautiful. There is something very lace-like about cast iron. 

You enter the state rooms by way of the Grand Staircase. Every inch of it is decorated and it can seem pretty overwhelming at first. They don't call it 'grand' for nothing.     

If you don't care for gold and marble, you shouldn't bother with the Winter Palace. If this type of slender and magnificence isn't your thing, it may seem a bit much.     

The ballroom is quite a sight. The picture doesn't do it justice. The right side of the room is all windows, separated by gilded columns. On the other side are mirrors mimicking the windows in shape and size and reflecting light back into the ball room. Add to that a few magnificent chandeliers and a gilded balcony railing, and I imagine dancing in such a place would be quite a treat.

The mosaic floor in the Peacock clock room. The detail is absolutely amazing.   

This fountain with marble basin and levels of marble shells can be found in the same room. It's a little to the side and feels very random. Almost like someone though, "hey, you know what would make this room even better? A little seashell fountain in that corner over there."  

Nicolas II's library is done up in neo-gothic style. It is made completely out of wood with a large marble fireplace dominating the scene. They say there is a secret passage that leads from  the library to the inner gardens of the palace.

The marble fireplace in the Nicolas II's library. 

While the state rooms may look gaudy with the excess of ornaments and gold, the private rooms have a decidedly down to earth look and feel about them. This little room with a bassinet looks very cozy.     

Art Nouveau was called  "Modern" in Russia and while the movement was mostly cut short by WWI and the Revolution, there are still a few beautiful pieces around, like this display cabinet.   

I didn't take any pictures of the artwork - it seemed a little redundant - but this little statue of a beggar Cupid concealed by a veil was too good to pass. 

And thus concludes my gallery of St  Petersburg. As I will be visiting Moscow soon, I'm going to try and post a few pictures from that trip. 

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