- It was Catherine the Great who was responsible for creating the celebrated Hermitage museum within the walls of her glorious Imperial residence, the Winter Palace. At the time of her death the collection contained nearly 4,000 paintings. Today there are more than three million items making the Hermitage one of the largest and most prestigious museums in the world. Visitors can be forgiven for being unsure where to begin, coronation carriages, the Malachite Room, centuries old porcelain and antiques, Faberge, Rembrandt, Raphael, DaVinci, Michelangelo, and Van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir, Degas, and Rodin, and all that just for starters. It can take a complete day to see the highlights, but investigating every corner in each of the five linked buildings could take years.
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