Bypassing possible long lines outside the museum, you enter the Winter palace, the former winter residence of the Romanov family in St.Petersburg (since 1762 till 1917) passing through magnificent ceremonial and private rooms of the great historical importance: the Armorial hall - all in gold, Nikolayevsky hall - mere 1100 sq m, Great Throne hall that witnessed main official receptions of the Russian emperors, Malachite room where Nichols II signed the decree announcing war to Germany in 1914, rooms of Alexander II and his wife featuring richness of mid-nineteenth century. Historical furniture, porcelain, tapestries lavishly decorate these rooms. In the picture galleries, you will have a chance to see productions of great old masters - Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Giorgione, Titian, Canaletto, Tiepolo, Murillo, El Greco, Velasquez, Rembrandt, Hals, Rubens, Van Dyck, Gainsborough. In the ground floor you will see some magnificent antique cameos, intaglias and ancient Greek jewellery pieces featuring their inimitable microtechniques. Having crossed Palace square, at the recently transformed General Staff complex you will see one of the richest Impressionist collections in the world.
The State Hermitage Museum
Andrey Vereshhagin- Private Guide in St. Petersburg