For 150 years, the palace was the ceremonial imperial residence. In November 1917, it was declared a museum. The expositions located in the palace represent ceremonial halls and apartments, collections of antiquities of Eurasia and the East, as well as collections of paintings, sculptures and decorative and applied art of Europe and the East. 

 Source https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQkXs-5n3awzvGOSvxRsOzw


The movie shows one of the most interesting mechanical bureaus of the 18th century from the Hermitage collection. The Large Bureau (known as the Apollo Bureau) was created by the atelier of the renowned European furniture maker David Roentgen. The tridimentional computer model used in the program shows the working of the bureau's secret mechanisms. Catherine II's Parisian correspondent, Baron Melchior Grimm, who kept the Empress abreast of political and cultural events in the French capital, regularly informed her of how work was progressing on the unusual bureau being made in Roentgen's workshop in Neuwied on the Rhine. Catherine looked forward with eager anticipation to adding it to her collection.

 Source Source https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQkXs-5n3awzvGOSvxRsOzw


In 1763 Catherine II tasked Yury Veldten with producing a design for a Hanging Garden. The garden was laid out in keeping with the classic rules for a regular park with paths to stroll on, neatly trimmed trees, parterres of flowerbeds, lawns and sculptures. In the 1770s the appearance of the garden changed. A flower garden was laid out in the centre, while six-metre birch trees were planted along the edges. In the 1840s, in the course of Vasily Stasov’s reconstruction of the Small Hermitage, changes were also made to the look of the garden. The central flower garden disappeared, with flowerbeds being left along each side. Blossoming trees were planted in such a way that the garden changed its colouring every month. 

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The Winter Palace of Peter the Great is a unique architectural monument of the first quarter of the 18th century. The official residence of Peter I was located on the territory now occupied by the Hermitage Theatre. In the part of the palace which has been preserved, there is a memorial exhibition dedicated to Peter the Great and his time. In his rooms - the study, the dining room and the turnery - decoration has been recreated using genuine items that belonged to the Emperor. So-called 'Wax effigy,' a posthumous sculptural portrait of Peter I, has been also put on display. 

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The Hermitage Theatre is one of the oldest in St. Petersburg and in Russia. It was constructed by the architect by order of Catherine the Great in 1783-1789 on the site of the former Winter Palace of Peter the Great. The auditorium of the theatre was constructed to be similar to one of antiquity: semi-circular rows of seats rise from the stage of the amphitheatre. The walls and colonnades are decorated in coloured, artificial marble. Sculptures of Apollo and the nine muses are located in alcoves and beneath them are bas-reliefs with portraits of famous musicians and poets.

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