Fabergé Museum#8 in Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg
The Fabergé Museum in the Shuvalov Palace houses the world's largest collections of works by Peter Carl Fabergé, including nine of the renowned, bejeweled imperial Easter eggs for which the artist is best known. In addition to the Fabergé pieces, which had originally been collected by the prominent American entrepreneur Malcolm Forbes, the museum boasts a collection of more than 4,000 works of Russian decorative and fine arts. Fabergé, who was born in St. Petersburg, crafted his famous eggs for the last two Russian emperors, Alexander III and Nicholas II. He also made jewelry, religious objects, silverware and other items, examples of which can be seen in his eponymous museum. The 4,700-square-foot palace inside which the museum is located qualifies as a popular destination in its own right.
While the eggs may be the main attraction, visitors frequently are impressed, if not awed, by the quality and quantity of other works of art on display. Many also enthuse about the beauty of the building itself.
The museum, which sits beside the Fontanka River, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guided, one-hour tours are available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and English-language tours occur at least once a day. (Tours with French- and German-speaking guides are also offered.) Tickets for unguided tours start at 450 rubles (approximately $7); guided tours cost 700 rubles (or about $11) per person. The museum sits within a 10-minute walk of the Gostiny Dvor metro station. For more information, visit the museum's official website.
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#1 Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace
Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage Museum in 1764 as a place to house her private art collection. The main museum complex comprises six buildings, including the Winter Palace, which was the home of the czars for almost 200 years. It finally opened to the public in 1852, and since then has been one of the largest and most interesting museums in the world. It draws more than 4 million visitors each year – in fact, this museum is the main reason some travelers visit St. Petersburg in the first place. Recent travelers offered fulsome praise for both the art on display and the opulent building housing the works. For many, the only downside was the constant crowds.
Bursting at the seams with art from masters like Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso, the Hermitage demands a substantial commitment of time to see even a portion of its collection, which encompasses 3 million works of art and artifacts. Some previous visitors reported spending seven hours touring the grounds. If you plan to spend a considerable amount of time admiring the works, consider purchasing the two-day entrance ticket.
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