Sunday, July 19, 2009

"H" is for Hermitage

“H” is for Hermitage. I remember my first and only trip to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. We spent a day there and could have spent a week. I think it was the summer before 5th grade. What I recall about the museum is a somewhat skewed view of what the mega museum had to offer- I think it’s a mix of the photographs I’ve seen in family albums and what appeals to a 10 year old. I remember the dinosaur bones (who knew dinosaurs were so big?) the “Spirit of St. Louis” suspended in air, and the real Kermit the frog. Other than that I remember A LOT of walking. The Hermitage is to Russia as the Smithsonian is to the United States. Stuff. Everywhere. More stuff than you ever fathomable seeing in one day. Priceless paintings, sculptures, machines, artifacts, jewelry, costumes.
St. Petersburg is home to this giant museum and it was originally the “Winter Palace” to five generations of Czars. Catherine II’s acquisitions were the first contributions to the museum in the 1750’s. Bigger buildings were added, and added, and added as the collections grew. In 1837 a fire nearly destroyed it, in 1914 it was transformed into a war hospital for wounded World War I soldiers, during World War II priceless pieces were moved from place to place in an effort to preserve them. Czars were executed, palaces ransacked, however, the treasures, like a testimony of the perseverance of the Russian people remains to this day.
In 1997 a small planet in our galaxy (No. 4758 to be exact) was named after it. You can swim in the Hermitage Bay off the coast of Antigua, visit your kin folk in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, tour the Hermitage in Nashville Tennessee (a.k.a. the birthplace of Andrew Jackson), or see a branch of the Hermitage exhibits in Las Vegas after you try your luck at Roulette. (Not Russian Roulette).
Since many of us will never get an opportunity to see its treasures, you can take a virtual tour at . Be prepared to click and click and click to narrow down what you want to look at of the literal millions of items housed there. The costumes and the jewelry are my favorites! Imagine that!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Thanks for visiting our blog. It is always nice to find new PAPs to follow :). I look forward to seeing how things go for you in Pskov, and I hope that you share news of a referral SOON!!