Visit the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
The Hermitage is the largest museum in Russia and has one of the largest art collections in the world. Moreover, the museum complex is located in five buildings. To see all its attractions and not get lost in the endless halls of the palace, we recommend you book a guided tour with Free Tour Russia
What to see at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg:
The Hermitage is full of treasures. Among the many paintings and historical objects, the museum keeps its secrets and myths
The bloodthirsty goddess Sekhmet
One of the most sinister exhibits of the Hermitage is the statue of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. They say that once a year, on a full moon on the knees of the figure, a bloody puddle appears. Only the guard of the museum can see it in the morning when the liquid normally dries up. According to another version, the puddle does not appear every year, but only on the eve of major problems and disorders. In general, Sekhmet, the goddess of blood and severity, patronized the war and the scorching sun. According to the myth, she wanted to destroy the human race, but other gods prevented her. They poured the red wine, which Sekhmet took for blood and began to drink it avidly, after which she became intoxicated and fell asleep.
In the Egyptian room of the Hermitage, there is a mummy of the Pas-de-Ist priest, a unique exposed object, which is more than three thousand years old. In 2004, an administrator said that the mummy comes alive. According to her, the mummy’s muscle suddenly began to contract in the priest’s left shoulder, and then a growth the size of a walnut appeared. A few days later the growth disappeared, and the mummy has not moved again.
The mystery of the Peacock watch
The clock “Peacock” is one of the most famous masterpieces of the Hermitage, thousands of tourists from around the world come to see it. In the year 1777, Prince Grigory Potemkin bought the watch to make a gift for Empress Catherine II. But the surprise was not successful: the watch suffered serious damage during the transport and arrived at the palace in an inoperative condition. The prince ordered the reconstruction of the clock to the ingenious Russian master Ivan Kulibin. Ivan dismantled the clock, understood its device, repaired it and put it back together, adding some details. The animated “Peacock” made a furor in the court. When the watch was winding up, the bird stretched its tail, turned its back on the audience, stood still for a moment and returned to its original position. According to one version, with this gesture, Kulibin wanted to express his attitude towards the ruling house.
Underground passages under the Hermitage
According to legend, under the Hermitage, there are many underground passages that connect the palace with other places. It is believed that one of them goes to the mansion of Matilda Kshesinskaya, the dancer of the Mariinsky Theater, known for her romantic relations with men of the royal family. Another secret passage begins behind the throne in the Small Throne Room and connects the Hermitage with the General Staff. According to legend, before death, each emperor saw the shadow of his predecessor, emerging from behind the throne.
“Niki is looking at the hussar”
This story is quite real, but still incredible. Despite the revolution, the Civil War and the terrible blockade of St. Petersburg during World War II, several windows with prerevolutionary glasses survived at the Winter Palace. In one of them, next to the Malachite room, there is an inscription: “Niki is looking at the hussar”. It was made by the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, involving Emperor Nicholas II. The “graffiti” is quite hard to see, it is written quite high in the window and is covered by a curtain.
The ghost of the Emperor
The citizens of Petersburg like to tell stories about ghosts who live in almost every palace in the city. The Hermitage usually meet with members of the royal family, the most often you can see the Emperor Nicholas I. The hazy figure appears only at night and clearly does not want communication with “the lower class people”. However, it is not necessary for the Imperator to speak: the spirit of Nicolas I is recognized for his military and uniform bearing with epaulets. There are also stories about characters from different paintings that seem to be in our reality and are looking for a way back.
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