St Petersburg Art Tour
There can be few cities in the World that rival the wonderful collection of art in the Hermitage Museum
School Art Trip To St Petersburg
St Petersburg is one of the World's great cities for art and this is demonstrated in grandiose fashion at the incomparable Hermitage Museum, founded by the Empress Catherine the Great in 1764. In terms of size it is second only to the Louvre and the collection is so large that a new state of the art wing in the General Staff Building was opened in 2014 specifically to house the extensive Impressionist collection. But St. Petersburg is more than just the Hermitage and you should not miss the superb collection at the Russian Museum, nor the priceless Imperial eggs in the Fabergé Museum. Modern and contemporary art is in demand among Russia's wealthy and this can be seen at the cutting edge Erarta Museum while outside the city St. Catherine's Palace, designed in the late baroque rococo style by the renowned Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli should not be missed.
The itinerary featured here is intended to give you inspiration and an idea of what you could do on your tour. Your trip will be created individually by one of our travel advisors to match your requirements and budget.
Flight to St Petersburg, Alexander Nevsky Monastery
Flight to St Petersburg: Your guide will meet you on arrival and you transfer by private coach into the city centre and your hotel accommodation:
Alexander Nevsky Monastery: On your way into the city you stop at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. Founded by Peter the Great in 1710 just seven years after the founding of Petersburg, the new church was named for Alexander Nevsky – considered a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church – whose remains were brought to the church from the city of Vladimir. One of the major attractions is the monastery’s cemetery, the final resting place of many of the great names of Russian music including Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Glinka. The writer Dostoevsky also lies here.
Hermitage General Staff Building and Yusupov Palace
Hermitage General Staff Building: This morning you visit the General Staff Building of the Hermitage Museum. This is its modern wing, situated in a nineteenth century neo-classical building which has been remodelled extensively to house a huge collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. The museum has a fantastic collection of the leading exponents of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Monet, Degas, Matisse, Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso & Renoir.
Yusupov Palace: In the afternoon you visit the Yusupov Palace, one of the most beautiful private palaces in St. Petersburg. It formerly belonged to the Yusupov family who were art collectors and the palace displays some of the paintings which were once part of the family collection. Generations of the Yusupovs served the Russian Tsars dating back as far as the 15th century but it is for one event at the beginning of the 20th century that their name will forever be remembered. The last owner of the Palace, Felix Yusupov, is famous for taking part in the murder of Grigory Rasputin, the confidant of the Tsarina. You will visit the actual rooms where the murder of Rasputin took place, and where you can see the wax figures of the members of the plot and Rasputin himself.
Russian Museum and Catherine Palace
Russian Museum: This morning you visit the Russian Museum, one of the largest art museums in the World. The main collection is housed in the neo-classical Mikhailovsky Palace located on Arts Square just off Nevsky Prospect. The museum houses a permanent exhibition tracing the entire history of Russian art from the tenth to the twenty-first centuries. Of particular interest is the Benois Wing which contains the museum’s collection of twentieth century works including the avant-garde. Some of the most famous works include the Black Square by Kazimir Malevich and The Walk by Marc Chagall.
Catherine Palace: After lunch you travel to Pushkin to see the Catherine Palace which owes its awesome grandeur to Catherine the Great’s daughter, the Empress Elizabeth, whose architect Rastrelli completely redesigned the building on a scale to rival Versailles. The main highlight of the palace is the world-famous Amber Room whose walls are adorned with huge amber panels, each lined with irregular pieces of different shades and made in the mosaic Florentine style.
Hermitage and Erarta
Hermitage: This morning you visit the Hermitage Museum, one of the most important art museums in the World. Founded by Catherine the Great, it has been a public museum since the mid nineteenth century. Its collections include works from classical antiquity through to Renaissance art and Dutch Masters. Some of the highlights include the fabulous Malachite Room and the elaborate Peacock Clock which was made by the English clockmaker James Cox for Catherine the Great.
Erarta: This afternoon you visit Erarta, the largest collection of contemporary art in Russia. The museum presents innovative exhibitions including about 2000 works by modern artists. The collection also includes graphics, sculpture, installations, and other types of modern fine arts. Part of the building consists of a museum while there is also a gallery with regular exhibitions of works for sale.
Faberge Museum, Flight Home
Faberge Museum: This morning you visit the elegant Shuvalov Palace which houses the Carl Fabergé Museum, an incredible collection of Fabergé eggs and rarities which offers an unprecedented exploration of Russian fine art. The first of the Fabergé eggs, commissioned by Tsar Alexander III for Easter Day 1885 stared the imperial family’s love affair with these exquisite objects. The Tsar’s son, Nicholas II, ensured the tradition lived on and new eggs were created every year, each more elaborate than its predecessor.
Flight Home: After lunch you transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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