The treasure chest We enter one of the oldest and most comprehensive museums in the world, with an exceptional collection of priceless works of art and architectural wonders. It was commissioned to build by the Empress Catherine the Great, in 1764, to house her private collection and currently contains more than three million pieces. Housed in the gold and green Winter Palace, it spans five riverside outbuildings (all imposing). From labyrinthine halls and refined rooms full of artistic treasures from all eras, the museum’s roof houses everything from Egyptian antiquities to contemporary installations; works by old masters, impressionists and post-impressionists; Faberge eggs and more priceless icons than you can imagine. It’s not hard to be overwhelmed by the richness of this iconic St. Petersburg building, which sprawls luxuriously along the banks of the Neva River. It is estimated that to get to see all the works of the Hermitage (www.hermitagemuseum.org), dedicating just one minute to each one of them, would take 11 years.