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24 December 2017 / leggypeggy

Hermitage Museum includes a church

The Great Church of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg

Walking into the Great Church of the Winter Palace

Looking back at the entrance the Great Church of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg

Looking back at the entrance the Great Church of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg

The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia, is mind-boggling. So much so, that I’ve been trying to figure out how to share it all with you.

The Peacock Clock has already had its own post and now I reckon I’ll share most of the rest by room or topic—one at a time. So you can look forward to posts on the church, the artwork, the malachite room, clothing and more.

Seriously, the museum is so vast and so varied that we found it hard to take it all in. We had only two half days there (anything more gives you museum overload). So not to overload you, I’ll be interspersing the posts with other destinations.

So given that it’s Christmas, let’s start with the church with three names.

In 1753, Empress Elizabeth ordered the construction of a new Winter Palace with a single-altar church dedicated to the Resurrection of Our Lord (the first name). The list of sculptors, gilders, model makers and painters is as long as your arm—I could name them, but you wouldn’t remember them—and included Russians, Italian and French craftsmen. 

Oh wow, did they do amazing work. The church was consecrated in 1762, after Elizabeth had died. Pity she never saw the finished product.

The following year, Empress Catherine the Great ordered that the icon of Christ the Saviour on the Sudarium be moved from Moscow to the new Winter Palace. After that, the church was re-consecrated in the name of—are you ready for it—the Image of the Saviour Not Made by Hands (second name).

It acquired its third name—Court Cathedral—in 1807.

Thirty years later fire struck. The palace and church were greatly damaged in 1837, but some important items were saved.

In the last five years, the church has undergone massive restorations to recreate the original design of the Court Cathedral. To that end, many of the saved items—the icons, candelabra, lamps, pulpit, lamps and the altar canopy—have been returned to their original places.

As for us, we entered and just stood in awe of the amazing work and the amount of gold. We spent about 20 minutes in this room alone, so you can see why a day or two is not enough to see the Hermitage. 

Wishing everyone happy holidays
People from all over the world visit my blog, and I appreciate you all. Regardless of what you do or don’t celebrate or believe, I hope your days ahead are filled with joy, and that 2018 is a rewarding year for you.

Pulpit, Great Church of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg

The pulpit


Leave a Comment
  1. Kelly MacKay / Dec 25 2017 12:02 am

    Lovely post, I want to go see this and seasons greeting to you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 12:08 pm

      Thanks so much. Happy Holidays to you and yours too.


  2. beetleypete / Dec 25 2017 12:11 am

    Another lovely series of shots, Peggy.
    And suitably seasonal too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. magarisa / Dec 25 2017 12:18 am

    Sounds like an incredible place! Happy holidays and a great new year, Peggy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 12:10 pm

      Thanks so much. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic 2018.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Valentina / Dec 25 2017 12:29 am

    omg!That’s on my bucket list 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 12:10 pm

      It’s a great addition to anyone’s bucket list.


  5. Heather Sjoberg / Dec 25 2017 12:33 am

    A favourite of mine! Gotta go back though – one visit was entirely inadequate!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ksbeth / Dec 25 2017 2:04 am


    Liked by 2 people

  7. manningtreearchive / Dec 25 2017 2:09 am

    Happy holidays.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. ralietravels / Dec 25 2017 2:38 am

    Wishing you, John and your entire family all the best during this season and in the new year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 4:04 pm

      Thanks so much. Wishing you and yours the same.


  9. sidilbradipo1 / Dec 25 2017 3:03 am

    Stunning Church, stunning Hermitage!
    Wishing you and Poor John a wonderful Christmas Holiday ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Dreamtemples / Dec 25 2017 4:28 am

    So beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. wineandhistory / Dec 25 2017 7:08 am

    That room is stunning! And now I want to go there, if only to see the Peacock clock and this room! Merry Christmas, and I hope you have a wonderful year as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 4:52 pm

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a fantastic new year. Maybe you’ll get to the Hermitage!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Murray Foote / Dec 25 2017 9:20 am

    I think you’re trying to tell me that half an hour might not be enough to wizz around and see all the sights of St Petersburg.

    Happy Xmas to you and John from Jools and me!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 4:52 pm

      Half a week might not be enough. Merry Christmas to you and Jools.


  13. Alison and Don / Dec 25 2017 10:03 am

    I can imagine the awe you felt just from looking at your photos Peggy. Happy and joyous solstice time and may the new year bring all you could wish for.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 4:54 pm

      It really takes your breath away when you walk into a room like this. Wishing you both a wonderful holiday season and a rewarding new year.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. koolkosherkitchen / Dec 25 2017 11:28 am

    Hermitage also holds the second largest Rembrandt collection in the world, after the one in Amsterdam, and one of the largest Impressionist and Post-impressionist collections which had not been shown to public during the communist regime.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 4:56 pm

      The Hermitage’s art collection is breathtaking. We felt so lucky to be able to see all that we did.

      Liked by 1 person

      • koolkosherkitchen / Dec 26 2017 11:22 am

        I am very happy for you and Poor John, Peggy! It is one of the world richest repositories of art, besides being a marvel of architecture and design. Happy Holidays!

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 28 2017 5:05 pm

        Happy Holidays to you too!


  15. Brian Lageose / Dec 25 2017 12:10 pm

    Merry Happy Everything to You and Yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Sy S. / Dec 25 2017 1:10 pm

    Wishing you PegZ and Poor John, your family and everyone taking the time to visit and post in your blog… a wonderful holiday season. And a Happy and Healthy New Year 2018! Got to run, cause Santa will be here in NYC in three hours and I have to go out (I live in an apartment building) and find a parking spot for his reindeer! If he double parks his sled and reindeer, they might be towed away… and a hefty fine.

    Sy S.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 6:37 pm

      You are too funny Sy. I can just imagine you out there directing traffic. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a brilliant new year. Pat the reindeers for me.


  17. Phil Huston / Dec 25 2017 1:31 pm

    Wow. The Byzantine icons in 3D relief! The entire place is amazing. I’d go to confession if that that half round room with the red curtains was a confessional. Incredible and breathtaking as always. Thank you! And Merry Christmas down under.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 5:06 pm

      Merry Christmas to you too Phil. Yep, even the confessional is flashy!


  18. kvivekhyd / Dec 25 2017 1:45 pm

    Merry Christmas and a very Happy, Joyful and Prosperous New Year to you, your family and friends! Thanks for providing us with so much information and such beautiful pictures from all corners of the world. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 5:07 pm

      You are most welcome. I really appreciate your visits and comments. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a new year that is rewarding in every way.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Gilles Labruyère / Dec 25 2017 6:39 pm

    Many thanks, LeggyPeggy, and a lovely Merry Christmas to you as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. thewonderer86 / Dec 25 2017 8:54 pm

    Beautiful. It’s more than beautiful, but I can’t find the words! Have great holidays.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 10:27 pm

      It is more than beautiful. Even the pictures can’t show all the magnificence. Hope your holidays are great too.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Please Another Make up by lellaj1005 / Dec 25 2017 8:55 pm

    Merry christmas ^.^

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Osyth / Dec 25 2017 9:10 pm

    What a giddying post for Christmas! Those icons, the gold, the painted ceiling. I will get back to Saint Petersburg one day and it will not be such a flying visit that I have to forego the Hermitage simply because we knew we couldn’t begin to do it justice. You whet my appetite all over again with each of these posts dearest LP! Now to the important bit … I wish you the most magical of Christmas days full of fun and laughter and the delight that should hallmark the day and most of all I wish you a New Year full of peace and contentment and dreams you don’t even dare to dream opening their arms to you and saying ‘come inside, it’s all yours for the taking’ X

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 10:37 pm

      We keep saying we’ll meet someday. Maybe it will be in the Hermitage where we’ll spend a week scouring every corner.

      Oh, the magic and laughter of Christmas overflowed today. Libby and Daniel, the daughter and son-in-law who lived in Paris for two and a half years, have moved back to Australia. One great source of conversation and laughter was in relation to you—not at you, but with you. We talked about the French in general and the adventure you’re having as you restore the watch tower, and then reminisced about listening relentlessly to Captain Beaky in the car.

      Thanks for your wonderful wishes for the new year. I hope 2018 brings the same for you. And now I’m off to start three loaves of sourdough bread. Feeding the hordes these days and loving every minute.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth / Dec 25 2017 11:02 pm

        Now that is a VERY fine idea indeed! I’m delighted to have been part of your table-talk and I’ve just had a giggle again thinking about old Captain Beaky. And for some odd reason I have ‘The Floral Dance’ stuck in my head which was another loop repeat tape at some stage in the children’s lives. I imagine Libby and Daniel have some hilarious stories of their time in France …. Enjoy feeding the hordes – I love it when I have the opportunity and the girls always seem quite happy to let me get on with it 😉


      • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2017 11:48 pm

        I cherish every chance to feed the hordes. Libby and Daniel will be lugging home my Seville orange marmalade and onion jam when they head to Sydney on the 30th. They have plenty of hilarious stories from France. Maybe I can weave some into the blog.

        The bread is underway. Need to stir one loaf two more times tonight (15 minutes apart), then off to bed. All three loaves can heave and bubble overnight.

        Just in case, I’m not going to listen to ‘The Floral Dance’ until tomorrow. No need to go to bed with a new earworm.

        Enjoy the rest of your day.


  23. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Dec 26 2017 9:32 am

    I’ve read often that the Hermitage is one of the world’s great museums though not as well known as some others. I think traveling to Russia is still hard for many people and as you note, the museum is enormous. Thank you for this wonderful tour, and Happy Holidays to you, Intrepid Wanderer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 26 2017 10:44 am

      Thanks so much. Hope your holidays are happy. The Hermitage is a fabulous museum and worth as much time as you can give it. We found the travel in Russia to be reasonably straightforward. A few quirks, but nothing difficult. Appreciate you travelling along with us.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Oz's Travels / Dec 26 2017 9:36 am

    Can’t wait to visit the Hermitage! Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Green Global Trek / Dec 26 2017 1:14 pm

    Very dramatic stuff! Hmmm Interesting it must be to be in Russia during current strange tines.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 26 2017 10:35 pm

      Yes, very interesting to see Russia in these times.


  26. Gilda Baxter / Dec 26 2017 7:02 pm

    Amazing place…very beautiful. Thanks for sharing😄

    Liked by 2 people

  27. jeanleesworld / Dec 26 2017 10:26 pm

    I’d lose myself here for ages, too. What a place to lose oneself in!
    I hope you had a most blessed Christmas to you and Poor John. Now I can wish you a Happy New Year, too! 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 26 2017 10:39 pm

      A wonderful place to lose oneself. I’ll be back in a heartbeat.

      Wishing you the most wonderful of holidays from Christmas to New Year and beyond! May the year 2018 be good to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeanleesworld / Dec 27 2017 1:32 am

        And thank you! I hope to share some good news for 2018 soon. 🙂 xxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  28. robauz / Dec 27 2017 2:54 pm

    Thank you. It’s interesting that even though the style of the room is not to my taste, utterly over the top and flamboyant, yet it is still somewhat restrained having a colour palate of just white and gold. Makes the gold pop all the more I think.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 27 2017 4:58 pm

      That’s an excellent point. The limited colour palate does provide some restraint. It’s not my style of room either, but gosh it’s amazing.


  29. Steph McCoy / Dec 29 2017 2:03 am


    Liked by 2 people

  30. Alexander Lautsyus / Dec 29 2017 8:14 am

    Lovely post! Reminded me my experience to visit it. It was long time ago I’ve been to St. Petersburg many times and stayed there for a long time. I had an opportunity to visit Hermitage numerous times. It is huge and it was really nice to come there to see one or two places at a time. It wasn’t so exhausting and easy to remember and absorb whatever you’ve seen. I am glad you made this trip and wrote these nice articles. Thank you. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 29 2017 1:04 pm

      Thanks so much. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Happy New Year to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Karen / Jan 3 2018 3:42 am

    The Hermitage has been on my bucket list for years so I’m really going to enjoy your posts. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jan 3 2018 8:45 am

      Delighted to have you join in. I think I’ll post certain rooms and then some extras.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Cynthia Severson / Feb 14 2018 1:00 am

    Enjoyed all of photographs, nice collection !!!

    Liked by 1 person

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