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Entries / Hermitage Buildings (entry)

Hermitage Buildings (entry)

Categories / Science. Education/Museums
Categories / Architecture/Architectural Monuments/Public Buildings and Edifices

HERMITAGE BUILDINGS. Hermitages were compulsory for all large court estates such as Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo built as detached pavilions for confidential meetings from the early 18th century. Empress Catherine II applied the term to her salon inside the Winter Palace, which from 1764 was attended only by special invitation. The Small Hermitage was built at 36 Dvortsovaya Embankment / 37 Millionnaya Street in several stages, thus, making it difficult to determine the author. One version is that the building was designed by architect J. B. Vallin de la Mothe but the construction itself was conducted by Y. M. Felten. A hanging garden was built on arches in 1764-65. To the south of the garden, a two-storied residential pavilion was erected for Count G. G. Orlov in 1766 with the facade looking on Millionnaya Street. To the north, a greenhouse was built from 1767 with the facade looking onto the Neva, the Early Classicist style and decorative elements, though more austere, harmonising well with the nearby Winter Palace. The so-called hermitage assemblies were held in the pavilion from February 1769. Long galleries were built to house Empress Catherine II's art collection in 1767-75 connecting the southern building and the northern building of the Small Hermitage. Both the buildings were reconstructed with one floor built by architect V. P. Stasov on the southern building in 1840-43 and an impressive Pavilion Hall erected by architect A. I. Stakenschneider in the northern building in 1851-58. The Great (Old) Hermitage was designed by Y. M. Felten at 34 Dvortsovaya Embankment. Its austere facade is enlivened with F. G. Gordeev's bas-reliefs and lion masks sculptured on the keystones. The first part of the building was erected in 1770-76 and extended as far as Winter Canal in 1784. Rafael Loggias were built to a design by G. Quarenghi along Winter Canal in 1787-92 with copies of Rafael's wall-paintings in Rome reproduced in a gallery on the second floor by Ch. Unterberger in 1778-83. Emperor Peter the Great's Third Winter Palace was replaced by the Hermitage Theatre designed by architect Quarenghi in 1783-87. Its austere facade with a loggia and sculptures of Greek poets and playwrights harmonises well with the passage over Winter Canal, the passage arch erected by Felten at the same time as the theatre. The lower floor of the Great Hermitage accommodated the State Assembly and Cabinet of Ministers in the 19th century. The upper floor was half residential, so the interior was reconstructed by architect A. I. Stakenschneider in 1851-60. The building of loggias was dismantled and rebuilt in 1839-49 in order to build the New Hermitage at 35 Millionnaya Street. The building was specially designed as a museum by Bavarian architect L. von Klenze in 1839-40, who used the similar interior solution as in his Alte Pinakothek (Old Picture Gallery) in Munich. The construction was overseen by architect V. P. Stasov from 1842 and N. E. Efimov in 1848-51. The opening was held on 5 February 1852. The New Hermitage is characterised by a wide variety of solutions and high-quality finishing of the halls that were specially intended for certain pieces of art, as well as usage of valuable jewels, Ural semiprecious stones, and numerous sculptures. The portico with Atlantes is a peculiarity symbolising the Hermitage, the ten figures carved out of Karelian granite modelled on A. I. Terebenev's sculpture by 150 craftsmen from G. A. Balushkin's artel. After they accommodated museum expositions, the Hermitage Buildings were reconstructed by architect A. V. Sivkov in 1920-30s. During the siege of 1941-44, the Hermitage was hit by 30 shells and two aircraft bombs. The buildings were restored after the war. A part of the General Staff was handed over to the State Hermitage in 1989. See pictures on page 977.

References: Эрмитаж: История и архитектура зданий. Л., 1974.

Y. M. Piryutko.

Balushkin G.A.
Catherine II, Empress
Efimov Nikolay Efimovich
Felten Yury (Georg Friedrich) Matveevich
Gordeev A.G.
Klenze Leo von
Orlov Grigory Grigorievich, Count
Peter I, Emperor
Quarenghi Giacomo
Raphael Santi
Sivkov A.V.
Stakensсhneider Andrey Ivanovich
Stasov Vasily Petrovich
Terebenev Alexander Ivanovich
Unterberger Christophor (Christoph)
Vallin de la Mothe Jean Baptiste Michel

Dvortsovaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 34
Dvortsovaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 36
Millionnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city
Millionnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 35
Millionnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 37

Эрмитаж: История и архитектура зданий. Л., 1974

The subject Index
Winter Palace
State Assembly
General Staff Building
Hermitage Theatre


Dvortsovaya Embankment

DVORTSOVAYA EMBANKMENT (Palace Embankment), called Verkhnaya Naberezhnaya Street or First Verkhnaya Embankment beginning in 1738; in the 1740s-90s, it was known as Millionnaya Embankment; from 1923 to 1944 it was called Devyatogo Yanvarya Embankment

Hermitage Theatre

HERMITAGE THEATRE at 32 Dvortsovaya Embankment is a monument of 18th century architecture, is part of the complex of Hermitage buildings. It is the only 18th century theatre hall preserved in St. Petersburg

Klenze Leo von (1784-1864), architect

KLENZE LEO VON (1784-1864), Bavarian architect, artist, theorist and historian of architecture, master of Eclecticism, concentrated on the Classic and Renaissance styles, Associate Member of the Academy of Fine Arts (1834)

Stakensсhneider А.I. (1802-1865), architect

STAKENSCHNEIDER Andrey Ivanovich (1802-1865), architect and graphic artist (draughtsman), full privy counsellor (1858). Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts (1821); from 1834, associate academy member, honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts