The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest artistic and cultural and historical museums in Russia and one of the largest in the world.The museum starts its history from collections of works of art which were gained by Russian empress Catherine II in private capacity. The main expositions of the State Hermitage occupy 365 halls in the main museum complex, situated in the historical centre of Saint Petersburg. It is represented by six buildings, built in XVIII-XIX centuries, the most significant one of which is the Winter Palace - the former emperor's residence. The Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage and New Hermitage represent collections of cultural and artistic monuments of Antique world, Western Europe, Russia, Eastern countries, archeological and numismatic collections. The main museum complex includes the Hermitage Theatre and Reserve House.
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