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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Take a Virtual Tour of The Hermitage Museum

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No matter how far away you are from St. Petersburg, the Hermitage State Museum is but a click away.

Russia's largest museum, the Hermitage is filled with treasures from around the world dating back as far as the Paleolithic Age, and you can take a virtual tour of it at www.hermitagemuseum.org. The site can call up some 3,000 items from the museum's 10 square kilometers of art.

The Collection Highlights section is divided up into different periods of art history -- from Ancient art through Antiquity and Ancient Rus to the treasures of Western Europe -- with each period further subdivided into more specific topics.

Clicking on a topic brings up some half a dozen works of art -- the Hermitage's most prized pieces from that period -- with brief descriptions. By clicking on an artifact, a larger photo of the piece is displayed, along with more in-depth information.

The Digital Collection section allows for more specific searches, while the Exhibitions section announces upcoming events at the museum.

There is also a section devoted to the history of the museum, which dates back to the 18th-century reign of Catherine the Great. The section also offers snapshots of the museum's interior with its ornate hallways and various chambers.

The Hermitage is not the only art treasure featured on the site. You can also take a little cyber-trip across the Neva River and visit the Menshikov Palace, where you can take a tour of the sumptuously decorated rooms that once belonged to one of Russia's most famous, and corrupt, aristocrats. The General Staff Building is also featured on the site.

The museum itself still deserves a visit, of course, and the site tells you how to get there in the Information section.