The Furry Guards of the Hermitage Museum Essay

The Furry Guards of the Hermitage Museum Essay

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The Hermitage, also known as the Winter Palace, is an extravagantly decorated museum of monumental size that possesses numerous impressive features; ¨1,786 doors, 1,945 windows and 1,057 elegantly and lavishly decorated halls and rooms, many of which are open to the public¨ (St. Petersburg Online). It is home to millions of priceless works of art from the prehistoric Paleolithic Era and Iron Ages to modern pieces created by current artists (The State Hermitage Museum). The museum was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 when she acquired a couple hundred German pieces from Berlin. Since then, the collection has grown tremendously to almost three million pieces from all around the globe, making the Hermitage, quite possibly, St. Petersburg’s most remarkable landmark (St. Petersburg Online). ¨The experts say that if you were to spend a minute looking at each exhibit on display in the Hermitage, you would need 11 years before you’d seen them all¨, St. Petersburg Online Explains. However, art was not the first inhabitant of the Palace. Before it became a museum, the Winter Palace was home to the Russian Tsars. In 1762 the palace’s eight year construction was completed. It was built for Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great. However she died, along with the her son, Peter III, the heir to the throne, before the building was finished. Instead Peter’s wife, Catherine the Great, made use of the sumptuous palace (St. Petersburg Online). Immediately, the new tsaritza ordered that the largest, strongest cats, most suited for catching mice and rats be sent to the Winter Palace from Kazan (McGrane). The cats have been a constant presence in the palace ever since, guarding precious works of art and artifacts from destructive rode...

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...rane, Sally. "Cats of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg." The New Yorker, 25 Sept. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .
Roberts, Patrick. "Cats of the Hermitage Museum." Purr-n-Fur, 2006. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .
Rodgers, James. "Hermitage Palace Is Cat's Whiskers." BBC News. BBC, 10 May 2007. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .
The Cats of the Hermitage. NBC Olympics, 2014. Video Posted on Website.
"The State Hermitage Museum." Saint-Petersburg Online, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .
"The State Hermitage Museum." The State Hermitage Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2014. .

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