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Digital Collection Children & Education Hermitage History Exhibitions Collection Highlights Information


In 1993 the East wing of the General Staff Building was given to the State Hermitage to house new exhibitions of the Museum. The majestic building (1820-1830) designed by the outstanding architect of Russian Classicism Carlo Rossi completed the ensemble of the Palace Square. Being situated opposite the magnificent baroque residence of the royal family the Winter Palace (Rastrelli, 1754-1762) this classically austere construction of the General Staff occupies grand space from Nevsky prospect to the bend of the Moika river. The lines of the facade of two semi-circular wings smoothly outline the southern border of the square. The wings are connected with a triumphal arch decorated with a sculptural composition - the Chariot of Glory.

The western wing of the building was used by the Department for Foreign Affairs and Department of Finance. Its first host was Count Karl Vasilievich (Karl Robert) Nesselrode (1780-1862) who was vice-chancellor of the Russian Empire since 1828 and chancellor from 1845 till 1856. Carlo Rossi designed decor of the gala rooms of the Department for Foreign Affairs, its offices and private appartments for the minister and his wife. Prince Alexander Michailovich Gorchakov who succeeded to Nesselrohde in 1856 and other successors on the post preserved the original architecture and decoration of the Ministry.

Some exhibitions of the Hermitage are displayed in the authentic interiors: "Realms of the Eagle. The Art of Empire Style", "French Art of 20th Century. Pierre Bonnard and Maurice Denis" and "Art Nouveau" as well as "Museum of the Guards". The exhibition "Russian Foreign Ministry. Petersburgian Epoch: 1802-1917" is opened in the restored historical rooms, the so-called Official Gallery of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The Arch of the General Staff Building

The View on the East Wing of the Building


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