Wednesday, May 17—Viking Homeland Cruise, Day 12, St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Hermitage and Winter Palace

Today marked our second day in St. Petersburg.  
In St. Petersburg, several rivers are intertwined through the city creating islands connected to the mainland.  One such island houses the Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world.

The myriad of artwork, numbered at over three million pieces, includes the largest collections of paintings in the world.  The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings including the Winter Palace which houses and displays an unbelievable collection of priceless art surpassing even the Louvre in quantity of famous art masterpieces.  Among the artists were ,Da Vinci (2 madonnas), Raphael (2 madonnas), Michelangelo (1 statue), Rembrandt—about 2 dozen paintings, Tizian, El Greco, Goya, Caravaggio, Canaletto, Impressionists – Monet, Renoir, Pisarro, Van Gogh, Matisse; Greek jewelry at the Golden treasury rooms; and Scythian jewelry at the Golden treasury rooms.  And then, the second tier of names:  Rubens, Van Dyck, Poussin, Fragonard, Canova, Sten, Metsu, de Hooch, ter Borch, and Hals. 

Feeling worse with continuing high temperature and after a second visit to the infirmary, I did not accompany Kay on the tour of the Hermitage—another of the places I really wanted to see—but stayed in bed all day. 

Weather today was partly cloudy and 55°.

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