Hermitage in Amsterdam Russian former capital - the city of Saint Petersburg, today one of the Europe’s largest cities, has been built by the tsar Peter the Great starting from 1703, after the tsar’s stay in Zaandam and Amsterdam during his grand trip to Western Europe (so called Great Embassy: 1697 - 1698). The city original name had been Sankt Petersburg. Known for years as Leningrad, today again the city name is of Dutch origin. But the Dutch element is not only in the city name: Saint Petersburg was also built with the help of the Dutch, since the area chosen for its foundation, was muddy and full of swamps. The contacts between Amsterdam and Saint Petersburg continue up to these days, and since February 2004 the famous Saint Petersburg state museum – the Hermitage, has one of its dependences in Amsterdam (the other are in London and Las Vegas). The building The Hermitage of Amsterdam is located in an old, monumental building called Amstelhof. The reconstruction of Amstelhof, which since its creation in 1683 until 2007 served as the house of care for the elderly, is to be completed in 2009. It will make the Hermitage one of the two biggest museums in Amsterdam, along with Rijksmuseum. Today, while the Amstelhof is being rebuilt, the Hermitage uses a small and elegant adjoining building constructed in the 18th c. and recently meticulously modernized, called Neerlandia. The exhibitions Hermitage Amsterdam organizes exhibitions on one selected theme, giving usually two showings each year. All the exhibited objects are transported from the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, first with a truck to Finland, and then shipped to North of Germany, to be again brought by truck to Amsterdam. After the exhibitions all the objects travel back to Russia. The museum is closed in short periods of the exposition change. The feel A small and elegant museum. In fact it consists of only four exposition rooms and usually of not many objects, but those which are on show, are always worth seeing, while the way of display is modern and intelligent. Open Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed on December 25th, January 1st and April 30th. Hermitage Amsterdam has been prepared to receive the handicapped visitors. Admission: 2008 adults and minors from age of 17 years - € 7,-; children and minors younger than 17 – free. There is also a free access to the museum shop and the café, both open at the same time as the museum (during the exhibitions, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) located on the ground floor. The café makes lunch meals and in the summer has a nice, open terrace at the back of the museum. Hermitage Amsterdam Nieuwe Herengracht 14 1018 DP Amsterdam telephone: +31 20 530 87 55 Postal address: Hermitage Amsterdam P.O. Box 11675 1001 GR Amsterdam How to get there: - walking: from the Waterlooplein along the Amstel river up the river on the left bank, take left into the Nieuwe Herengracht on the right side of the canal (across the Walter Suskind drawbridge), walk another 30 yards – 100m, the hermitage is marked with the exhibition banners (5 minutes) - by public transport: trams lines 9, 14 from the Central Station, exit on the stop Waterlooplein; metro lines 51, 53 and 54 to the Waterlooplein station and walk as above (turkeyarena.com) - by car: park your car at the Stopera Parking garage on Waterlooplein 1, located under the huge, white Stopera building (the Muziektheater/Stadhuis) and walk as described above.