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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Amsterdam, Netherlands - The Hermitage Amsterdam

De Hermitage Amsterdam. Eigen foto, 2 maart 20...Image via WikipediaBy Harry Preston
The city's long and abiding interest in Russian culture and art was hallmarked by the opening of The Hermitage Amsterdam in 2004. Some of the finest collections from St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum in Russia are on loan and exhibited here. Part of the 17th-century Amstelhof complex on the banks of the Amstel river, the Neerlandia building is fine example of classic monumental architecture.
The first and second floors each house three exhibition galleries. An educational studio or Children's Hermitage is planned for the attic space. The history of Russia and the Netherlands is inextricably tied. Catherine the Great. who reigned from 1762 to 1796, was an avid collector, purchasing some 4,000 paintings, thousands of drawings and engravings. She also commissioned pieces in silver and porcelain, furniture and decorative arts.
In 1697 the 25-year-old Russian Tsar, Peter the Great, was in Zaandam (north of Amsterdam) to study famed Dutch shipbuilding techniques. When he returned to St Petersburg he had the city laid out with beautiful canals similar to those that so impressed him in Amsterdam. On his study trip in 1697 he picked up more than just boat building tips; he also managed to take home "my little Dutchmen" as he referred to his collection of small canvases painted by the Dutch Masters. Relations were good between the House of Orange and Peter's family, the Romanovs. Anna Paulownia, the wife of Dutch King Willem 11, was the sister of Tsar Alexander I.
The Hermitage Amsterdam is a great site where you will learn a lot about the Russian culture and art.
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