The General Staff Building

The General Staff Building, St. Petersburg: Address, Phone Number, The General Staff Building Reviews: 4.5/5

The General Staff Building
Historic Sites • Art Museums
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Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Neighborhood: Admiralteisky
How to get there
  • Admiralteyskaya • 4 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

1,150 reviews
Very good

Melbourne, Australia457 contributions
Oct 2019 • Friends
We bought the two day integrated ticket and went to the main Hermitage Palace on the first day and the Staff building on the second day.

We arrived early and there was no queue to get through security but by the time we left in the afternoon there was a very long queue.

Don’t take a break for lunch in the cafe because you cannot get back in! Go before or after looking at the art.

There are many steep steps without railings at one place. There are lifts between floors.

The Staff Building is in contrast to the Winter Palace opposite. The palace itself is jaw dropping as well as all the treasures within. The Staff building is all about the art and the architecture supports showing the art in the best way possible.

We spent two hours just on the fourth floor going from room to room admiring so many stunning works by Matisse, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Degas, Rodin, Bonnard etc etc
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Zurich, Switzerland1,019 contributions
Sep 2021
Part of the Hermitage complex, it has a huge collection of paintings. Some nice Monet, Picasso, Kandinsky etc. you need at least two hours to visit. Tickets can be purchased online (specific time slot is assigned). Highly recommended to visit if you are in the area.
Written September 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

6 contributions
Sep 2019
This is an interesting building architecturally. A fusion of old and new which is not apparent until you hit the main foyer.
The displays are all on one level and flow nicely from room to room. We didnt get lost here!
This is a collection of European art confiscated from the wealthy burgers after the revolution. Lots of big names here and we were thrilled to see some kandinskys.
This building doesnt have the pulling power of the hermitage sitting on the river but is worth a vist. Its a shirt walk across the square from the hetmitage.
Written August 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Belgrade, Serbia12,637 contributions
Apr 2021
Set in the very center, on the Palace Square, this is a unique building worldwide.
It's a very long (580 m) curved edifice with a Triumphal Arch in the middle, commemorating the victory over Napoleon.
During the Imperial era when St. Pet was the capital it was the Government seat with both, Foreign affairs and Finance ministry inside.
Today, one wing is still for military purposes, while the other belongs to Hermitage museum with an amazing collection of impressionist art.
Written May 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK79 contributions
Mar 2020
We didn't get anywhere else, and ran out of time, only allowing 90 minutes. A fabulous collection of Monet, Degas, and so on - I've never seen so many Cezanne. Decent coffee shop (better than the Hermitage which is always crowded).
Written March 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

St. Petersburg, Russia1,041 contributions
Jul 2019 • Friends
A lot of famous paintings. This I have not seen anywhere! Impressionists I liked immediately. An interesting tour and I spent a lot of time there. Interesting and beautiful rooms in the Art Nouveau style.
Written October 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Temecula, CA768 contributions
May 2016 • Solo
The collection of Impressionists paintings were transferred from the Hermitage to here, so people should know about this. It is very spacious so you feel a bit lost in the building but the collection is well displayed. You have to go up stairs and ask where exactly to find them. However once you do, it is well worth the trip.
Written May 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Frank D
Busby, UK36 contributions
Apr 2018 • Couples
The day after the main Hermitage complex we did the General Staff Building. The architecture of the entrance lobby / ticket hall / cloakrooms is all new and a brilliant use of space and light. But once you are through into the exhibition areas make your way to the very top and work down - not the way we did it!

We were there in early April 2018 and the first couple of levels were virtually empty. Lots of walking through empty rooms getting disillusioned and disappointed following the stunning spectacle of the previous day. But the top floor is back to the breathtaking collections of masters that just leave you almost speechless; back to the guilt of casually strolling past pieces you should devote proper time to appreciate and giving them only a few seconds because there is so much to see!

Note also that there is a cafe and the “book cafe” on the ground floor, but they are outside the exhibition area and you can’t go back in on your ticket. You can only go through the barrier ONCE. You will be gasping for that coffee by the end of the day!
Written April 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mary G
Windsor, Canada3 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
We were in St. Petersburg for the semi-final World Cup game France-Belgium. We planned a 2-day visit to the Hermitage and one of these days was spent in the General Staff Building exploring the Impressionists Exhibition. Dress modestly and wear good walking shoes. There is a free download for Apple smart phone at the museum entrance, but to date, was not Android friendly. We opted to take the audio tour and each of us had our own set. The fee is modest and enhanced our visit. The back stories of select works of art added to the enjoyment of the exhibition and helped to pace our visit. The rooms are set up with seating in the centre so that we could enjoy the works as long as we desired, and we could walk up to the paintings to observe the brush strokes as well. Dotted among the impressionist exhibition were works relating to the story of Psyche and Cupid, wall art as well as Rodin sculptures. Picture taking is allowed so long as you do not use a flash. Plan for a 3-hour visit to provide a leisurely pace to take in the art and the atmosphere. We ran out of time, not exhibits!
Written July 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tucson, AZ80 contributions
May 2017 • Couples
The General Staff Building Branch of the Hermitage has been going through a complete interior renovation and is continuously adding and or modifying exhibits to the permanent collection and has temporary exhibits included in what is currently being show. This review is based on what and where items were being exhibited when we visited the museum.

The entry fee was 300 RU per person and taking photos was free (no Flash allowed) Please be advised that if your camera uses a laser range finder for auto focus you may have a problem with the security people. I had to spend several minutes with security people in different areas explaining and showing them that the light being emitted was not an automatic flash.

The building exterior looks like it is a 19th Century Government Office Building rather than a Museum. You enter through an inner court yard where you see that the renovation is still ongoing. You arrive at the museum after walking through the areas that houses a gift shop, book store and restaurant. There is a cloak room secure area for your back packs and jackets available free of charge. I cannot fully describe what you see when you enter the spaces covered with the glass roof panels and modern architectural touches before you enter a huge amphitheater with glass step staircases. Additionally, there are glass walkways that span open spaces on the second and third floors. The museum interior rooms are well preserved and many rooms add it's own signature to the exhibited works of art.

From the second floor take the lift up to the fourth floor and start to explore the museum. We took six hours to see the collections in the 85 rooms that are currently used to house the exhibits. The exhibit descriptions are in Russian and English.

Some of the fourth floor exhibits are not located as shown on the room directory floor plan (English) you receive. Example Room 402 houses French Pastels of the 19th and 20th Centuries rather than Religious Art of the reign of Alexander I. Starting in Room 403 in the area named the Sergey Shchukin and the Morozov Brothers Memorial Gallery are the works of mostly French impressionist and post-impressionist painting. They include a large collection of works by Picasso, Cezanne, Gauguin, Denis, Matisse, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, and others. They end in Room 422. On this side of the floor,

In Room 452, there are sculptures by Auguste Rodin and one credited to Albert Bartolome. On the other side of the building, we could not find an entrance into Room 423 to see More of the Religious Art of the Reign of Alexander I. Starting in Room 430 there is more art from the permanent collection of Modern European Art. They include works by Picasso, Derain, ceramics by Picasso, Lhote, Matisse, Kandinsky, Scholz, and others.

The third floor contains in Rooms 301-302 an eclectic collection of Carl Faberge creations showing their artistic talents with jewels, gold and other aspects of their talents. A Writing Set in the form of a Locomotive, was my favorite.

In Room 300 there is a temporary exhibit titled "Faberge and the Great War" that contains utilitarian objects manufactured by the Faberge factory used during WWI such as military field equipment, grenades, ammunition and other artifacts. My favorite item displayed in the exhibit is a desk telephone used by Carl Faberge in his office.

Starting in Room 307-310 parts of the permanent collection of French 19th century Painting and sculpture including works by Guerin, Regnault, Vernet, Lefevre and others. IN Rooms 311-316 works by Von Steuben, Gerome, Roybet, Winterhalter, Flameng, and others. In Rooms 317-330 The exhibition entitled 'Realms of the Eagle' has items from French (Napoleon) and Russian (Alexander I) empire decorative arts, furniture, paintings, etc.. The rooms are little works of art collections in their own right, being in the former offices of the General Staff designed and decorated in the early 19th century.

In Rooms 331-332 there is a portion of the Russian Guards Museum’s collection, Russian Guards in the 18th century. It contains uniforms, weaponry, combat banners, and other guard artifacts. My Favorite is a uniform worn by Peter I (Peter The Great). In Rooms 333-338 is the permanent exhibition "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia: St. Petersburg’s Era 1802-1917" it contains artifacts that trace the history of the Russian Foreign Ministry starting from the date of its foundation by Emperor Alexander I to 1917. The artifacts include paintings, graphics, photographs, decorative art and gifts given to Russia by foreign governments. My favorite item is a painted miniature figure of Emperor Alexander II in a military uniform.

The remainder of the third floors, even numbered Rooms 346, 348, 350, 352 contains works by Overbeck, De Groot, Schwendy, Lipchitz and others. In Rooms 349 and 351 there are some Modern Art exhibits.

The second floor seems to be in flux and is a mixture of permanent and temporary exhibits. Room 203 holds a collection of Modern American art titled "Gifts From America: 1948-2013" donated by the Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA). The items include pottery, textiles, glass and other materials. Rooms 208-210 house a permanent exhibit titled "The Age of Art Novae". It contains art items, clothing, furniture, porcelains, ceramics and glass items. Again, the rooms themselves are works of art with their decorations and ceiling fixtures. Rooms 211-213 contain a collection that traces the history of the Ministry of Finance (1830-1918). Again, the rooms themselves are works of art.

Rooms 214-220 house a temporary exhibit titled " Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes". This exhibit was filled with people. It had the most people we saw in any one exhibit throughout the museum. The exhibit features shoes that are works of art in their own right. The rooms each follow a different theme which are hard for me to describe. Simply stated, you have to see them and reach your own conclusions.

In the common area on the second floor there is a collection of several modern sculptures that flank the walkway on the way to the last current exhibits. A temporary exhibit of works by Nelia Petrova, the chief artist of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory JSC is housed in a Room without a number on this floor. The pieces include plates, vases, complete table sets, and other objects. The final exhibit "African Art of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries" is also housed in a Room without a number. There are a few works of art from a few African countries. They include masks, figures, staffs, weapons, and other objects.

The General Staff Building Branch of The Hermitage Museum is worth a day of your time. I recommend it as a way to spend four-six hours during your visit to St. Petersburg.
Written June 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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