After our long, hot night we made our way straight to the Hermitage, which was just across Palace Square.
As you know, there is no way to see everything in the Hermitage in one visit but we did manage to see a good bit, including a collection of gold jewelry dating back to 1500 B.C. The detail was amazing and our tour guide was this Russian lady who had been working in the museum for over 50 years! In all that time, it appears she hasn’t lost a bit of her enthusiasm.
Following the Hermitage we made our way over to the Church on the Spilled Blood. Built on the actual site of the assassination of Emperor Alexander II, it’s an amazingly detailed, colorful, Orthodox Church. The outside had those wonderful onion domes covered in all sorts of colorful tile. Inside every inch of the high arched walls and ceiling are covered with sparkling mosaic. It’s amazing how much detail is possible in pictures made up of tiny little tiles.
One of the many interesting things about this cathedral is that there is a sort of altar built over the very spot where Alexander was shot. The cobblestones of the street are right there to be preserved for posterity. Morbid?
After our visit to the church we wandered down the canal that it’s located on and began our usual meanderings.
It was a pretty full day and we were ready to go to bed. And it’s off to Peterhoff tomorrow!