St. Petersburg is perhaps best known for the Hermitage, its amazing collection of art spanning 3000 years of human civilization and an entire globe. What I found more impressive than this, though, was the building it was housed in, the Winter Palace. Built in the 1750’s by Italian architects, it was the winter residence of the Russian Tsars. The sheer opulence and grandeur of so many of the room was simply astounding. The intricacy and detail in the ceilings impressed me most (my dad was more impressed with the detail work of the floor … also incredible). Since the visuals really defy words, I’ll let the photo collection below of the ceilings tell the story. (For the record, this is a temporary arrangement as for tonight, I give up on trying to integrate photos in nicely … picasa plugins are not playing nice so far).