The State Hermitage Museum (Государственный Эрмитаж, Gosudarstvennyj Èrmitaž ) in Saint Petersburg, Russia is one of the largest museums in the world, with 3 million works of art (not all on display at once), and one of the oldest art galleries and museums of human history and culture in the world. The vast Hermitage collections are displayed in six buildings, the main one being the Winter Palace which used to be the official residence of the Russian Tsars. International branches of The Hermitage Museum are located in Amsterdam, London, Las Vegas and Ferrara (Italy). The Hermitage holds the Guinness World Record as having the world's largest collection of paintings.
Strong points of the Hermitage collection of Western art include Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, van Dyck, Rembrandt, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Watteau, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Canova, Rodin, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Cézanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, and Matisse. There are several more collections, however, including the Russian imperial regalia, an assortment of Fabergé jewellery, and the largest existing collection of ancient gold from Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
In 1717 Peter the Great visited Versailles, where he was inspired by the Château de Marly that Louis XIV had built as a retreat. Louis had called the Château his, "hermitage." Thus, when Peter built his own version of Versailles, Peterhof, he too included a small out building that he called his Hermitage. When the Empress Elizabeth designed Tsarskoe Selo in the 1740s, she included a Baroque dining pavilion, also called Hermitage.