The Treasure Gallery at the Hermitage Museum is a repository of the museum’s magnificent and unique collections of jewelry art. Comprised of the Gold Rooms and the Diamond Rooms, the Treasure Gallery houses many jewelry pieces that belonged to the Romanov Royal Family and that witnessed many important moments in the private life of Russia’s ruling house. Many pieces were acquired to commemorate a birth of an heir, an anniversary, a patron saint day, to name a few, while others were presented as diplomatic gifts to the Russian emperors over the years.
The collection dates back to the days of Peter the Great who had precious items moved from the Armoury Chamber in Moscow to the newly founded capital of St. Petersburg. During the reign of Peter’s niece Anna and, later on, Peter’s daughter Elizabeth the collection added many rare and intricate works of jewelry art, such as snuffboxes, watches, beauty boxes, etc. But it was not until the reign of Catherine the Great when the new era of collecting arrived. Catherine went on a shopping spree acquiring works of both Russian and European craftsmen which to this day remain the rarest and most prized pieces of the entire collection.
The so-called “Diamond Chamber” was officially opened in 1764 which put many precious pieces on display for the enjoyment of Catherine’s immediate entourage. In 1792 the Diamond Chamber was moved to the new Large Hermitage building and could now be admired by visitors to the imperial residence. In 1851 the Diamond Chamber was moved to one of the galleries of the Small Hermitage and since then it became known as the Treasure Gallery. During the subsequent years the collection grew largely through diplomatic gifts, archaeological discoveries and purchases of artwork by contemporary jewelers such as Carl Fabergé.
The Gold Rooms display the archaeological finds of the Scythian gold, ancient Greek and Oriental jewelry articles from India, Iran and China, as well as superb examples of ceremonial Oriental weapons. The Diamond Rooms showcase masterpieces of Russian and European jewelry art from the Romanov and private family collections, as well as pieces of church art, diplomatic gifts and some works by Fabergé. Please note that the famous Easter Egg collection by Fabergé is housed in the Armoury Chamber in Moscow.
Located in a high security area of the Hermitage Museum, the Treasure Gallery is open only to organized tour groups with confirmed reservations. Reservation requests must be submitted by no later than the 15th calendar date of the month preceding the month of the visit and are not guaranteed until the museum administration allots the entry time for your group. The Hermitage Museum reserves the right to change or cancel an already confirmed reservation and does not accept room-specific reservation requests. As a result, entry into your desired part of the Treasure Gallery is not guaranteed. Based on our experience the overwhelming majority of the reservation requests submitted through our office get confirmed.