The Hermitage doubles its city's cultural output and increases its chances of generating a Great Artist.
Located in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Hermitage is one of the oldest and most important art galleries in the world. The collection was begun in 1764, when Catherine of Russia purchased more than 200 paintings from across Europe. The collection was, of course, private. Catherine nicknamed her collection "my hermitage" (meaning hermit home), because only she and the mice got to see it. The New Hermitage building was built by Tsar Nicholas I, who opened it to the public in 1852.
Renovated many times to hold an ever-expanding collection, the Hermitage now spans some six buildings overlooking the Neva River. The buildings themselves are extraordinarily beautiful, their huge hallways and opulent rooms fitting places for one of the world's great art collections.
The art collection itself is almost beyond superlatives. It contains an extensive collection of Russian Imperial regalia and Faberge jewelry. It includes masterpieces from Greek and Roman eras and beyond into antiquity. It also houses one of the best collections of Rembrandt paintings anywhere. It has multiple works by da Vinci. In all, the Hermitage houses more than three million pieces of outstanding artwork from throughout human history.