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fabnfortysomething

?hermitage accessible for disabled?

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I'm planning a private tour for St Petersburg this summer and it needs to be minimal walking.All the tour guides recommend the Hermitage with a 2 to 3 hour visit.My concern is that it has a lot of steps,seems to be huge and very crowded.My husband can't walk very far unaided and even with walking sticks he tends to avoid crowds as he could be knocked over by someone jostling him.

 

Is the Hermitage really that fantastic? We are more interested in architecture than paintings and statues and are leaning towards visiting more of the churches with short visits inside.Would appreciate any words of advice from previous visitors

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I'm planning a private tour for St Petersburg this summer and it needs to be minimal walking.All the tour guides recommend the Hermitage with a 2 to 3 hour visit.My concern is that it has a lot of steps,seems to be huge and very crowded.My husband can't walk very far unaided and even with walking sticks he tends to avoid crowds as he could be knocked over by someone jostling him. Is the Hermitage really that fantastic? We are more interested in architecture than paintings and statues and are leaning towards visiting more of the churches with short visits inside.Would appreciate any words of advice from previous visitors

 

YES! The Hermitage is spectacular and worth it. Below are some visual samples to prove it. This is especially true if you are using a private tour/guide. It will work out well and not be jammed with people. Most all of the "good stuff" with these great rooms and art are on the second floor. There's an elevator that takes you up there and then you can move around on that one level. Tell your tour company your needs and they work those arrangements for the best access.

 

In our group of four, we had one person with a gimpy hip and two of us like to do a slower pace to take lots of pictures. With a private guide, you can tell them what you want to see and how to pace it. If you're working with a good tour firm and in such a small group, it can all work out fine. It's your tour at your pace, seeing what you want and need. The Hermitage is five different buildings, so the crowds spread out. You can do an early admission that also helps distance you from the crowds, etc.

 

It is the Winter Palace for the czars. The architecture alone makes it worth the visit. The art is a nice bonus! Other questions or reactions?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

 

At St. Petersburg’s Hermitage, just one of many, many great galleries with lots of room and great architecture:

 

1A-StP-HermitageGalleries.jpg

 

 

This is the gallery of Generals from Russia’s famed history:

 

1A-StP-HermitageGen.jpg

 

 

Viewing one of the two da Vinci masterpieces at the Hermitage. There are only 17 such painting by this artist existing in the world:

 

1A-StP-HermitageDaVinciViewing.jpg

 

 

Examing one of the highly-detailed tables in the vast Hermitage collection that includes more than just paintings:

 

1A-StP-HermitageTableViewing.jpg

 

 

One of the two dozen or so painting by Rembrandt inside the Hermitage:

 

1A-StP-Hermt-RemProd.jpg

 

 

Another example of Hermitage galleries with lots of room and special architecture. The display rooms are all different in their design and style:

 

1A-StP-Hermt-DisplayRoom.jpg

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The Hermitage is fabulous, but very difficult for those with mobility limitations.

 

You absolutely would be totally unable to do it with a large tour group. The only possible way would be with a small private group. Then you can talk to your guide about your limitations and plan a visit that will be possible for you.

 

The Hermitage is sooooo much more than paintings and statues. It is an architechtural gem, with beautiful rooms in every turn, staircases, chandeliers, doorways, parquet floors -- everything of great beauty.

 

Check out our report and pictures at http://www.bully4.us/baltic.html

 

Have a GREAT cruise.

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I'm planning a private tour for St Petersburg this summer and it needs to be minimal walking.All the tour guides recommend the Hermitage with a 2 to 3 hour visit.My concern is that it has a lot of steps,seems to be huge and very crowded.My husband can't walk very far unaided and even with walking sticks he tends to avoid crowds as he could be knocked over by someone jostling him.

 

Is the Hermitage really that fantastic? We are more interested in architecture than paintings and statues and are leaning towards visiting more of the churches with short visits inside.Would appreciate any words of advice from previous visitors

 

DH is an art professor and the Hermitage was at the top of his list of places to see in his lifetime. That being said when I asked him about your question his advice was that you may be better off skipping it. The place is truly MAGNIFICENT but it is indeed crowded and not very disabled friendly. There is an elevator and I have read on CC boards about some people arranging for wheelchairs but he said he actually noticed while there that he did not see any disabled people among the crowds. His advice for someone more interested in architecture than art is to spend time visiting the churches, especially Spilled Blood Cathedral. He skipped Catherine's Palace to spend more time at the Hermitage so he can't compare them for you.

 

Perhaps you can arrange for at least a brief visit if your guide can find a time when the crowds aren't insane. I personally can't imagine spending the time and money going to St Petersburg and NOT seeing at least a bit if the Hermitage but your DH's safety really needs to come first.

 

Not sure if this helped any. St Petersburg is such an amazing place you will have a wonderful time no matter who you work with or what itinerary you put together. I would work with a guide who makes you comfortable and then follow their advice. I don't think 2-3 hours is necessary and unless they can indeed arrange a wheelchair for your dh it probably would not be a good idea. If they can arrange a chair for him, though, and you can spend an hour there it will most certainly be something to remember...

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One more thought - have you thought of asking this question on the disabled board? Folks there have been on every type of cruise with every type of disability. I bet someone can tell you how they visited the Hermitage or if it is a bad idea...

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