Hermitage - Winter Palace - Jordan Staircase
The Jordan Staircase of the Winter Palace will take you up to the exhibition rooms. But first a few words about the Grand Staircase itself. Originally built by Bartolomeo Rastreeli, it was badly damaged in the fire of 1837.
Though architect Vasily Stasov made some alterations during the restoration work, the staircase remains astoundingly magnificent with its gilded wall mouldings, dazzling white marble statues, and an enormous plafond depicting the Greek Gods on Olympus.
Surprising is the spectacle that presents itself on entering from the side of the Neva this residence of the Czars. Here is the great entrance, including a marble staircase, whose like might in vain be sought. It leads to the ?rst story, devoted entirely to court cere monies. Here saloon succeeds saloon, each vaster and more mag ni?cent than its predecessor. I will con?ne myself to naming the Golden Saloon (the Empress’s reception-room), the White Saloon, reached through a gallery containing a series of excellent portraits of the imperial marshals, from Roumiantzoff to Paskewitsch, and connected with the Throne Saloon, or St. Georges Hall, which for grandeur and beauty surpasses everything that Europe’s palaces can show.
St. Petersburg, Its People - Eduard Jermann, 1841