hermitage museum foundation

Annual Gala Banquet in the Winter Palace 2013

Friday, June 28th, 2013

110th Anniversary of the Last Ball in the Winter Palace


Every year, the State Hermitage Museum hosts its Gala Banquet in the Winter Palace. This magnificent celebration, worthy of the Russian Tsars, attracts patrons of the arts and friends of the Hermitage from all over the world. As the Museum approaches its 250th anniversary in 2014, this year's gala will focus international attention to the history of the Hermitage and its imperial owners, the 400th Anniversary of whose dynasty would have taken place this year but for the events of 1917.

Historically, one of the most glamorous events in the Winter Palace, the so-called "Romanov Ball" was held by the last tsar of the Romanov Dynasty in 1903. All the invited guests (the inner circle—comprised of the Imperial Family and the highest nobility) were required to wear 17th century costumes of the epoch of Tsar Alexis, the second Romanov on the throne. This costume ball became an instant legend. One hundred and ten years later we wish to commemorate this amazing event by recreating it, in part, at our 2013 Gala Banquet.

The Gala festivities will commence at the Council Entrance on the Palace Embankment. From there, the guests will proceed to the Pavilion Hall where, 110 years ago, the participants of the Romanovs Ball awaited the appearance of the Imperial couple, Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. Champagne will then be served in the Hanging Garden of Catherine the Great. From there, guests will assemble in the Hermitage Theatre where, following the programme of 1903, the artists of the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet will perform a Gala Concert. After this performance guests will then view the Winter Palace's main halls as they walk to the Jordan Gallery for a five-course dinner.

Following dinner, guests will be invited to view a special exhibition en route to the Heraldry Hall where the dancing will commemorate the Romanov Ball of 1913.

By tradition, at midnight, the famous Peacock Clock will chime, and a farewell toast will be offered in the Great Courtyard of the Winter Palace.

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