The history of the Hermitage cats

The history of the Hermitage cats

The Hermitage cats devote books, musicals, traveling exhibitions, photo calendars and documentaries.


The history of the Hermitage cats

The first cat in the Winter Palace was named Basil. Peter I brought it back from his next trip to the Netherlands (according to another version, the cat was bought from a dealer from Vologda). By decree of Emperor barn cats like Basil had to live in the Winter Palace (nowadays - Hermitage Theater -. Esquire) to protect, breed breeding and extermination of rodents.

The history of the Hermitage cats

In 1745, the daughter of Peter I, Elizabeth, issued a decree according to which in St. Petersburg had to send the cats from Kazan. From different sources is well known, that the Empress preferred breed of cats that will be called in 1939 "Russian Blue".

The history of the Hermitage cats

In the building of the Hermitage cats are moved along with the Empress Catherine II. When her animals were divided into indoor and outbuildings. The former were pets and served as additional decoration palace, and the second Winter protected from rats and mice.

The history of the Hermitage cats

At the time of the siege of Leningrad, which lasted 871 days, all the cats have died at the Hermitage and Winter Palace cellars, converted into air-raid shelters, filled rodents. A live cat on the market cost as a loaf of bread. After the war, the city was brought 5000 of cats, and a few dozen at once started to serve in the Hermitage.

Today the State Hermitage employs 50 cats. They are strictly banned from examination rooms and the principal's office because they gnaw important documents and fall asleep on the royal throne, because of what the alarm is triggered.


"All cats are drawn from Kazan Elizabeth, were castrated and sterilized, so to speak of the cat Basil the offspring does not make sense."

Cats in the art

Hermitage cats devote books, musicals, traveling exhibitions, photo calendars and documentaries.







PHOTO EXHIBITION Yuri Molodkovets "Hermitage cats"


Book Mary Ann Allin "ANNA AND CATS, or adventure in the Hermitage"


BOOK Nikolai Gol and Maria HALTUNEN "Cat's House in the Hermitage"




"Hermitage museum staff called cats ermikami and hierarchically divide them into aristocrats and hard workers. The first live on the second floor, near the maintenance department, have personal bowl, tray and basket sleeping. The latter live in the yard, in the basement or the attic of the museum. In March 2016 the British newspaper Telegraph has included the Hermitage cats to the list of attractions of St. Petersburg, which is worth seeing. "

Cats in the other countries of the museums

The British Museum

Permanently employed six cats are in the British Museum. Their salary is 50 pounds a year, these funds are spent on food and filler for the tray. Each cat has a special uniform - yellow bow on the neck. In addition to the basic work - catching rodents - cats accompanied by guards while patrolling the museum.

Largo Argentina

In 2001 the City Council of Rome announced cats part bioistoricheskogo heritage, recalling that they live in the city since its foundation. Cats there can be found at Largo Argentina, where they settled after the excavations in 1909, when archaeologists accidentally stir big rat's nest.

The house-museum of Ernest Hemingway

The house-museum of Ernest Hemingway on the island of Key West is home to more than 40 cats. They are descended from pet writer - Snowball (Snowball -. Esquire). Cats in a museum endowed with special privileges: they can walk where they want to sleep on the bed of the writer and are not subject to Florida state law, according to which animals must be kept in a cage.


"find in Kazan the best and big cats, convenient to lovleniyu mice send to St. Petersburg to the court of Her Imperial Majesty with a man who could for them to walk and feed, and send them by giving them under carts and how should feed immediately. And if anyone is at such Laying (castrated -. Esquire) cats would be announced for the add skoreishego departure to the provincial office. "

Empress Elizabeth

"The decree of expulsion to the court of cats", 1745


After serving in the Hermitage cats are sent to the St. Petersburg kotokafe "Republic of the cats' or the Museum of cats in Vsevolozhsk.


Since 1998, in the Hermitage arrange day Hermitage Cat (until 2012 holiday called "Day of the March Cat in the Hermitage" -. Esquire). Then visitors to the museum can get into the basements and attics of the building, as well as pryutit one of the animals. In the priority - a family with their own housing. Together with the cat, they receive a certificate "Master of the Hermitage cat" and the right to a life free admission to the museum.

President cats

In the fall of 2016 kotokafe "Republic cats" have passed presidential elections, which were won by White Cat Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe. Bowl voting, set in front of his picture, collected the most dry food.

Employees cats

FIGARO - Yard cat, dwelt for many years in the cellars of the Hermitage. Employees mu- Zeya call him imperceptible. After Figaro moved to the second floor of the museum, he always sleeps, eats and looks at the wall.

BIN LADEN - When Bin Laden was a kitten, he was called for the color of a peach. Today it is the most quarrelsome of the Hermitage cats, who sometimes works in the catacombs.

PORTOS - In sunny weather, you can catch Porthos Shuvalov Travel lying near the gate, facing the Neva. In a museum it is called the most charming and affectionate cat.

Baton - White chubby cat Loaf called the most lazy Hermitage employees. It is so thick that it can not budge even a museum volunteers.

NIKA - only unsterilized cat in the State Hermitage.


"In the courtyard of the Winter Palace truck drivers must abide by special rules of the road: no more than walking speed, go around cats as they bask in the sun or sleeping, and not to frighten their hooters. This reminds them unique in the world a sign "Caution: cats! '."


Daniel Ureña