Catherine The Greatest: Self-Polished Diamond – Exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam

Photo by Moniek Bloks

Once upon a time… I’m not sure Catherine herself would agree with the fairy tale the Hermitage makes her life out to be. Sure, she rose to be the most powerful woman in Russia, despite her birth as an insignificant German princess, but to get there and to stay there, I am sure it cost her more than we will ever know.


The exhibition takes place on several levels in the Hermitage and its main piece is most definitely the replica of the Imperial Crown of Russia, made for Catherine. Don’t be disappointed that it’s just a replica, it still contains 11352 diamonds (over two times the original has), 74 white pearls and a 385 carat precious stone. The real thing still exists, but is not allowed to leave Russia.

It’s quite a marvelous exhibition and it has an accompanying audio guide. You may know of my love/hate relationship with audio guides, this too is one that you have to hold to your ear and is quite inconvenient. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend this exhibition.

Catherine, the Greatest: a Self-Polished Diamond runs from 18 June 2016 until 15 January 2017. The Hermitage Amsterdam is easy to reach with public transport (metro stop Waterlooplein). The entrance fee is €17,50, which includes the audio guide.

About Moniek Bloks 2749 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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