The main staircase in the Hermitage’s Winter Palace is called the Jordan Staircase. During the Feast of Epiphany the Tsar descended this staircase on his way to the “Blessing of the Waters” of the Neva River. This blessing was celebrating Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River. This staircase was one of the areas of the palace that was badly damaged during a massive fire in the Hermitage in 1837 but was reconstructed to its original 18th century style with the massive grey granite columns. The marble stairs are covered (in the center) with bright red carpet and is te main focal point for visitors entering through the Ambassador’s entrance (the entrance we used). It was pretty cool walking up and down this staircase that so many Russia leaders have ascended and descended over the centuries.