The State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, houses the world's largest collections of art and artifacts, and arguably its most beautiful wood floors. Nearly every room features opulent parquet patterns hundreds of years old, originating from when the buildings were constructed and inhabited by the Russian monarchy in the 1700s. The floors and subfloor gradually decayed over centuries, and some of the intricate patterns were even covered up with carpet. Thanks to a restoration program that started in 2000, carpet is being removed, subfloors repaired and parquet floors restored to their former brilliance. The restoration project has involved a number of wood flooring artisans, including Yantarnaya Pryad-Parquet, whose projects, including some that are part of the Hermitage restoration, have been featured many times in this magazine.