Catherine the Great's Palace

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Nov 15, 2007

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pushkin - The Czar's Village
Catherine the Great's Palace

It was a bus ride of about 30km. with our driver Alexander and guide Antonina to get to Pushkin, named after the Poet Alexander Pushkin. It was originally named Tsarskoye Selo (The Czar's Village) as Alexander Menshikov built a great palace and park there (1708 - 1724) for his commoner wife Yekaterina Alexeyevna (future Catherine 1) to entertain the nobility. Her daughter Empress Elizabeth Petrovna was the one who spared no expense on turning the old mansion into an extravagant luxury palace. The blue, white and golden palace of Catherine the Great was severely damaged during the war and the photographic records show many people working to restore the Palace back to its original form which is indeed very grand. We weren't the only bus group entering so it was a timed visit and controlled entry into each of the rooms. One room was totally made from amber, stunning.
The gardens were in a mosaic pattern of coloured pebbles.

I am so glad we choose to have a glimpse of Russia. It is not all grand, I realize, but we saw a lovely part of it in St Petersburg.
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