Catherine Palace - Changing Over Time

Catherine Palace and Park, located a mere 25 km from St. Petersburg in Tarskoye Selo, is a top historical attraction in the country attracting vast numbers of visitors every year. As the summer residence of Russia's tsars, Catherine Palace is filled with history.

In the year 1717 Catherine I commissioned Johann-Friedrich Braunstein, a German architect, to build a summer palace. Several years later, in 1743, Empress Anna had the impressive Catherine Palace further expanded. Following her in 1756 Empress Elizabeth had architect Bartolomeo Rasterilli break the old palace down and build an even more opulent structure in the Rococo style. After 4 years of construction the completed castle, measuring 325m in length, was unveiled to the Empress. Renowned throughout Russia for its flamboyant exterior the stucco facade was created with 100kg of gold. A lovely formal garden was the ideal setting for the lavish Catherine Palace. The Hermitage Pavilion is a center piece for the garden and was originally topped by a sculpture of “The Rape of Persephone”. The luxurious pavilion contained dining tables and a system of dumbwaiter mechanisms. Catherine the Great found the palace gaudy and old-fashioned. On coming to the throne Catherine the Great stopped projects in the palace which were soaking up money.

Catherine herself was keen on Neoclassical art and antique. She thus had Charles Cameron of Scotland redecorate a wing in the vogue Neo-Palladian style as well as to construct the Agate rooms. These rooms feature fine jasper décor and were designed to join the Cameron Gallery, Cold Baths and Hanging Gardens. A number of items were added to the Catherine Park such as the Marble Bridge, Dutch Admiralty, Chesme Column, Creaking Pagoda and Rumyantsev Obelisk. Monarchs who followed Catherine the Great preferred to reside in other palaces such as the Alexander Palace.

Unfortunately the German army destroyed Catherine Palace following the siege of Leningrad, leaving just a shell of its former glory. The palace was reconstructed by 2003 and some of its original contents returned. Russia's Catherine Palace and Park has a fascinating history, complemented by the sheer beauty and magnitude of its grand design.


User Comments & Reviews: 2 Comment(s)

Page 1 of 1

Olga - 2009-11-25 16:02:04

It'd be great if the pages contained pictures and slideshows or videos to accompany the texts, i.e. if the site was slightly more visual. This way it'd make it more attractive for visitors. Frankly, there's a lot beauty to show!

Reply to this comment

maria antonieta rojas - 2009-09-04 04:07:43

wonderful page, I love Russia. I have been there twice some time ago. I want to go back and dont want to miss admiring the amber room. Where is it, how can I get there?Thank you

Reply to this comment

>> Back to Top

Combine Flights?

New Business Users, read more and join on the Business Affiliates page.

New Individual Users, join on the Forum Users Registration page.