Saint Petersburg is one of the famous tourist destination cities in the world which attracts lots of tourists to itself. However, when you look on the map, you'll see that there are more cities rather than Saint Petersburg in that area which are huge tourist destinations in Russia, and if they're not as important as Saint Petersburg itself, they're not much less. One of those cities called Pushkin.
In twenty-four kilometer south of Saint Petersburg, sleeps in the Neva River plain, there is Pushkin. The city which is in the great climate by the way with an average temperature of ten degrees centigrade in total was an excellent summer residence for Tsars and their families. This small city with a population of only a hundred thousand as of today, at first was a royal property, in 1710, and was stated as a city, in 1808.
The current location of the Catherine Palace was actually in the Swedish Empire's reign from 1609 to 1702. Though back then there was just a bunch of little wooden building there and it called Sari Village. After Peter the Great took control of the Empire, he dominated the area and listed it under the Russian Empire reign. Before he gave the field to his second wife, Catherine I as a gift, he appointed Alexander Menishkov as the administrator of the area. Catherine I who will be Empress of Russia shortly hired Johann Braunstein, famous German architect to build a two-story palace, in 1717 to 1724, at the center of the state which later named Catherine Palace. At the end of Catherine Palace construction and adding a magnificent garden with two ponds in it, plus building a new village for the palace servants near there, the name of the area changed to Tsarskoye Selo.
After that Elizabeth, the daughter of Catherine succeed to the power in 1741, she assigned Italian architect Francesco Rastrelli to renovate the palace with a new luxurious appearance. Rastrelli who designed his constructions with Baroque style, formed nearly the current looks of the palace, in 1756. During these restorations, Elizabeth relocated the Amber Room from the Winter Palace to the Catherine Palace. Also, some new structures built in the expanded gardens around the palace. In the Catherine the Great era, she ordered to separate the palace from the urban area and relocate the palace servants to the nearby city Sofia.
Around 1770, another garden constructed at the west side of the Catherine Palace, and at the northeast part of this garden, Giacomo Quarenghi built another palace, this time for Alexander the first, future ruler of Russia and named it the same. Alexander I, in 1808, merged the two Tsarskoye Selo and Sofia city to form a new larger city. In the 1820 massive fire, The Catherine Palace suffered enormous damages, therefore Vasily Stasov assigned to restore the palace. He also added some new neoclassical constructions to the complex. Between 1811 to 1843, The Catherine Palace hosted the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum at the end of one of its wings which raised and developed remarkable Russian major figures such as Alexander Pushkin, Russia famous poet. In 1905, the Alexander Palace was Nicholas II's prime residence and was one of the most advanced cities in Russia at the time.
After the October Revolution, The Palaces and parks complex declared as national assets and changed to a museum. At first, the city name changed to Detskoye Selo which means Children Village, but then in honor of the 100th annual of Alexander Pushkin, Russian great poet death, it replaced to Pushkin.
During the Second World War, the Palaces and the Parks invaded by the Nazi Army and many valuables of the Pushkin either destroyed or grabbed by the German troops, for instance, one of the most major theft was the Amber Room which its decoration and materials completely vanished.
The Tsarskoye Selo with its two magnificent palaces, enormous parks and gardens, and all of its valuables were the representation of ambitious and luxury living in Russian reign. The primary palace of the Pushkin is the Catherine Palace which was the Catherine I's residence, the second wife of Peter the Great and Empress of Russia.
The Catherine Palace with its impressive and luxury interior which can fascinate any eyes included a bunch of rooms with specific usage with their particular layout. The 300m opening hall which designed with magnificent mirroring and golden look called The Great Hall which many believed that the ceiling of it, with its remarkable paintings of wars, is made entirely from gold. During the day the sunlight which glows inside the hall reflects in its mirroring and make an enjoyable show which is why some people call it The Light Room.
Another famous room of the palace would be The Portrait Room which included pictures or statues of the former rulers of Russia such as Peter I, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Alexander. However, the most popular room in the palace would be the Amber room which is the principal goal for tourists and visitors. Its walls, the floor, the ceiling, and the entire decoration of the room made out of Amber. Because of the vulnerability of this material, someone always looks after it all day long. Of course, as we told, the entire room of Amber disappeared during the second world war, but after years of restoration and recreation, the Amber room reopened for the public, in 2003, looks like its original interior. The Cameron hall, the White diner room, the green room which built specifically for Empress' son, Pavel and his wife are another part of this majestic palace.
There's a magnificent 107-hectare garden around the Catherine Palace with the same name. Vasily Nilov who was the chief designer of the Catherine Park used French Formal Gardening and British Traditional Gardening style in the park's layout. There are several ancient figures and sculptures as decorations all around the park. The remains of the Catherine Cathedral, The Small Hermitage, several Majestic Pavilion are parts of its design. At the center of the park, there's a huge pond which is a memorial of Russia’s victory over the Ottoman Empire in sea battles, in 1770.
Giacomo Quarenghi designed the two-story Alexander Palace with a neoclassical style, unlike the Catherine palace which was in Baroque architecture style and was Tsars and their families summer residence for years. This palace, unlike other palaces, didn't get too much damage during the second world war, only parts of its interior and the reading room damaged. After that Germans forced to leave, the Alexander Palace become Tsars' personal belongings public museum.
The Alexander Palace just like the Catherine Palace owns a 200-Hectare park which is at the west entrance of it. The park decorated with lots of sculptures, ponds, bridges, and beautiful structures. We can point at the remains of the Chinese Theater which was once a great hall for performing operas and musicals and destroyed by Nazis during the Second World War.
Antonio Rinaldi, the architect of the Chinese Theater, had visions to create a complete Chinese Village around that building but left it midway through, until Vasily Stasov execute that idea. Today, the village is restored and complete. The White Pavilion, The Arsenal Pavilion, and The Chapelle Pavilion are other fascinating structures in the park. At the far north of the park, you can also find the Feodorovsky Gorodok and the Cathedral of St. Fyodor.
Other than these four complexes of attraction in Tsarskoye Selo, there are even more tourist spots in Pushkin such as the Prince Olga's Palace, Alexander Pushkin memorial museum, Pavel Chistyakov's home studio, Fermsky Park, Olenins and Kitaev's houses which all are part of the national heritage of Russia.
Pushkin is one of the most loaded cities in Russia when you want to talk about deep history and culture. Every year lots of tourists either by booking a tour to Russia or on an individual journey take their time and visit this spectacular city and its attractions. The Pushkin railway directly connected to the main railway. With all of these museums, great weather, natural and manufactured parks, and the rich history that the city occupied, all are an excellent reason for visitants to reach and observe the grace themselves. So, alongside the Saint Petersburg attractions and Russia in general, visiting the Pushkin might be an exciting trip too. As we told before, Pushkin is only 24 kilometers far from Saint Petersburg and if you have a plan to book a flight to Russia and touring Saint Petersburg, reaching Pushkin is going to be simple for you.
Pushkin is one of the suburb palaces of the city of St. Petersburg which is quite famous and popular among people who travel to St. Petersburg. We at the Star Travel Group suggest our clients or people who visit St. Petersburg to go and see Pushkin and Peterhof, top two St. Petersburg suburb palaces both because of history and sceneries.