Friday, August 26, 2011

The Catherine Palace

Several of the most interesting buildings in St. Petersburg are not in the city itself, but in the suburb of Pushkin, formerly known as Tsarkoe Selo or Czar's Village. The wing of the Catherine Palace above looked expecially pretty with colourful flowers in front, I thought. This palace was built by Catherine the Great and named for her mother, Catherine I.

The most famous exhibit in it is the Amber Room, where photographs are forbidden. Originally a gift from Frederick the Great of Prussia, it was destroyed or disappeared sometime during World War II, when Leningrad was besieged by the Germans for some 900 days and this palace fell into German hands. The room visitors see now is an exact replica of the original, and was a significant artistic achievement in itself. It took many years, and was financed mainly by a German company in honour of the city's 300th anniversary in 2003.

Other interesting displays include costumes worn by the Empress Catherine, a beautiful ceramic clock in the entrance hall, and rooms that contain furniture similar to what would have been used in the 18th century.

If you go to Pushkin, don't miss visiting Peterhof, the even more spectacular palace built by Peter the Great that is renowned for its monumental fountains.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home