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Country estates and residences in suburbs of St.Petersburg -
Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo)

In the early 18th century a hamlet, belonging to Alexander Menshikov, was presenter to the Catherine I, Peter the Great’s wife, and since 1710 the development of the territory started. During the next 10 years the site was growing, a 2 stories brick house appeared there, surrounded with stables, coach-houses, servants’ quarters, and the area of modern Pushkin became a usual country estate. After Empress Elizabeth inherited the estate, she decided to upgrade to an official residence. The celebrated architect Michael Zemtsov started the construction of palace and Park ensemble in 1743, but after his soon death another architect Andrei Kvassov has to overtake a task. All the projects of new constructions were rejected by the Empress, and at last the construction started under the supervision of an outstanding architect Rastrelli, who based his blueprints on the concept of Russia’s growing international prestige.

As the result a stunning sample of Russian Baroque – Catherine’s Palace – was finished in 1756. Later some of the palace interiors were restored to the designs of Cameron, Stassov and Monighetti, but the undeniable pearl of the Catherine’s Palace – the Amber Room – was preserved from the very beginning. Originally stored in the Winter Palace up to 1745, the product of German design by Andrea Schluter was finally carried to Tsarskoe Selo.

The Catherine’s Palace is surrounded by an area of 600 hectares, filled with more then 100 different constructions, including an intimate and cozy hermitage pavilion (by Rastrelli) and the Gratto, standing on the lake’s shore. The Lower bath and Upper bath pavilions appeared in an Old Park by the design of architect Neyelov.

The regular Old Park is a magnificent work of talented gardeners, distinguished by its geometrical regularity: in front of the Catherine palace one can see parterres covered with crushed brick and coal; Mirror ponds are perfectly symmetric about the Main Avenue; trees and shrubs are trimmed into geometrical shape, dividing a park into cozy corners.

Based on the unadorned nature, the first landscape park in Russia was laid out in Pushkin during the times of Catherine II. On her order renowned architects built different architectural complexes: Cameron constructed baths on the Roman pattern, featuring the pavilions for relaxation and a magnificent spacious roofed-in gallery, called later the Cameron gallery after its creator. Later on Velten built for Catherine and her favorite Platon Zubov a separate house, which acquired the name Zubovsky. Another court house, built according to his project, was rebuilt later to accommodate the famous Pushkinsky Liceum.

Nowadays Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin) is one of the most visited and beloved by tourists and inhabitants of St.Petersburg residence of Russian Imperial Family, famous for its rich decorations, the great Amber Room and, of course, for cozy and breathtaking palace surroundings.

NB! You can visit this suburb during our individual tours to Tsarskoe Selo!

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