The tsars have gone down in history for their luxurious lifestyles and there are few better examples than Pushkin. It began life as Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar’s Village) under Catherine the Great and subsequently each new palace was designed to surpass what was already there.
Visit the magnificent Catherine Palace, a majestic rococo residence designed by Francesco Rastrelli, who rebuilt the existing palace to create an extravagant residence between 1740 and 1750. Despite extensive war damage, the palace today bears the turquoise, white and gilt colours so beloved by Rastrelli. The golden domes needed some 100kg of gold to gild them. Venture inside and behold the outlandish opulence. See the Great Hall’s gilded carvings and immense chandeliers. Visit the recreated Amber Room Palace, the imposing Picture Hall and the Green Dining Room among other fine rooms.
The architecture of the palace blends harmoniously into the surrounding landscaped parks and gardens which were also extended. The picturesque Alexander Park is dotted with pavilions and ponds. It also boasts a variety of fanciful bridges, pergolas and sculptures. The park connects to Alexander Palace, which was built for the future Tsar Alexander I as a wedding gift from his doting grandmother Catherine the Great.