Today we are looking at Catherine The Great’s Palace in
Pushkin (Tzarskoe Selo). This is the last spring album. However, the next
few albums will contain altogether, my photos taken during the spring and
the summer as well. So, do not be alarmed by appearing and disappearing
grass in the pictures…
In 1752 the Empress Elizabeth (the
daughter of Peter I) signed the order to build a new Palace to replace
the old wooden one, constructed in 1717 for her mother and Peter’s
second wife Ecaterina I (Catherine I).
Through the years, architects I. Braunstein, I. Ferster, M.Zemtsov,
A. Kvasov, S. Chevakinskiy and eventually B. Rasstrelli supervised the
The Palace was officially open in 1756;
Francesco Bartholomew Rasstrelli put 8 years of his life in to it and
created an unmatched masterpiece of Russian Baroque architecture.
full length of the Catherine The Great’s Palace is 325 m.
The Palace looks very similar to the Winter Palace, which is
understandable: same architect- B. Rasstrelli, same style- Russian
The Central Part Of The Palace.
The decorative reliefs – cartouches are
made from the models by the sculptor I. Dunker.
By the time of Catherine II (The Great)
the gold leaf on the cartouches was worn out. At that time Catherine did
try to control the court’s spending, so paint replaced gold leaf…
In order to “economize” some courtiers were required to simplify
their wardrobes, staff was laid off…and so on…and so forth… This trend
did not stay for long, as the Empress soon discovered that progressive
views are bit lame…
But by the look of things the paint stayed on …
Rasstrelly partly preserved the structure
of the old Palace.
The “Middle House”(on the picture), has two sides
each with a gallery leading to the “Church” and “Zubov” Wings.
In 1918 after the revolution Catherine
The Great’s Palace was opened as a museum.
Now, let’s have a look at another side of
On the left we see the part of “The Lyceum”. On the right
is The Church Wing of the Palace. Built in 1782-1783 (architect I.V.
On the other side of the Palace (about 300m to the right, outside the
picture) is The Zubov Wing (architect Y.Felten, 1779-1785)
The beautiful Onion canopies signify the
But they are a completely decorative structure and cannot be seen
from the church’s interior.
Just more to the right: “The Iron Gate”.
Made in 1749 by metal master Cordoni by Rasstrelli’s project.
Through the Gate we can get into the Main
Ceremonial Courtyard (and look back)
The monogram “E” and “I” is for Ecaterina
(Catherine) I and that is why Catherine The Great’s Palace has this
The view from “The Iron Gate”.
Apparently in Rasstrelli’s eyes it was the most important view of his
The Main Ceremonial Courtyard façade.
Behind us is “The Golden Gate”. At the time of horses and carriages it
used to be The Main Entrance of the Empress’s residence.
The Golden Gate
The metal work is by the master Volkov.
Inside the Courtyard.
The architect A. Kvasov built the long pincers of servicing rooms
and workshops in 1744-1745.