©Tsarskoe Selo State Museum and Heritage Site
Tsarskoe Selo State Museum and Heritage Site
The Tsarskoe Selo State Museum and Heritage Site is a superb monument of world-ranking architecture and landscape design dating from the 18th to the early 20th century.
Over a hundred historical monuments are scattered across the Catherine, Alexander and Babolovo Parks that have a joint area of more than 500 hectares: there are magnificent palaces and pavilions, bridges and marble monuments, as well as exotic structures imitating Gothic, Turkish and Chinese architecture.
The compositional centre is the Catherine Palace, a splendid example of Russian Baroque. Visitors are enraptured by the sumptuous décor of the Great Hall and the Golden Enfilade of state rooms, including the world-famous Amber Room now returned to life.
Founded in 1710 as a small estate presented by Peter the Great to his future wife Catherine (later Empress Catherine I), Tsarskoe Selo was an imperial summer residence for over two centuries. The tastes of its crowned owners and the talents of some prominent European and Russian architects determined the development of the estate.
The heydays of Tsarskoe Selo were the times of Elizabeth Petrovna, Peter’s daughter, and Catherine II. The 18th century was when the Catherine Palace (then the Great Palace of Tsarskoe Selo) appeared in its accomplished form. The regular garden was extended by a spacious landscape park. Also built were the Alexander Palace and the New Garden, later included into the Alexander Park.
Nationalized after the Russian Revolution and turned into museums in 1918, the palaces and parks of Tsarskoe Selo suffered badly during WWII. Unprecedented restoration and reconstruction work began in 1957 and is still in progress.
The Tsarskoe Selo
State Museum and Heritage Site
7 Sadovaya Street, Pushkin
St Petersburg, 196601 – Russia