The Catherine Palace of Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin).

Opening Hours of Catharine Palace of Tsarskoe Selo.

Thurthdays – Mondays from 10.00 till 18.00.
Closed: Tuesdays and last Monday of each month.
Ticket windows shut one hour before the museum closes.
Adress: The State Museum-Preserve Tsarskoye Selo 7 Sadovaya Street, Pushkin, St Petersburg, 196601.
Official web site of Catharine Palace.


Historical note on the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin).

The Catherine Palace is one of the most prestigious imperial residences and is located near the town of Pushkin, 25 km from St Petersburg. Originally Catherine only ordered one estate of modest size, in which the summer could be spent, to be built in 1717. Then her daughter Elizabeth, once she became Empress, wished to erect a new building that would have surprised all of Europe and where the receptions would be held at the court. The work was entrusted to the court architect Rastelli, who designed a sumptuous palace in the flamboyant Rococo style that was completed in 1756. Its huge blue facade is 300 meters long with white columns, its figures of Atlas, the capitals and gilded friezes and its silver roof provoked the astonishment and admiration of the court and foreign ambassadors. Under the reign of Catherine II the building was further modified by the Scottish architect Cameron who renewed the interiors including some of the private apartments of the Empress in the neo-classical style.

In order to understand the importance of the Catherine Palace for the Tsars it is worth noting that in 1837 the first Russian railway built connected Pushkin and St. Petersburg and in 1887 the imperial residence was the first in the country to be illuminated with electricity. After being almost totally destroyed during the Second World War, the complex was meticulously reconstructed after the war in line with Stalin’s personal will. 

The interiors are plush and house works of art of great value. Each room is furnished with the most fashionable and precious furniture, carpets and sculptures of their age. The most famous rooms include the Great hall of Rastrelli, decorated with wood carvings and huge gilt mirrors in which the gala balls were held, the Green Dining Room by Cameron with bas-reliefs in the Pompeian style and the Amber Room coated with pure amber panels depicting scenes created by the technique of Florentine mosaic.

But the magic of Pushkin is also linked to the splendid park that extends behind the Grand Palace for about 600 hectares. The park is home to one of the first examples of landscaped grounds in Russia and is enriched by numerous bridges, lakes, monuments and pavilions. Among these it is worth remembering the Baroque Hall of the Hermitage, the home of the most intimate parties of the court in which an ingenious system of lifts for the delivery of food guaranteed the confidentiality of the participants from the prying eyes of the servants, and The Gallery, a real covered gallery equipped with Roman baths and interior design inspired by ancient Greece.

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