|| The town of Pushkin is situated 20 kilometers from Saint Petersburg.
Formerly the Tsar's Village, it used to be the imperial
residence. In this town famous people such as, A.S.Pushkin, N.M.Karamzin,
M.Yu.Lermontov, A.N.Tolstoy, A.AAkhmatova used to live.
In the early 18th century Peter the
Great granted Menshikov a small county estate. It was then bequeathed to
the tsar's wife Ekaterina Alekseevna. Beginning in 1724 it was called, Tsarskoe
Selo. In 1718 the construction of a small palace with a garden began and
by the middle of the XVIII century Tsarskoe Selo had become the parade
|The project of the
Bolshoi Catherine Palace was started by M.Zemtsov and
A.Kvastsov. In 1748 the construction work was headed by the
architect V.Rastrelli. He developed a general plan of construction of the palace and park. The facade with a height of
more than 300 m is embellished with columns, figures of
Atlantis, cartouches with coats of arms and openwork balcony
railings. The suite of the golden parade halls along with the
widely known Amber Hall has impressed many of the architects'
contemporaries. The palace is surrounded with picturesque parks
adorned with marble sculptures (by masters of the Venetian
school such as P.Baratta, A.Tarsia, D.Bonazza).
The Ekateriniskiy and Alexandrovskiy
parks surrounding the palace on both sides are easily seen from windows
of the parade halls. The parks contain various pavilions.
Not far from the palace, near the
Hermitage alley, there are two pavilions in the simple classic style,
these are : the Upper and Lower Baths designed by the architect I.Neelov. On the shore of the pond the architect also erected the
Admiralty. Decorative brickwork, lancet windows, and crenellated turrets
contribute to the striking uniqueness of this edifice.
The Cameron Gallery was intended
particularly for viewing and walking about the park and was designed by
the architect Ch. Cameron. The peculiar beauty of the gallery is
reflected in its sculpture : bronze busts of the ancient philosophers,
poets, political and military leaders.
|Alexandrovskiy park contains the most remarkable structure - the
Alexander Palace. The Alexander Palace was build by Quarenghi in
1792. Catherine the Great wanted him to built a second, smaller
palace at Tsarskoye Selo for her beloved grandson, the future
Emperor Alexander I. The classical austerity of the Alexander
Palace is in contrast with its Baroque neighbour.
graceful yellow and white two -story building was made up of the
central part and two wings.
The main decorative feature is the double row of columns on the
Northern facade. The Palace is quite wide, it has over one
hundred rooms warmed by multicolored porcelain stoves, these
caused the mingling of the smell of burning wood with the
fragrant scent coming from smoking pots of incense. Parquet
floors were covered with rich Oriental rugs. The rooms were
furnished in mahogany, marble, gold, crystal, silk and velvet. The
state apartments and formal chambers were clustered in the
central building. The ministers of court and ladies-and gentlemen
-in-waiting had apartments in one of the two wings.
||Though the palace
was built for Alexander, he preferred the Catherine Palace, but
Nicholas I and Alexander III spent much time at the Alexander
Palace. It was here that Nicholas II
brought his bride in the spring of 1895.
It became their home for twenty-two years. Every season Empress
Alexander filled the Palace with flowers. In spring and summer
they were brought from the gardens and greenhouses around
St.Petersburg. In winter from Crimea by trains.
And it was here, where Nicholas II and
Alexander spent the last night at Tsarskoye Selo on August 13th 1917.
After the October Revolution of 1917 the Imperial apartments were
preserved intact as a unique Soviet Museum for some time, but during
World War II the palace was badly damaged. Much effort has been devoted
to the repair of the palace.
||Tsarskoe Selo also
holds the Lyceum, a school for the children of the nobility. It
was located in the four-story wing of the Catherine Palace
reconstructed for the educational purposes by V.Stasov. From
1811 to 1817 it had also been the place of Pushkin's education.
The motif of the Lyceum and its beautiful
parks influenced all of Pushkin's works. At the moment the Lyceum houses
the Pushkin Memorial Museum.