Catherine Palace (Russia)
Saint Petersburg See list of castles in Russia
The Catherine Palace is located in the Russian town called today Pushkin and is located about 25 kilometers south-east of St. Petersburg.
The town of Pushkin and related imperial residences are also known with the Russian name Tsarskoye Selo, which in Italian means "the" Tsar Village.
The Catherine Palace is the former summer residence of the Russian emperors and dates back to 1752. It was originally intended to Catherine I of Russia, the favorite wife of Emperor Peter the Great; but after his death underwent considerable changes to the tastes of its successive owners.
The daughter of Peter I and Catherine I, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, after the death of his parents ordered to renovate the entire building that she thought was too modest, creating a sfarzosissima residence in the Russian Baroque style, with bright rooms for wealth light and the predominance of mirrors and wooden details covered with real gold in sheets.
She herself ordered his favorite architect, the Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, to create the famous Camera d'Ambra or the Amber Room: one of the greatest mysteries of the art world, disappeared at the time of the Second World War.
The exact copy of the Amber Room, which was rebuilt with enormous funding from the Russian government and the German one, was reopened to the public a few years ago, only in 2003 and is today the most popular attraction of the building, as you can read in more detail below .
After the death of Elizabeth Petrovna, the mistress of the Palace of Catherine became Catherine the Great, who ordered him to partially change the appearance of the building, creating salt in classic style, because at that time the Baroque was already out of fashion.
In this way, the Catherine Palace was the only building that was modified and changed from time to time according to the fashions and tastes different in different eras, but, despite the changes, the Catherine Palace was always one of the favorite summer residences by Russian emperors.
A testimony to this fact, that is the importance of this building in the life of the Tsars, the history of Russian infrastructure points out that just in 1837, to make it easier and more convenient transfer of the Tsars and the royal family, it was built the first railway line in Russia, which connected St. Petersburg just at the town of Tsarskoye Selo where the Catherine Palace.
After the Revolution of 1917, the Catherine Palace was nationalized and later there was opened the museum, which exposed the Soviet people the property of the imperial family. During World War II, the Catherine Palace suffered very great damage, was almost completely destroyed by German Nazis and so it was that the Palace was only the skeleton.
During the visit to the Catherine Palace you can see the old photographs that show the appearance of the building and the salt after the German occupation army and lets you appreciate at first hand the great work they have done restorers Russians. These, having only the photographs of the thirties and some original fragments, were able to reconstruct fully the Catherine Palace returning it to us in all its former glory.