History of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) town: basic facts about attractions
The history of the town of Pushkin is dating back to the early 1700s. Peter the Great was actively developing the lands around St Petersburg. The legend tells that during his many travels he liked to stay at the certain Finnish farm named “Saari on myös”, which stands for the “upland area”. Peter developed such affection towards this place that he wanted a summer country house here. Tsar Peter in 1710presented that plot of land to his second spouse Catherine. The countryside manor has been erected and small town developed nearby. During the 1700s residence name was changed into “Tsarskoye Selo”, which stands for “Tsar’s Village”. Imperial palaces and parks were nationalised afterwards 1917 revolutionary upheaval. The history of the name Tsarskoye Selo was not over: under the Soviets it was renamed once again after Alexander Pushkin, Russian top romantic poet. Pushkin town is the suburb of St Petersburg now. Pushkin sights are among the top popular museums in Russian Federation. In spoken local language both names , Tsarskoye Selo and Pushkin, apply.
Parks and Palaces in Tsarskoye Selo
Pushkin town history spans over 2 centuries. Landmarks and attractions were built as the summer palaces of the Russian Imperial court. Catherine Palace was commenced in the 1750s. Lanscape park full of intricate garden designs, Greek-style pavilions, colonnades was developed next to palace building. Name given was Catherine Park. Alexander Palace is dating back to the 1790s. That yellow classical style structure was also completed by the lovely park, named Alexander Park.
Catherine Palace – history and interiors
Sole heir of Peter I, Elisabeth, has inherited this modest country seat of her mother. Elisabeth ordered to rebuild the manor completely . Active reconstruction went on for decades; final version of contemporary dazzling palace was accomplished in 1756 by the Imperial architect Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli . The brilliant Russian baroque enfilade of rooms is styled by Rastrelli, including one much advertised Amber Chamber. The next ruler , Catherine the Great, loved Catherine palace too. Interesting fact: palace is named not after her, but after Catherine I, the spouse of Peter the Great. Catherine the Great employed Scotsman Charles Cameron to reconstruct several premisesin classical style. The grandson of Catherine the Great, Alexander I, lived in this palace every now and then during Napoleonic campaigns, so he made some reconstructions too. The last Russian Royals to use Catherine Palace was Alexander II, the contemporary of Queen Victoria. During 1917 revolution the palace was nationalised by the state. Pushkin town was occupied in 1941 by the Nazis, the palace was set on fire and artifacts looted. It has taken several decades to restore after the war, certain restoration works continue now.
The genuine Baltic amber panels were presented to Peter the Great in 1716 by Prussian King. Peter’s daughter Elisabeth ordered to bring them into Tsarskoye Selo and arrange the special Amber Room in Catherine Palace. Durine the Second World War the panels were stolen by the Nazis. What happened with them is still one of the biggest mysteries of the 20th century. After many futile attempts to find the panels local historians decided to reconstruct the Amber Room. This amazing restoration project was completed in 2003.
This large elegant classical building, located 10 minutes walk from Catherine Palace, was constructed on the orders of Catherine the Great in late 1790s. She intended it for her grandson Alexander, the Grand duke, and his wife Elisabeth. Architect in charge of the construction works was Giacomo Quarenghi. During the 19th century Alexander Palace was used as the summer residence by Emperor Nicholas I. In the early 20th century this palace became the permanent home of the last imperial couple, Nicholas II and Alexandra. Alexander Palace was devastated by the Nazis during 1940s. Restoration is still being fulfilled.
Alexander and Catherine Parks in Tsarskoye Selo
These incredible gardens illustrate the changes of gardening fashions in 1700s – 1800s. Catherine Park around Catherine Palace was started in the early 1700s as the modest vegetable garden. Later on under Elisabeth I it was remediated as French-style formal garden. The next Empress, Catherine the Great, expanded the park in fashionable English-style landscape garden. Catherine ordered to built many pavilions in the garden, and Agate Rooms building – her private quarters. Alexander Park around Alexander Palace was also developed under Catherine the Great. There she fulfilled her dreams about Oriental architecture, building the Chinese Village. In 1830s her grandson Nicholas I constructed many various Romanticism style pavilions in Alexander Garden, inspired by the very popular medieval stories by Sir Walter Scott.