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Zarskoje Selo - Catherine's Palace, Pushkin, St Petersburg

Located in the suburb of Pushkin, Catherine's Palace was built in 1752 for Czarina Elizabeth and named after her mother Catherine I. It is set in the most beautiful grounds.

In order to avoid the crowds - the palace is a very popular tourist destination - we arrived some 30 minutes before it opened. Behind the locked gates cleaners were washing the tarmac driveway! To keep us entertained, we were serenaded by a professional brass band which had frequent commercial breaks for donations and to sell their CDs.

Brass band outside the gates of Catherine's Palace, Pushkin
Music while we waited for the gates to open

On entering Catherine's Palace, we all had to put on "j-cloth" overshoes to protect the floor. The Palace was enormous and stunning. We were led through room after huge room, each ornately decorated in a different style.

Putting on our overshoes before entering Catherine's Palace
Putting on our overshoes

Interior of Catherine's Palace, St Petersburg
Gold everywhere - no wonder they had a revolution
Catherine's Palace, Pushkin
More gold and a ceramic heater . . .
Ornate ceiling in Catherine's Palace, St Petersburg
. . . and a painted ceiling

Lake at Catherine's Palace, Pushkin
Clearing a lake in the grounds


The Gallery at Catherine's Palace, Pushkin
Gallery overlooking the gardens



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