It is almost a miracle if one sees pictures of the Catherine Palace after the 2nd World War and then stands today in front of the reconstructed palace. After the war it was completely burnt out, the roof was missing and the bare brick walls soar into the air. Today, it shines once again in the old splendor of the 18th century.
But from the beginning. We reach Puschkin, a suburb, about 25 km south of St Petersburg directly from the airport. After leaving the car, we stand in front of a small church, the Church of the Annunciation. Empress Elisabeth I built it at the location, where Catherine I once set up a wooden church.
To the right is the Lyceum, where Pushkin spent 6 years. On the left is a park with a monument of Pushkin.
A part of the Orchestra the Catherine Palace plays in front of the entrance to the Catherine Palace.
We walk around the buildings of the forecourt to get an overall impression of this imposing building. Originally, all facade decorations were gilded, but after a short time, it was clear that due to the weather this was not a good idea.
Catherine II had them replaced with ocher-colored paint. Only the domes of the church remained gilded. This did not change the overall impression very much.
Artfully designed fences and entrance gates shield the grounds. Chinese temples and figures adorn this part of the park. In the background is a Chinese village. In the distance, we see the arsenal. This part of the park also houses the Alexander Palace.
We enter the Catherine Palace via the large stairwell, decorated with white Carrara marble.
Chinese vases adorn the walls. We come to the ballroom. It is decorated with extensive gold-painted decorations so that we just can’t stop wondering. After that, we turn in the opposite direction.
An almost endless set of rooms for guests, food, and bedrooms follows. Notable among many decorative details are miniature landscapes and artificial fruit bowls on the dining tables, as Catherine II liked it.
Among all these rooms is also the
Originally built for the Berlin Palace, the Prussian king Frederick William I exchanged it with the Tsar Peter the Great against Dragoons.
Lost in the Second World War, 50 specialists reconstructed it for 27 years. It reopened in 2003, on occasion of the 300-year anniversary of St. Petersburg.
In the spacious park are innumerable monuments, cottages, and pavilions. We particularly like to mention the Grotto, where the Russian male vocal ensemble Anthem usually performs small concerts. The most part of the music we use in this video is by courtesy of Anthem.
Another interesting building is the Hermitage. Here one celebrated small intimate feasts. Only a narrow staircase leads to the second floor. A big table with food could be lifted up from the first floor.
After the meal, it was sunk again and made the room a ballroom. Thus, none of the servants could follow the conversations of the invited guests. The kitchen was approx. 100 m far away. The question remains how they managed to serve the food warm.
Please read on > Visiting the Hermitage
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Dieser Beitrag in: Deutsch