Near Saint Petersburg – Puzhkin or Zarskoe Selo with the palace

On a beautiful sunny day in June 2017, we take the Elektritschka from the Vitebsky railway station in Saint Petersburg to Pushkin.

Around eleven we arrive in the city centre of Pushkin. The central railway station of Pushkin is called Tsarskoye Selo.

A bus takes us to the area of Tsarkoye Selo with the park and the castles. We buy a ticket for the park and then search for the place where we can buy the ticket to enter Catherine’s palace (Екатерининский дворец). We walk around the palace, we ask and ask, we always get the answer “the ticket you can buy inside the palace”. But where? After half an hour of walking we find a long queue and this is the queue waiting to buy tickets and enter the palace. As we were waiting, the queue behind us became longer and longer.

The palace opens at noon, and then ticket sales for the palace begin. Around 1pm we are about this far in front of the beautiful facade conceived by Rastrelli. It is 300m long.

The facade is decorated with lady atlantes that are called caryatides. They are made out of terracotta dyed in yellow (they look as if made out of gold).

A large group of loudly shouting Chinese tries to squeeze into the queue. A Russian with a flag has acted as their placeholder. No! A battle is about to start, as we and some others are defending our places in the queue – successfully. Around 1:15, after 1.5 hours waiting, we are inside the palace. We are not alone.

This is the bright Grand Hall. It is 80m long.

The ceiling shows allegories of art.

We follow the enfilade of rooms – one door behind the next. One room more precious than the previous.

This is one example, called the Green Room.

The most precious room is the Amber Room (Янтарная комната) reconstructed in 2003. I point to the images in the Internet, as it is forbidden to take fotos. Ursula likes the room. It is just amber brown which gives it a harmonic look. The amber room has been reconstructed from scratch, as the original plates have been lost during the Second World War. What would they do, if they found the original again? Would they redo the amber room with the original amber plates? Or would they sell the original room at Christie’s?

After a short break in the cafeteria, we take more photos in the beautiful garden. This is the Upper Bath.

The Ermitage in the park…

… is decorated with some more caryatides.

The Grotto pavillon…

… is overlooking a lake with this romantic island.

Not far from here are a Turkish mosque.

… and the romantic Marble Bridge.

It is a beautiful large park. We enjoy the view back…

… and then take the Elektritschka to Vitebsky Station in Saint Petersburg. It is a beautiful modern style building.

Perhaps we will have to come back to Saint Petersburg and Tsarskoye Selo in late autumn or winter to see, what the palace of Catherine I looks like, when it is less crowded. And then we might also visit the Alexander Palace that the last Tsar preferred, because it is more intimate.


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