This 4-hour Catherine Palace tour, led by an expert in art history, provides an in-depth examination of Russia’s most famous imperial residence. Tsarskoye Selo (the Royal Village) is located 25 km south of St. Petersburg. Peter I gave this land first to his favourite, Prince Alexander Menshikov, but later took his gift back and granted it instead to his wife, Ekaterina Alekseyevna, the future Empress Catherine I.
When Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, inherited this property, she decided to turn this estate into her gala summer residence. By order of Elizabeth, the unique palace (with the famous “Amber Room”) and park ensemble were created here.
The most significant alterations, however, were made to the palace and park during the reign of Catherine the Great. The Catherine Park was extended with the layout of the garden landscaped in the English style. In the palace itself part of “Elizabeth’s baroque” interiors with abundance of gilded mouldings and sculptures were completely altered by the Scottish architect Charles Cameron in the spirit of the increasingly fashionable Classical style, which got the name “Catherine’s Classicism”. Since then the palace and park with a series of galleries and monuments (with some built for Catherine’s minions and favourites) have remained the symbol of “The Golden Age of Catherine the Great”.
Alexander Pushkin, the poet, lived and studied here and called this place "the Town of Muses". Since then, it has inspired many celebrated Russian poets, painters and musicians to create their renowned masterpieces in music and art. Tsarskoye Selo is often called “the birthplace of Russian poetry”.
Over the course of the visit, we will develop a better understanding of not only the art and interiors the palace contains but the intricacies and politics of its former owners.
We highly recommend combining this excursion with the following tours:
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My Daughter and I almost didn't get to take this tour, but Tailored Tours, made it happen, with the entire program we had planned!!
Our ship was delayed, due to storms, by a day. Fortunately, I was able to call Tim from the ship, and we rearrainged the tour. We were even able to tour Catherines Palace which had to be reserved again. Tim Loves Russian History and brought St Petersburg alive for us. What beautiful palaces, what history. We had time to walk the gardens, eat local, and even had a quick shopping stop!! Thank you Tailored Tours, for saving this trip for us with this fantastic tour!!!