Catherine Palace, Russia

Photo Friday: Catherine Palace, Russia

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

Without a doubt, the most fascinating part about Russia is its palaces in all their ornate, over-the-top glory.

Catherine Palace, RussiaThere are plenty of palaces within St. Petersburg, but on the final day in Russia, we headed 25 kilometers out to Tsarskoe Selo, where Catherine I once resided.

Catherine Palace, RussiaWe took an Enrichment Voyages tour called Palace & Owners, and along with 100 of our closest ship friends, set out to explore one of Russia’s most famous structures: Catherine Palace.

Catherine Palace, Russia Catherine Palace, Russia Catherine Palace, RussiaThe original building was constructed in 1717 as Catherine I’s summer palace. Because every royal needs multiple palaces. Obviously.

Catherine Palace, Russia Catherine Palace, Russia Catherine Palace, RussiaBut it wasn’t good enough for Catherine’s daughter, Elizabeth, so in the mid-1700s, she had her architect demolish the existing structure and replace it with a much grander, Rococo-style palace for her mom.

Catherine Palace, Russia Palaces-14Then that iteration of Catherine Palace lasted until World War II when the Germans came in and intentionally destroyed the whole place, leaving just the shell.

Catherine Palace, Russia Catherine Palace, RussiaBut, of course, the palace was restored to its formal glory, and now serves as the site for celebrity functions and other high-profile events.

Catherine Palace, Russia Catherine Palace, RussiaOh to be rich and royal and not only have a second home of this magnitude and artistry, but have it recreated every time someone opts to drop a bomb on it.

Catherine Palace, Russia Catherine Palace, Russia Catherine Palace, Russia

COMMENTS
  • August 2, 2013

    Yes, Catherine knew how to live.

  • August 2, 2013

    Amazing how they can keep everything so clean and perfect! Looks like it was built and painted yesterday not in the 1700’s. So beautiful!

    • August 3, 2013

      Ha, well, that’s probably because they finished rebuilding/restoring in 2003 after the bombing!

  • August 2, 2013
    Greg Hunter

    The destruction and restoration of the palace and grounds is a series of truly amazing stories. With only days to prepare for the evacuation, everything that wasn’t nailed down was boxed up and taken to the countryside, and everything that was nailed down was photographed. German and Spanish Nazis looted and burned the place, but didn’t destroy it entirely. The two giant bronze sculptures on the back end of the Cameron Gallery were found chained to the back of Nazi tanks that were dragging them back to Germany, while the statue of Pushkin on the other end of the house was left untouched. In the years after the war, the Soviet government did a pretty good job of putting it back together.
    And the Amber Room is worth a long post all by itself. The amber panels – made in an agen when amber was worth ten times as much as gold – were hidden behind plaster and leather, but the Germans cut them out to take them back to Germany. Then they disappeared, never to be seen again.
    I’m just trying to get you to agree to go back with me. Lots more to see!

    • August 3, 2013

      No convincing needed! Just more free time in my schedule πŸ˜‰

  • August 2, 2013
    Greg Hunter

    The destruction and restoration of the palace and grounds is a series of truly amazing stories. With only days to prepare for the evacuation, everything that wasn’t nailed down was boxed up and taken to the countryside, and everything that was nailed down was photographed. German and Spanish Nazis looted and burned the place, but didn’t destroy it entirely. The two giant bronze sculptures on the back end of the Cameron Gallery were found chained to the back of Nazi tanks that were dragging them back to Germany, while the statue of Pushkin on the other end of the house was left untouched. In the years after the war, the Soviet government did a pretty good job of putting it back together.
    And the Amber Room is worth a long post all by itself. The amber panels – made in an agen when amber was worth ten times as much as gold – were hidden behind plaster and leather, but the Germans cut them out to take them back to Germany. Then they disappeared, never to be seen again.
    I’m just trying to get you to agree to go back with me. Lots more to see!

  • August 2, 2013

    Pure opulence of the most breathtaking kind. All that rebuilding says a lot for the culture.

  • August 3, 2013

    Wow, those rooms are completely over the top but breath taking. I like that each room is so empty. There’s nothing to distracted from the beauty of the room itself. I can remember walking around the Louvre wishing they’d move the paintings into a different plainer building so that I could enjoy the artwork and the building itself separately … if this building was filled with period piece artifacts it would be the same. And yes, wouldn’t it be nice to have a palace … or a spare palace or two even if the price was having to restore it after a war. Maybe I should start telling my kids they need to build me a summer palace of my own when they are older!

  • August 3, 2013

    I don’t really know what else to say about all that sparkle and fancy, other than HOLY HELL. Just…HOLY HELL. It’s incredible.

  • August 3, 2013

    I’m so glad the Soviet-era Russians didn’t decide to destroy all that beauty, given its excessiveness, and that it all still exists for us to enjoy today! Would love to see some time.

  • August 4, 2013

    Your photos are beautiful! It was so crowded when we visited that it was difficult to get a photo or even a look at anything as the crowd just kept pushing forward. My kids much preferred walking outside the palace and one of our best memories is my younger daughter, who was 6 at the time, dancing to the music that the band was playing at the entrance. It made me smile when I saw them in the background of one of your shots.

  • August 4, 2013

    I love your photos! I saw a royal palace in Estonia but it was nowhere near as ornate. I’m so glad this one was reconstructed after the bombing!

  • August 5, 2013

    Wow there are no words…these are all just so beyond gorgeous!!!!

  • August 6, 2013

    Ok, that’s it. I have to go to Russia now… Those pictures look like the palaces would dwarf the likes of Windsor Castle. Especially loving the Rococo style palace. Nice pad indeed!

  • August 8, 2013

    I mean wow. Just wow. Even in your photos the whole place just glows gold. I can understand why based on the amount of golden fixtures and decorations all over the house. Really stunning architecture…

  • August 10, 2013

    Spectacular like everything is just bathed in gold. Can you just imagine if the Amber Room had been found? That place would have been even more stunning than ever. Thanks for posting, you really captured the grandure and opulence of the whole place. Cheers.

  • August 10, 2013

    Spectacular! Like everything is just bathed in gold. Can you just imagine if the Amber Room had been found? That place would have been even more stunning than ever. Thanks for posting, you really captured the grandure and opulence of the whole place.

  • August 21, 2013

    What an incredible place. You can tell the amount of time that went into building it by all of the little details everywhere. Very nice shots, made me feel like I took a mini tour of the place =)

  • September 7, 2013

    Incredible. simply, incredible.

  • September 29, 2013

    Great pics! Seems like a great place to visit! πŸ™‚

  • October 8, 2013

    Amazing architecture, Looks really awesome, I wonder how they maintain the place so clean…

  • September 29, 2014

    Amazing photos! It is hard to find words to describe the beauty of the Catherine Palace.

  • October 20, 2016

    Very interesting post – a great place to visit!

Leave a Comment

GET MY POSTS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX
+ Sign up and receive your free copy of my eBook