Tsarskoe Selo was the old name of this town and it was renamed Pushkin in 1937, because Alexander Pushkin was a student there in the local Lycee Zarskoje Selo,that was founded in 1810 by Tzar Zar Alexander I. in order to educate his own children togeather with sons of the elite families of the empire. This school was considdered to be the very best in the russian empire.
Alexander Sergejewitsch Puschkin (1799-1837) attended this Lycee from 1810-1817.
There is a nice park around of his monument there with some benches.
I have no idea about the real name of this lovely blue pavillon next to one of the lakes in the park behind of Katherine Palace, that is why I use the name "Blue pavillon" for it.
We were taken there by our tourguide and had some time there as well to listen to a men's chorus, that was really great in one of the sidehalls of this pavillon.
Also the interior of this pavillon is worth seeing !
Dont miss to take a look inside of this lovely blue pavillon that is obviously also used for local wedding-ceremonies and similar private occasions. On that hot day in june 2009 it was also a pleasure to get inside and breath some cool air after a walk through the park in the hot midday-sun.
Be prepared that this place is always quite crowded because of the singers who are performing in one of the sidehalls of this building !
This is the parkside of the palace and the place where we gathered after the guided tour through Katherine Palace. At this side the facades are renovated already and it is much better to take your photographs.
In my last photo you will also see the queue of people who would like to enter the palace from the parkside. Obviously that is the side to enter, when you are not part of a group.
The Upper Bath Pavillon is another building that I would have wished to have more time for, but we were in a hurry and could take just a few photographs.
The upper bath was built by I.Neyelov in 1780 and when you take a look at my other photos you can imagine what a great and sunny place this was in order to take a bath, quite close to the palace.
We saw this "egyptian gate" in the centre of a roundabout on our way to Katherine palace, while sitting inside the tourbus. That is why there are some reflections in my photos. The tourguide did not mention this gate at all, so maybe it is something new.
I think it looks interesting and maybe I can take a closer look next time, when I may be able to go there on my own, without the pressure of beeing part of a tourbus-group.
The Cameron Gallery is a building that obviously everybody is just passing by, maybe that is because after the Katherine Palace you are exhausted of seeing too much architecture and prefer to walk through the lovely park instead.
Cameron Gallery was named after the architect Charles Cameron, who was one of the architects that were hired for Katherine palace and the park.
This gallery obviously was ment in order to be able to take a walk and look into the park even on a rainy day.
There is a really giant park around of the Katherine palace and I think you could stay there for a full day in order to explore and really enjoy all of its sights.
That little "park-train" that I show in my transportation-tips might be a good idea in order to get a good first overview. We saw a "turkish bathhouse" in the distance and some interesting towers, but did not have enough time to get any closer...
Since most people come to Pushkin to visit Tsarskoe Selo, I consider Alexnader Palace to be a bit "off the beaten path." The fact that we also had to wait fifteen minutes, so the building's caretaker could find someone to sell us a ticket (and to rouse the women who normally guard the rooms to their posts), confirms that it was a slow season, at least. :-)
Despite the low profile, Alexander Palace is fantasic and shouldn't be missed if you're in the town. The small, life-sized palace was the home of the Romanov's (Nicholas & his family) in the years before their house arrest.
Each of the simple rooms is decorated with personal items from the family (things that were miraculously undamaged, thanks to hiding spots in the palace); photos, dolls, books and other items are carefully laid out as they might have been when in use. The overall effect is one of great intimacy. . .it's amazing how such tiny things can give life to such powerful emotions.
Tsarskoe Selo was renamed after the poet in 1937 (he was a student in the local Lycee). The town officially retook its original name in the late 90's, but is still typically known as Pushkin.
It was in front of this statue that we had our first encounter with "begging" in Russia (this was at the end of our first week). An older gentleman selling postcards and souvenirs hit us up for a sale, which I auto-declined. . .however, he cited his montly pension and lack of resources (plaintively and effectively). We certainly saw beggars again (I'm from Toronto; there are lots here, too), but this man's story left a deep impression on both of us.
Even if every inch of ground is covered in one big snowdrift, and the gentle river is a skating rink for all intents and purposes, you should still make your way out to and around the park at Catherine Palace. ANYbody can say they hiked around here in the summer when it's green and dry, afterall. ;--}
This is also in the Pushkin Park, if you walk far enough towards some back exit you will pass this tower, where they have nice restaurants and terrace by it.