The original Amber Room in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg was a complete chamber decoration of amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. Due to its singular beauty, it was sometimes dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World".
The Amber Room was created from 1701 to 1709 in Prussia and remained at Charlottenburg Palace until 1716 when it was given by Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I to his then ally, Tsar Peter the Great of the Russian Empire.
The Amber Room has been shipped on the ocean as a royal gift packed in 18 large boxes. First it got to Memel (Klaipeda) and from there in April 1717 with the help of 18 horse trecks to Petersburg.
The Amber Room was installed in the so called Winterhaus as a part of the art collection of Russian and Westeuropean artists. In 1822/23 it was mounted in the Winter Palais in Petersburg. In 1755, when this building had to be replaced by a new Winter Palace built by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli (1700-1771), Zarin Elisabeth gave the order to bring the Amber Room to Zarskoje Selo in order to use it to decorate the Summer Palace of the Zar. It was the so-called Catherine Palace where Rastrelli created a room of extraordinary beauty.
The Amber Room was looted during World War II by Nazi Germany and brought to Königsberg. Knowledge of its whereabouts was lost in the chaos at the end of the war. Its fate remains a mystery, and the search continues.
A reconstructed Amber Room was inaugurated in 2003 in the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In a way it seems that this palace consists mainly of different diningrooms and this one is another very good excample for them: just take a look at these very special table-decorations made of precious porcelain, the fine tableware and the precious porcelain that is set at the table.
Most of the large tiles-stoves can be heated from another room in the backside, so the empoyees did not disturbish the royal family while looking after the fire.
This is the famous Amber-room: that is what most of the tourists are coming for although what you will see it is just a modern replica of the real amber-room, that is considdered lost since WW II.
This room is held quite dark, because they say that the amber might fade its colors in the bright sunshine and that is also why flash photography is forbidden there.
I have to say this room was interesting to see, BUT once that you are there and had seen a lot of the other beautifully decorated ornate rooms of this palace the Amberroom is not really anything special, except for the quite unique material that was used there of course.
The original Amber Room / Bernsteinzimmer was created in 1709 in Germany for Charlottenburg Palace. In 1716 it was given by the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I as a present to Peter the Great. It was shipped to Russia and installed first in the so called Winterhaus in Tsarskoje Selo and in 1755 it was finally reconstructed as one of the rooms of the Katherine Palace there.
In WW II the Nazis stole the Amber-room and shipped it first to Koenigsberg and then to a secret place that was never found again.
Empress Katherine I was the 2nd wife of Peter the Great, who gave this palace as a present to his wife in 1708. It soon became one of the favorite royal palaces of Katharina and it was soon rebuilt in baroque style by the architect Francesco Bartholomeo Rastrelli.
In my main photo you will see the facade of the Katherine Palace of Tsarskoe Selo and unfortunately they were still restoring a part of its facades in June 2009 while I was there. Tsarskoe Selo means "the village of the Tzar" and it is just about 25 km from the city centre of St. Petersburg. The backside of the palace looks a lot better, take a look at my last 3 photos,you will get to this part of the park mostly after the tour through the palace !
The front of the palace is planned to be finished by summer 2010.
Here in this tip I combined some photos of different rooms, so you have an idea what it will be like to take the tour through the Katherine Palace of Tasarkoje Selo / Pushkin. The whole tour lasted a bit more than 40 minutes maybe, it is mostly quite hard to take photos because most rooms are really crowded by different groups and you have to eighter stay back and take your pics or be able to listen to the explanations of your tourguide.
Well, I admit I prefer taking my photos and rather enjoy the beauty of the exhibits than to listen to all of the stories of a tourguide.
This is the large entrancehall of the Katherine Palace of Tsarskoe Selo / Pushkin and this also the first impression of the interior that you get when starting the tour through the palace. The stairs will take you to the upper rooms and you will see two interesting blue clocks with some fine stucco-works around of them (my 1st and my last photo) There are also fine stuccoworks and great paintings at the ceiling.
Photography is no problem in this palace, as long as you dont flash !
The so-called "Green Diningroom" was built and decorated by the architect Ch.Cameron in 1780 and it was restored as one of the first rooms in 1959. Also in this room the table is set like dinner would be served any minute with precious porcelain, tablecloth and table-decorations.
What I like most about this room, that is quite small against the other rooms of this palace: All of the room follows a certain concept with wall-decoartions that remind me of roman villas and the fine shades of the green color in all of the furniture and walldecorations that makes this room really unique.
This is just one of the many differentely decorated Diningrooms of Catherines palace in Tsarskoe Selo / Pushkin. Take a closer look at the giant tiles-stove and the great ornate decorations in that room and what I found the most interesting : the table is set like dinner would be served in just a few minutes with precious porcelain and table-decorations.
It is just a pity that in summer it is always a hassle to walk through these rooms with 2 other groups in front of you and 3 other groups behind of your group and all that you have there is just a few minutes to enjoy.
This is the entrancegate to the Catherine palace of Tsarskoe Selo (=Tsar's Village). All visitors have to stay outside of this gate untill it is their turn to enter and that gives you some time to take a closer look at the ornate decorations of this solid iron-fence.
From this gate you still have to walk about 200 meters to the palace with a wide park in between. The park-train also stops at this gate and in case that you dont want to go inside the palace, that gate is the closest place you can see the palace from this side without needing to have a ticket.
This is the Great Hall or maybe it is better to call it the "Hall of mirrors" as you will find it also in many other royal palaces in Europe of that time. Hundreds of smaller and larger mirrors are reflecting the light and making this giant hall seem even bigger.
Take a look at my extra-photos as well, there are a lot of golden stuccoworks on the walls and the floor is made of precious woods forming a wonderful pattern.
The ceiling is decorated by a single, giant painting that is much too large to make a photo of it even with the widest wideangle-lense.
Located just 25 kilometers south of the city, the estate boasts a large landscape park, dotted with architectural follies, and centered on the magnificent blue, white and gold Catherine Palace.
In 1708, Peter the Great gave the estate to his wife - future Empress Catherine I - as a present.
It was Catherine who started to develop the place as a royal country residence.
Named after its creator, Empress Catherine, the second wife of Peter the Great, the original palace was built between 1717 and 1723 by the architect Braunstein.
The palace was expanded later in the century and given a new, richly decorated Baroque facade by the architect Francesco Bartholomeo Rastrelli. The Catherine Palace houses some beautiful Baroque interiors, including the luxurious Grand Hall, a long, gold, mirrored ballroom. The Palace also boasts a unique Amber Room, whose priceless amber panels were stolen by Nazi troops during WWII, but which are now being painstakingly recreated by Russian craftsmen.
When you visiting the Sankt-Peterburg, then you certainly must to visit Catherine Palace.
This is the miraculous tourist atraction. There was two places, what I've enjoyed the more in my trip to Sankt-Peterburg. And the Catherine Palace was one of them.
Open Wednesday to Monday, 10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Tuesdays and the last Monday of each month
There are 2 main parks at the palace.
Both named after the masters
Catherine and Alexandra.
Aleksandrovskiy Park and
Just take a train from Vitebski Station in
St.Petersburg, it takes about 40 mins if
I remember rightly and go at least every
half hour or hour.
It's then a good walk to the Palace with its
parks through the town of Pushkin.
A shot of vodka and a 'blini' is a good
thing to have if it's not summer in one
of the cafes or resteraunts on the way.
more text soon
You can rent a boat and row around this beautiful man made lake.
I remember Lada(my Russian girlfriend)
and I with her friend Oleg were messing about on
the lake, the place was closing up but we just were in total bliss
on that warm summers evening. Wonderful being there when all
other people had left and the serenity and beauty still remain
fresh in my memory.
The Turkish Bath Pavilion .Designed by I.Monighetti 1850-52
The staircase has one entry which leads into the park and onto the square. There is also a big open balcony off it. There are 3 paintings which adorn the ceiling: In the center is the painting "The Triumph of Venus" by Joseph Viena and at the sides "The Rape of Europe" and "Galatea". The Grand Staircase is located in the centre of the palace.
The beautiful facade features golden domes and blue and white detailing – quite beautiful against the snow - while the inside is filled with mirrors, chandeliers and angelic cherubs. Interestingly, the kitchen was in a building separate to the Palace which could be accessed by an underground passageway as Catherine did not like to have the smell of food cooking in the palace. Don't miss the Fabergé exhibition.