Now, one of the highlilghts of our St Petersburg trip, the Catherine Palace at Pushkin. This was the summer palace of the Russian Tsars. This place was almost destroyed (80%) during World War II, before the Germans retreated after the seige of Leningrad, now called St Petersburg, (yes the Germans controlled this part), they burnt the Palace. Restoring it has taken decades, with work still ongoing. Description of the Palace from Wiki:
The residence originated in 1717, when Catherine I of Russia hired German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. In 1733, Empress Elizabeth commissioned Mikhail Zemtsov and Andrei Kvasov to expand the Catherine Palace. Empress Elizabeth, however, found her mother's residence outdated and incommodious and in May 1752 asked her court architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli to demolish the old structure and replace it with a much grander edifice in a flamboyant Rococo style. Construction lasted for four years, and on 30 July 1756 the architect presented the brand-new 325-meter-long palace to the Empress, her dazed courtiers, and stupefied foreign ambassadors.
More than 100 kilograms of gold were used to gild the sophisticated stucco façade and numerous statues erected on the roof. It was even rumoured that the palace's roof was constructed entirely of gold. In front of the palace a great formal garden was laid out. It centres on the azure-and-white Hermitage Pavilion near the lake, designed by Mikhail Zemtsov in 1744, remodelled by Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1749 and formerly crowned by a grand-gilded sculpture representing The Rape of Persephone. The interior of the pavilion featured dining tables with dumbwaiter mechanisms. The grand entrance to the palace is flanked by two massive "circumferences", also in the Rococo style. A delicate cast-iron grille separates the complex from the town of Tsarskoe Selo.
St Petersburg Russia Links
St Petersburg Russia Driving into Town and Nicholas I monument - https://youtu.be/8UbvjtHX89w
St Petersburg Russia Pushkin Shop and Driving to Catherine Palace
St Petersburg Russia Live Band outside Catherine Palace Gates
Catherine Palace (Pushkin) Walkthrough St Petersburg Russia Gorgeous Day!
McDonalds Lunch in St Petersburg Russia Drive to Hermitage People Watching
Hermitage Museum 2 Hour Visit in 6 Minutes St Petersburg Russia
Spilled Blood Church Church of the Saviour on Blood St Petersburg Russia
Serenade of the Seas sailaway St Petersburg Russie
We sail on the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas 7N Baltic Seas cruise out of Copenhagen Denmark, sailing to Stockholm (Sweden), Tallinn (Estonia), St Petersburg (Russia) and Helsinki (Finland). Our sailing was late May 2016. Launched in 2003, the Serenade of the Seas is a retrofitted Radiance class cruise ship. We stayed in a gorgeous Family Oceanview cabin 1054 and had a wonderful time. Follow my cruise critic review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2367291