The famous Amber Room! Who has not heard about it? Unique and beautiful! The residence itself is called Tsarskoe Selo (Village of the Tsars) and today it’s a town called Pushkin. It’s been since 1710, a gift from Peter the Great to his right arm Alexander Menshikov and then it was given to Peter’s spouse empress Catherine I. The palace we see today is 40-s-50s of the18th century. All of the big palaces were built for the empress Elizabeth, the Happy Empress, the younger daughter of Peter the Great who did not want to live in a «small» palace. Catherine’s Palace was called like this because of wife Peter the Great, Catherine I. Do not mix her with Catherine II. That’s a different woman!
Everyone associates this palace with Catherine the Great because she loved this residence and spent all of her summer time there. Of cause, baroque golden decoration of the palace is something everyone will find gorgeous but the main purpose for a visit is the Amber Room.
It looks like a jewelry box, it’s been decorated with 1,5 tons of amber and all in all it’s been 4 tons of amber cut, polished and used to create this masterpiece. Amber has up to to 400 colors and shades. It can be yellow, white, red. It is resin from pine trees but fossilized one. It’s absolutely antique and is millions of years old! The whiter the amber is the older it is! It is around 40 million years old. It is called royal amber or milky amber. Amber has always been a stone used to make gifts and presents for the royalty.
The Amber Room was used to impress people visiting the palace: ambassadors, princes, kings etcetera. As if it was used to say: Don’t offer me anything cheap! After the Amber Room the guests would proceed to the Painting Room which was the center of the palace and thats’ where all of the accords and contracts were concluded.
That unique piece of art is not the only thing you should visit while being in the Village of the Tsars. There’s a house where Alexander Pushkin, a great Russian poet spent his honey moon. In the park itself there are plenty of interesting things. For example, there’s an Egyptian pyramide. Do you know what it is? It is a tomb of favorite dog of Catherine the Great – Italian hound Zemira. Catherine had the park designed as a trip around the world: There’s a Siberian Marble Collonade, Turkish column, Egyptian pyramide.
Catherine’s Palace is one of the most requested museums in Russia, tickets must be purchased in advance! The line to the Palace cashier box can be up to 4-5 hours!