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Tsarskoye selo

Join our tours to Tsarskoye Selo:

Explore the beautiful suburbs of St. Petersburg during the Hot Air Balloon Ride. Take-off points are located in Puskin (Tsarskoye Selo), Krasnoye Selo and Volkhov.


 

Tsarskoye selo (Rus: Царское Село, “Tsar’s Village” or “Royal Village”) is a former country residence of the royal family, the UNESCO’s World Heritage site and the object of cultural heritage of the Russian Federation. It’s located 15 mi (24 km) from the center of Saint Petersburg.

Catherine palace Tsarskoye seloThe construction of the residence started in the 1710s and lasted for over 10 years. The entire palace complex of Tsarskoe Selo includes the Catherine Palace, the Catherine park, the Alexander Palace, the Alexander park and over 100 architectural elements: pavilions, monuments, bridges and other structures.

The gem of the park ensemble is the Catherine’s Palace, which is considered the longest palace in the world (1000 ft/ 300m). It was designed by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, the chief architect of the royal court. The main highlight of the palace is the world-famous Amber Room. Its walls are adorned with 52 sq m of amber panels that weigh 1.5 tons. Each panel is lined with irregular amber pieces of different shades and made in the mosaic technique of Florentine artists.

Upper Bathhouse Tsarskoye seloThe Catherine Park is conditionally divided into two parts: the Old Park or the Dutch Garden and the English landscape garden. The Dutch garden occupies the area behind the Catherine Palace. All plantings and constructions are arranged in symmetrical patterns; trees and shrubs trimmed into decorative shapes. The 173-acre (70 ha) landscape park surrounds the Great pond and contains a wide variety of historical buildings and monuments.

The Alexander Park stretches for about 200 ha to the west of the Catherine Palace. It’s less maintained than the Catherine Park, but it’s not so overcrowded. The main entrance is located right in front of the Catherine palace. The park consists of two parts – the New Garden and the Landscape Park. The New Garden is divided into four parts and surrounded by the Crestovy canal that was dug out in 1748. The landscaped park occupies the area to the north-east from the New Garden. It was laid out in the 1820s in the romantic style.

One of the finest creations of Classicism in architecture, the Alexander Palace was a summer residence for the Imperial Family in the 19th century. Since 1905, it became a real home for the last Russian Emperor Nikolas II and his wife Alexandra during the last 13 years of their reign. The palace retained the original interiors of the Stateroom and partially the last Tsar’s family apartments in the East Wing.

 Essentials

Tsarskoye selo

Seeing both the palaces and the parks would require more than a single day, so plan to arrive early. Be aware that getting around the parks requires a great deal of walking.

Remember that most guided tours in the Catherine palace are in the Russian language. In summer the number of visitors exceeds 7000 a day, so long queue at the palace is a common occurrence. Early arriving is strongly recommended. If you care about your budget, you should be aware that almost every pavilion in the Catherine park requires its own entry fee. The entrance to the Alexander park is free.

Visit the Tsarskoye selo official website to learn more about opening hours, prices and available exhibitions.


To get to Tsarskoye selo:

Gps coordinates:

Latitude: 59°55’56” N (55.932185562515); 

Longitude: 30°21′2″ E (30.350660404629)

  1. Commuter train (electrichka) from Vitebsky Railway station of Saint Petersburg to Tsarskoye selo (Pushkin). Train timetable here (to fill in the form and check the timetable use SANKT-PETERBURG VITEBS as Departure and CARSKOE SELO as Arrival). Then take bus 371, 382 or minibus (marshrutka) 371, 377, 382 to get to the Catherine Park.
  2. From Moskovskaya Metro Station take minibus (marshrutka) 286, 287, 342, 347, 545 to get right to the Catherine Park or bus 187 to the Train Station “Pushkin”, bus №371, 382 minibus 286, 287, 347 to get to Tsarskoye selo Railway station. From the station take bus 371, 382, or minibus №371, 377, 382 to get “Tsarskoye Selo” The State Museum-Reserve station.
  3. 3.From Zvezdnaya and Kupchino Metro Stations take bus 186 to get to “Tsarskoye Selo” station. From Kupchino Metro Stations take minibus k-545a, k-286, k-287, k-347a.

 

 

Major Attractions of the parks:

Cameron gallery
Catherine the Great used the gallery as a place for strolls and philosophical conversations. Its upper level holds a unique bust collection of the Empress’s respected art and historic figures.

cameron gallery Tsarskoye selo

Upper Bathhouse
Constructed in 1777-1779 in the early Classical style. For a long time it retained its original function. During the Second World War the pavilion was destroyed and restored only in 1952. Nowadays this pavilion is used as a venue for temporary exhibitions.

Upper bathhouse Tsarskoye selo

Lower Bathhouse

Intended for use by court’s members, was built in 1778-1779. The pavilion consists of a round hall and of four bath rooms at the sides. Today the pavilion hosts the exhibit “Court Bath in the 21st century”.

Lower bathhouse Tsarskoye selo

Hermitage
Built in 1748-1756 to the design by Rastrelly. The Hermitage boasts palatial wood-carved interiors with gilt frame mirrors and painted mythological scenes, and dining-tables with hoists in the central hall. The Hermitage pavilion was designed in a special way to allow the estate’s owner to dine without presence of servants. A mechanism lifted tables from the lower story when guests wished to dine or returned the tables to the place and the hall immediately turned into a ballroom.

Hermitage Tsarskoye selo

Grotto
The construction works started in 1755-56 during the reign of the Empress Elizabeth and were completed under Catherine II. During the reign of Catherine antique works of art were stored in the pavilion, which was called Hall of Antiques. Currently the pavilion houses temporary exhibitions.

Grotto Tsarskoye selo

Admiralty
Three pavilions of the same style were built in 1773. The first floor of the central building was used as storage of the boats. In the 19th century its premises housed the collection of rowing vessels from different countries of the world. The other blocks were used as aviaries, where different kinds of water birds were kept. At present one of the former birdhouse hosts a restaurant “The Admiralty”, while the central block is used as a visitor information center.

Admiralty

Hall on the Island
Placed on an island of the Great Pond, the hall underwent numerous rebuildings during the 1740s – 1810s. Most of the time the pavilion was used as a hall for concerts and court lunches. Nowadays it used for summer exhibitions and concerts. Ferry service operates between the Hall and the pier near the Admiralty.

Chesme Column
The monument was erected in 1774-78 to commemorate three battles during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-74: Chios, Chesme and Mytilene.

Chesme Column Tsarskoye selo

Turkish Bath
Turkish Bath was erected in 1848 in memory of the triumphant Turkish campaign of 1828-29. The pavilion was designed by the architect Ippolito Monighetti in the Moorish style. During the Second World War the building was damaged. The reconstruction works were carried out in 1953.

Turkish Bath Tsarskoye selo

Pyramid
The Pyramid was built in 1770-72 and rebuilt in 1782-83. Behind the pavilion, in front of the entrance, three favorite dogs of the empress Catherine the Great were buried. The graves haven’t survived to the present days.

Pyramid Tsarskoye selo

Marble Bridge
The Bridge is a copy of one of the works of the famous Italian architect Andrea Palladio. It was built in 1778. The bridge is made of granite and marble.

Marble Bridge Tsarskoye selo

Tower Ruin
Constructed in 1771 in the Neo-Gothic style in memory of the war against Turkey. The architect Yury Velten was inspired by the beauty of the Greece and Rome ruins and created the artificial aged construction that looked like some kind of fortification. From the top of the tower, at a height of 21 metres, guests can enjoy the picturesque view of the Landscape Park.

Tower Ruin Tsarskoye selo

Concert Hall
In the 1780s the architect Giacomo Quarengi constructed the pavilion that, at Catherine II’s wish, was called the Concert or Music Hall. The chief highlight is the mosaic floor which was brought from Rome and features the myth of the Rape of Europa. The mosaic of the two flanking rooms is made in Russia. The ceiling is adorned by the decorative painting depicting the sights of the zodiac.

Concert Hall Tsarskoye selo

Evening Hall
Its construction started in the 1780s and continued for over a decade. The interiors were damaged during the Second World War. After the war the Hall was restored and nowadays it is used as a concert hall.

Evening hall Tsarskoye selo

Creaking Summer-House
This rather exotic pavilion, designed by Yury Velten, was built in 1778-86. A weathervane attached to its Chinese-like roof turns with the wind and creaks loudly, hence the name of the summer-house.

Creaking summer house Tsarskoye selo

Chinese Village
The village is located in the New Garden section of the Alexander park. It was constructed in the 1780s. After WW2 it has been completely restored. At present the houses of the Chinese Village are used as living and guest accommodation.

Chinese village Tsarskoye selo

 


Other St Petersburg attractions:

Peterhof, the UNESCO’s World Heritage site and a major St. Petersburg tourist attraction famous for its luxurious palace and a series of parks, gardens and fountains.

The Gatchina Park is one of the most beautiful and mysterious parks of St Petersburg. In different time periods the estate was owned by the emperors Paul I, Nicholas I Alexander II and Alexander III.

Oranienbaum is a unique palace and park ensemble of the 18th-early 20th century located 40km from St-Petersburg, on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland.

The Cruiser Aurora proudly wears the title of the number one ship in the Russian Navy.

 


 

 

2 thoughts on “Tsarskoye selo

  1. Joe Prabhu

    We are Fly of 4. Plan on taking English speaking guide on 1 Jun in St Petersburg and 4 Jun in Moscow. What is the procedure and approximate charges?
    Tks N Rgds
    Joe Prabhu

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hello Joe!

      We can arrange the guides for you. The price depends on what you want to see in the cities.
      Prices for guided tour in St Petersburg and Moscow start from 70$ for 8-hours sightseeing.

      Please contact us via advertisement@russiaeguide.com for more information

      Reply

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