catherine palace: royal summer residence

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Catherine the Great in the 18th Century wanted a summer residence hence the construction of what is now known as Catherine Palace: the summer residence for Russian Tsars.

What we see today is a restoration of the original as during World War II, the Germans destroyed the palace. One of the most famous rooms is the amber room (the one room where photography is NOT allowed). This room was looted by Nazi Germany during the war and there were attempts to locate it whereabouts but it was never found. The room now has been restored to its original appearance, believed to have cost 11 million Euros.

The palace is so extravagant; it appeared that no expense was spared. It is reported that over 100 kgs of gold was used to gild the exterior.

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And internally the ornate wall carvings and ceiling are gilded in gold, while some of the rooms, the walls are covered in either silk, mirrors and/or oil paintings.

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Even the ceilings are not forgotten, of course. Look up and it is very highly likely that it would be beautifully painted. Each room we enter seems more grand then the next. There is just no way to notice all the detail of every room. Upon reaching the ballroom, we admit that for a second we are swept back a few hundred years and picture ourselves waltzingโ€ฆ. Ok, so we didnโ€™t picture the waltzing part, we actually did a 20-second waltz, but when you see the ballroom, you will understand why!

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The gardens of Catherine Palace were not as impressive as that of Peterhof Palace. Interestingly, while Peterhof Palace was full of fountains, Catherine Palace did not have a single one. Catherine did not care for fountains so preferred to have a lake instead.

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After one week in Russia, we have been awestruck by the lavish lifestyle that were had by the Emperors and Empresses.

Feel free to leave us a comment here

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47 thoughts on “catherine palace: royal summer residence

    Forestwoodfolkart said:
    September 18, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    “When everything is never enough” was their motto – a friend just visited this and told me. The opulence is staggering. All that gold everywhere. I am glad to see the Russians value it. The aforementioned friend who is visiting this area, atm told me that there is no photography allowed, so I went to Google to find some images and found my old friend’s wise monkeys blog. Were you allowed to take photos when you visited?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      We were there over a year ago …. and at that the time there was only one room where photography was not allowed, the Amber Room. Things may have changed since then… Rules change ever so quickly these days. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Forestwoodfolkart said:
        September 18, 2015 at 4:24 pm

        Yes, it seems they do. Perhaps they are finding more ways to get the tourist dollar. Still, it would not prevent me from visiting. A truly magnificent place

    […] as with other Russian buildings (such as the Hermitage and Catherine Palace) built duringย this era, the interiors are opulent and […]

    our first month in review « wise monkeys abroad said:
    August 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    […] Moscow and St Petersburg. There we saw some amazingly opulent palaces and got a sneak peak into the lives of the past royals. Our standoutย moment from here would be setting eyes onย St Basilโ€™s in Red Square for the first […]

    Savvy Kenya (@savvykenya) said:
    July 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    So beautiful and stunning, that palace! Never knew Russia could be a country of such beauty ๐Ÿ™‚

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 29, 2014 at 12:57 am

      Oh, yes! The extravagance and beauty was beyond our expectations ๐Ÿ™‚

    pdfang said:
    July 26, 2014 at 11:05 am

    wow, these are great shots! thank you for sharing

    Meerkat Travel Gang said:
    July 26, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Oh my gosh, that is super decadent! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can not imagine living there – how could you justify even making a bum indentation just sitting down! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Awesome, vivid photos!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      So very true – you wouldn’t want to touch anything in case it got damaged if you lived like this , right? Just imagine heating this place in winter – the sheer size would’ve seen a forest brought down for one winter ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
      Thanks for leaving is a comment!

    priyanka said:
    July 26, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Unbelievable . Catherine had lived a grand life . Who are the people in those paintings ??

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 26, 2014 at 3:37 am

      The portraits in our photos were of the royal family (all different generations) and to be honest, we can’t remember who was who as we saw so many different portraits! But it truly was unbelievable!

    ungiornonellavita.com said:
    July 26, 2014 at 2:09 am

    The architecture is intricately beautiful!!! I would love to see that palace someday!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 26, 2014 at 3:25 am

      It is definitely worth a visit if you are ever in St Petersburg ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) said:
    July 25, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    it looks just gorgeous and so opulent!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      The word opulent is so perfect to describe it! Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

    worldjourneysdiscover said:
    July 25, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    where exactly is this? When royalty lives like this, no wonder revolutionary seeds are sown!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Very good point about the revolutionary seeds! This is about 20km (or so) out of St Petersburg in the town of Pushkin.

    Chloe Daniels said:
    July 25, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Wow! Those pictures are breathtaking. The colors are so… colourful. I don’t think I need to go anymore– thanks for the opportunity to live vicariously for a moment ๐Ÿ˜‰ In other news, I’ve nominated Wise Monkeys Abroad for a Liebster Award! If you’re interested in accepting the challenge, the questions are on my newest post! I’d love to see your answers. Hope all is well!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Awwww – thanks Chloe for the award nomination. We have received this one previously but will certainly duck over and read your post about it ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on being nominated yourself!
      Glad you were able to virtually visit through us.

        Chloe Daniels said:
        July 26, 2014 at 12:57 am

        Well darn! I keep nominating people that have already had the award! I’m terrible at this sort of thing :p Well thanks for reading wise monkeys ๐Ÿ˜‰

    CrazyChineseFamily said:
    July 25, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Yeah, those buildings are really impressive. Furthermore it is nice that they restaurated it so well after it has been in a very poor condition after the war.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Yes – we are so impressed with the restoration done on these buildings! Although not original at least it helps share what it used to look like ๐Ÿ™‚

    prior said:
    July 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    wow – great shots of a stunning place – enjoyed this – thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks Yvette – so glad to read that you enjoyed this ๐Ÿ™‚ In Russia, it felt like we didn’t really have to try to hard to capture a good photo. Hope you have been well!

    Jill's Scene said:
    July 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

    It’s so opulent. Good on you for the waltz.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      So many words to describe it and opulent is definitely one of them! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for swinging by.

    cindy knoke said:
    July 25, 2014 at 10:03 am

    just finished reading the Romanov sisters so loved this post!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Oooh – will have to add that to the reading list! Glad you liked this post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yuna said:
    July 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Oh my God, what an expensive palace. It gives me goosebumps while reading this post. The whole palace beautiful and looks excessively expensive.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      We can’t imagine how much would’ve been spent in those days! There is just so much to look at and seriously no expense was spared!

    Diana said:
    July 25, 2014 at 7:38 am

    So sad we never made it to see this palace when we were in Russia..those rooms are just amazing…truly breathtaking! Great photos…

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment ๐Ÿ™‚
      Maybe you need to come back?? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually did you get to Peterhof? If you did, they are rather similar!

        Diana said:
        July 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

        NO!!! GGGRRRR…Peterhof was TOTALLY on the list, but we ran out of time. We happen to be there at the beginning of the White Nights festival and got caught up in the festivities an did not have the time to see Peterhof. HOWEVER…now we have a nice list of things to see next time we go ๐Ÿ™‚

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          July 25, 2014 at 11:03 pm

          Ahhhh – definitely a few reasons to revisit then. We were disappointed because we literally missed the White Nights Festival by a couple of days but we at least got to experience the nights where it didn’t get dark til after 2am apparently (we never really stayed up to see).

        Diana said:
        July 25, 2014 at 4:49 pm

        PS – – thanks for following my blog…

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          July 25, 2014 at 11:00 pm

          Pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚ We love making friends with fellow bloggers! The wonderful world of blogosphere!

            Diana said:
            July 27, 2014 at 9:49 pm

            Yes! I totally agree….I have made such nice friendships with other bloggers….. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a good Sunday!

    disappearingwoman said:
    July 25, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Very opulent! I can’t imagine spending so much on things so ornate. I like my dรฉcor natural and simple. Looks like an amazing place to visit though! You two need your own travel show–I would definitely watch!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      HA – wouldn’t we love our own travel show!! ๐Ÿ™‚
      We have to agree with you about the decor – we prefer it simple too… it’s just so lavish but as royalty, it probably was expected to welcome dignitaries in such environments!

    Daniel C Doolan said:
    July 25, 2014 at 6:57 am

    What a wonderful location, both inside and out.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Yes, it certainly was! Strolling through the gardens was like strolling through parklands ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving us a comment!

    Mani (A New Life Wandering) said:
    July 25, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Stunning photos. I don’t remember going in the palace when I went. :s

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      After a while, things do blend into one another. After seeing three palaces with very similar architecture and decor, they do begin to feel like one in the same ๐Ÿ™‚ So maybe you did see it ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks Mani for reading and leaving us a comment!

    sixdegreesphotography said:
    July 25, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Extraordinary indeed. Such wealth and beauty.. What a fabulous trip this must have been. ๐Ÿ™‚

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 25, 2014 at 6:06 am

      Yes, we just couldn’t imagine how much money would’ve been spent in “those days” for something like this. And there wasn’t just one… And then the maintenance! It was pretty amazing experience ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for your lovely comment! Hope you have a Friday.

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