Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin)
If the weather is not so wonderful and it's raining or snowing, or you just feel for something quiet and poetic rather than glorious, the best place to go is Pushkin (former Tsarskoe Selo). It is not to say that there is nothing to marvel at there. It's just… Well, all Russian poets loved Tsarskoe Selo! It has a magic spell over visitors. Our greatest poet ever - Alexander Pushkin (1799 - 1837) - lived and studied there for some time and wrote a lot of beautiful poems in this charming little place. Originally, these lands belonged to Peter !'s wife Catherine I. A modest palace was put up for her at the beginning of the 18th century (named Catherine's Palace after her), which was later redecorated by F.-B. Rastrelli for Elizabeth I in the baroque style.
Later it was the favorite summer residence of Catherine the Great (ruled 1762 - 1796), redecorated for her by the Scottish architect Charles Cameron in the classical style. Still, the palace retained its baroque exterior and that is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world! You won't be able to find palaces of this kind anywhere outside Russia. Inside, you'll find both pompous baroque and elegant classical interiors. Examples of both styles of the great empresses - Elizabeth and Catherine - can be observed in the palace. And - haven't you heard of the "stolen Amber Room"?! Would you like to see it restored as it was at the time of Rastrelli who decorated this interior?
There is also the park all around Catherine's Palace which is so pleasantly shady in summer, so flowery in spring and so poetic in autumn and winter. This place is for visiting all year round. There are a lot of quiet corners in the park where you will suddenly discover a lonely sculpture of a girl sitting on a rock in front of a broken jug with spring water flowing out of it; or a marvelous bridge resembling a temple, or just anything else - the park is full of surprises.