Pushkin is a quaint medieval town south of St. Petersburg, Russia. A place where you’ll find more castles than houses and it’s hard not to notice the oldtown vibes that surround when you step in. Centuries ago, Pushkin was exactly how one would describe a fairytale European town.
Dugout canoes slowly drift away in the black river as if they are rendered immovable by the enchanting castles by the river bank. Lying so close to St. Petersburg, Pushkin will be your favourite day trip in Russia, if you have a keen eye for art. And of all the attractions, the Catherine Palace is the best place to visit in St. Petersburg. Here you go —
Everything you need to know about visiting the Catherine Palace
About the Catherine Palace
Catherine I of Russia commissioned to build a recreational palace where Russian tsars would reside during the Summer holidays. Johann-Friedrich Braunstein sculpted each and every bit of the palace to near-perfection, but Empress Elizabeth rather wanted the place to be fused with 100 kilograms of gold. Now we know why the Palace won’t stop glittering.
What to see
The Catherine Palace is famous for its exceptionally well-ornate interiors built in Rococo or Late Baroque architecture. Rococo is a blend of mind-bending Trompe-l’œil technique and vivid baroque art. If the theatrical interiors and the ethereal colours make you feel like you are entering a transcendental realm, you are completely right.
Trompe-l’œil is a famous art technique that causes make-believe art images to appear as three dimensional. It was recreated in architecture here to create beautiful optical illusions. Check them out, along with the decorated ballrooms. Ask your guide about the Amber Chamber, where the luxury of the Catherine Palace culminates at. The place was looted by the Nazi army during World War II. The Amber Palace was constructed with almost 450 grams of amber embellished with rare gemstones in the corners and roof. Also, pause and look at the Great Hall built with lit lamps and juxtaposed mirrors. It’s for these reasons that the modern-day architects and researchers are baffled at the fact that someone could even come up with such ideas.
Buy the tickets online as the palace gets crowded during peak season. The tickets become available 14 days in advance. Redeem the online voucher in the entrance and get your ticket. You can reach the Catherine Palace by public transport or taxi. Catch the metro or bus from Vitebsky train station and reach Pushkin station.
Entry fee and timings
The Catherine Palace allows visitors to enter from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Tuesday. The palace is closed on Tuesdays and the last Monday of every month. The entry fee is 520 rubles (1 RUB = 1.02 INR) for adults and the palace offers free entry for those under 18 years of age.
Garden St, 7, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 196601.
Although there are no specific indoor tours or guided art tours available, catch a glimpse of the incredible cyan-blue facade knitted with actual gold and ivory stuccos from outside. Go on, take a virtual walk around the palace.
Intrigued about St. Petersburg’s Catherine Palace? Whenever you are ready, create your Russia itinerary to your likes and book your holiday.