While Peterhof may be the most elegant of the Imperial Palaces around St.Petersburg, Tsarskoe Selo is undoubtedly the richest and most variative in terms of architecture and historical interest. The full exploration of the two palaces and the ample parkland would require an entire day.
The center of Tsarskoye Selo is Catherine’s Palace, containing exquisite decorative objects, furniture, Russian and Western-European paintings, unique collections of porcelain, amber, arms and decorative bronze sculptures.
The Palace also contains the Amber Room – a truly unique work of craftsmanship – a room made entirely of amber. The room was looted by the Nazi’s during WWII but luckily most of its pieces were recovered. The room was fully rebuilt in 2003. Tsarskoye Selo was also the main residence of the last Tsar Nicolas II and his family.
Pavlovsk is a cozy place with the palace and one of the most beautiful landscape parks in the world, where you can feel all over “women’s hand” of Empress Maria Feodorovna. From the end of the XVIII – beginning of the XIX century, in the creation of which prominent architects Ch. Cameron, V. Brenna, J. Quarenghi, A. Voronikhin, K. Rossi took part; sculptors I. Prokofiev, M. Kozlovsky, I. Martos, V. Demut-Malinovsky. The Grand Palace, built in the spirit of Russian classicism by the architect C. Cameron in the eighties of the 18th century. In 1796 Pavlovsk became the summer residence of Emperor Paul I and his family. In the halls of the palace there are unique collections of paintings, sculptures, bronzes, porcelain, furniture, received as diplomatic gifts from the royal courts of Europe. From the interiors of the palace a special place is occupied by the Great (Throne) Hall, the Italian and Greek Halls, the Picture Gallery.