A Visit to Catherine The Great’s Palace (Екатерининский дворец) Outside of St. Petersburg, Russia

The country of Russia fascinates me. Living in Germany, one of our television channels was RTG (Russia Travel Guide) broadcasted in English. RTG does an excellent job in the production value of its HD programming. The shows are split between cultural and travel guides across the entire country.  And, when you realize just how big Russia is, there is so much diversity across the area.

One of the main reasons we decided on a Baltic Sea cruise with Holland America was because of its two days in St Petersburg, Russia. And, when researching excursions, we immediately remembered seeing Catherine’s Palace featured on RTG.

We have been to our fair share of palaces across Europe, but OMG is the best way to describe the Catherine Palace.

Situated about 30km (20 miles) south of the city of St. Petersburg, the palace estate was the summer residence of Peter the Great (the Russian tsar or leader) who had given this residence to his wife Catherine in 1710 with construction completed in 1723.

The colors… the gold… the artwork… the gardens — purely stunning!!

A huge promenade are extends along the entire front of the palace

The palace has seen many expansions since its beginnings as Catherine’s descendants reigned Russia. Many rooms have their own themes like the Chinese Room with its porcelain decor or the Amber Room with wall panels and floor inlaid with brown amber. These rooms are all connected by the Great Hall within the palace that seems to stretch on-and-on with its golden trimmed entranceways — each room guarded my older Russian women (and I’m surely dozens of security cameras, too).

The palace is 325 meters long (1100 feet). When first constructed, 100kgs (220lbs) of gold was used to accent the outside.
The building is basically two stories and rectangular. Grand ballrooms such as the one here are located throughout between throne rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms all adorned by large artworks.
Originally, pure gold was used to decorate the interior… but with time, wars, theft, etc. now the gold is gold leaf accent. Painted murals run the expanse of the ballroom’s ceiling
The detail and size are amazing. The person standing on the left side provides perspective.
One of the many dining rooms staged to provide a sense of 18th Century grandeur.
This picture is to provide the perspective of the numerous rooms stretching through the building by seeing the many different entrances down the center… provides a sense of walking through a golden tunnel. In most rooms pictures are allowed except only in a few rooms such as “The Amber Room” full of artwork and mosaics of inlaid amber.
The gardens are just as impressive with the massive palace in the backdrop.
The palace has a Russian Orthodox Chapel, which is absolutely beautiful with its golden steeples
Street vendors are outside the complex ready to offer light snacks and drinks. I’m curious to what some of the flavors of these Russian Lays Potato Chips are.

Catherine The Great’s Palace was truly an amazing place. First of many we experienced in our two days in St. Petersburg.

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