Rich as a tsar

Just outside St. Petersburg, past the industrial area, lies Pushkin where the Catherine palace is. As soon as I got off the bus people were trying to sell me things, but there was no time for that. A tour of the palace was waiting. The front of the palace had a big façade that made me want to twist my head around and stare at it in amazement.

cat palace

Inside the building you had to wear slippers on top of your shoes to protect the floors. A staircase led the tour to a beautiful white hall. There was a big barometer, unfortunately not in working order. The whole place was decorated with sculptures. The first actual room was as big as a ballroom. The side had huge windows so that the whole room danced in sunlight. Gold seemed to be the popular choice of the era since the walls were covered in it. The ceiling had paintings and against the wall stood what looked like blue and white porcelain fireplaces.

The building was filled with tour groups and the rooms were crowded all the time, filled with voices in all languages imaginable. Not all rooms were as big as the first one. There were dining rooms with beautifully decorated tables, rooms filled with portraits, a study and a room filled with amber. Every room was grotesque and decorated with wooden mosaic floor and gold on the walls. Nobody could compete with the riches of the tsars.

In the gardens a couple was taking wedding photos. The grounds were immense, filled with forest. There we small bridges that led to a lake. There were some garden houses in which I can imagine a family could live. Looking back at the palace you saw the full size of it. It is overwhelming. I don’t think you’d use every room if you would live there. In front of it the garden had a very structured pattern with grass and plants. It made the pretty picture of the palace complete.

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