Named after its creator, Empress Catherine, the second wife of Peter the Great, the original palace was built between 1717 and 1723 by the architect Braunstein. The palace was expanded later in the century and given a new, richly decorated Baroque facade by the architect Francesco Bartholomeo Rastrelli.
Beyond the south of the Catherine Palace lies the wilder, more natural section of the estate's park.. These include the Admiralty, the Chesma Column, the Marble Bridge, modeled on one in Wilton, England, and the Pyramid, where Catherine the Great liked to bury her favorite dogs.
6_70_1.jpg One of the best-hidden secrets of the Tsarskoye Selo estate is the Alexander Palace, built between 1792 and 1796 by the architect Giacomo Quarenghi. By the turn of the 20th century the Alexander Palace had become the favorite residence of the last Russian Tzar, Nicholas II, and his family. It was from here that Nicholas's family was taken to Siberia to be executed in Ekaterinburg in 1918
Another of Tsarskoye Selo's major attractions is the Lyceum, located on the edge of the estate. Founded at the beginning of the 19th century and remarkably well-preserved, the Lyceum was a boarding school that once taught the most celebrated of all Russian poets, Alexander Pushkin.
Private transport service
Private English speaking guide
Entrance fee to Catherine Palace and Park (summer time).