Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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Catherine’s Palace In Pushkin: What Happens When You Have An Interior Decorator And Money To Burn

(This is the back of the palace and the start of the gardens)

You can’t possibly do a St. Petersburg trip justice, until you’ve seen Catherine’s Palace!  Catherine’s palace is located in Pushkin, about 15 miles outside of St. Petersburg, and at 2,400 feet in length, is one of the most amazeballs palaces I’ve ever seen.

Peter the Great presented this estate to his wife, Catherine I, back in the early 18th century and it served as their summer residence for over two centuries.  Over the years, the palace was renovated, rebuilt, and expanded based on the owners at the time; Empress Elizabeth was responsible for its overwhelming baroque style and had the exterior covered in 100kg of gold! Today, much of the palace is a reconstruction since the Germans damaged it during WWII (the reconstruction isn’t even done yet, but there’s plenty to see!).

When walking through this palace I had two thoughts: 1) Peter the Great was a baller and 2) Empress Elizabeth had some style!  If I had a palace, I’d totally decorate it like this.  It’s not as gaudy and “old world” as traditional palaces I’ve seen and as ornate as it is, I really loved the white on white details which is like being elegant and lavish and yet understated at the same time.

Seriously, can a staircase be any more fab than this?

I’d love to do the ceilings like this over my bedroom!

15 chandeliers.  696 lamps.  The Great Hall is totally swoon-worthy.  I can picture having the ultimate party in this hall – all ~10,000 square feet of it!

Check out this green dining room.  It may not be my choice of color for a dining room, but I really dug the chic baby green and pink palate.

A palace of this scale can’t have just one dining room – here’s a corner from the white dining room.  The blue and white peice is actually a stove!

Finally — the unforgettable Amber Room (some call it the “8th wonder of the world”) — appropriately named for all the amber (100,000+ pieces) used to make up the wall panels.  Rumor has it that when the Germans pilfered and plundered this place, they stole the amber panels (no one knows where the original panels are but people suspect it’s in Germany somewhere).  It took $12M to recreate this room in 2003!  $12 million!  I was in a state of awe just imaging what this place was like and the crazy fortune it would have cost to build it back then.

(photo from here)

Catherine’s Palace also has a lovely garden to stroll through although the highlight really is the palace itself.  Leaving the palace, I was just astounded by the amount of money these Russia tsars had to burn!  If anyone knows where their money tree is, let me know how I can get my hand on one of those!


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Tiffany - August 30, 2012 - 2:03 am

The palaces in St. Petersburg & Moscow are all amazing! So luxurious and extravagant. I want those ceilings..

I visited when I was 15 so I barely remember anything 🙁 I hope I can go back soon to experience it properly

Just Wanderlust - August 30, 2012 - 9:54 pm

I agree! I’ve never seen palaces THAT luxe — ever!

EDGYMIX-TRAVEL FOR FASHION - August 31, 2012 - 5:02 pm

ah..it remind me so much of st. peter….ahahah, I just have a post about russia also…but it’s siberia:)…Nth as grand as this:)

Just Wanderlust - September 1, 2012 - 1:53 pm

I have a few more about Russia… but just the places I liked. Siberia must have been awesome. I will look for your post on that!

Mel - September 4, 2012 - 4:11 am

Am heading to Russia in October and after seeing these photos, this palace is now definitely on my list. Thanks for sharing!

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