Timings : Wednesday - Sunday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM,
Monday: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Entry Fee : Adult: RUB 400,
Student: RUB 200,
Audioguide: RUB 150
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The Catherine Palace is an absolutely mesmerising piece of architectural beauty, located 30km south of the city in Tasrskoe Selo, and is one of St. Petersburg's topmost tourist attractions.
To say that the Catherine Palace is extremely grand would be an understatement. This huge, elaborate and magnificent summer palace was initially built for Catherine I by Peter the Great. But it was their daughter Empress Elizabeth which had it built to it's current grandeur. Every single detail of the Catherine Palace is staggering, starting with the fact that over 100 kgs of gold was used to beautify the palace exteriors, and the entire palace is painted in a soothing combination of blue and white. The most famous part and the starting point of the palace tour, is Bartholomeu Rastrelli's Golden Enfilade, or the Great Hall. The Enfilade is supremely decorated, with stunning painted ceilings and marble statues. The White Dining Room is also done up in quite the same style, both using the Russian baroque style. The most visually enticing feature is the Amber Room, in which nearly 450 kgs of amber was used to decorate the walls, along with intricate carvings and mirrors. Though it was destroyed by the Germans, it was restored at a cost of $12 million, over a period of 20 years and opened in 2003. Then, the Portrait Hall features several large portraits of Elizabeth and Catherine I, along with Natalaya Alexeyevna and Catherine II. The attractions in this palace go on and on, and the sheer attention to detail given by Rastrelli in everything he has touched in this palace is breathtaking. A definite must visit!
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