Trip to Tsarskoye Selo

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by marcopolo on April 6, 2004

This most beautiful example of Russian rococo architecture now has the beautiful amber room restored to its former glory. Just a word or two about that feature of the palace is in order.

Frederick the Great gave Peter I of Russia about 40,000 pounds of pure amber embossed with the Hohenzollern crest as a gift after Peter had captured the world’s imagination through his efforts to bring Russia kicking and screaming into the modern world. Peter never got around to using this gift but at least had it properly stored.

When Elizabeth, Peter the Great’s daughter, hired Rastrelli to upgrade the existing palace located in the quiet royal community of Pushkin, she directed that he take the amber panels and turn one entire room in the palace into an amber treasure. This room was unique and insured that her summer palace would be one of the most splendid royal residences in the world.

When the Germans captured the palace during the siege of Leningrad they devastated the palace and the grounds. They took everything the Russians had not been able to evacuate and ruined the rest. The amber room was stripped from the palace walls and evacuated to Germany where it became lost. The Russians spent millions looking for it before they decided they would have to painstakingly restore the room centimeter by centimeter. In May of 2003 the room was officially opened to the public and it is a stunner! A trip to see the amber room is enough justification to go Russia by itself not withstanding all of the other treasures to be found in St. Petersburg.

The gift shops in the basement have been moved outside and the entire palace has had a wonderful facelift to help celebrate St. Petersburg’s 300th birthday in 2003. The grounds continue to be beautiful as well as the many outbuildings.

Tsarskoe Selo
St. Petersburg, Russia

© LP 2000-2009