1. Tour of Catherine and Pavlovsk Palaces from Saint Petersburg
Take a trip from Saint Petersburg to admire two of Russia’s grandest and most beautiful imperial residences, Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk. When St. Petersburg became the new Russian capital in 1712, a series of glamorous imperial palaces and parks appeared in and around the city, among them these two impressive estates. Tsarskoye Selo was developed as a royal country residence by Elizabeth I and Catherine II and contains two beautiful palaces: Catherine Palace, an immense and lavish Baroque residence and the slightly smaller Alexander Palace, a neoclassical masterpiece. Visit the breath-taking Amber Room at Catherine Palace, decorated by Elisabeth’s court architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli and containing stunning mosaic panels made of real amber. During her reign, Catherine II ordered the park enlarged and commissioned major landscape compositions and the creation of more impressive buildings, notably the elegant Cameron’s Gallery. The nearby Pavlovsk Palace was built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and was the imperial residence of Paul I and for several Grand Dukal families later on. The palace is considered to be one of the finest examples of the classical architecture in Europe. Several ornate rooms and beautiful park grounds containing fine sculptures make this a favorite destination of tourists and locals alike. The Pavlovsk Palace along with the Tsarskoye Selo together form part of a UNESCO Heritage Site. Take a trip to admire these wonderful works of architecture, made during one of the golden ages of Russian history.