Museums

Tsarskoye Selo is a third most famous sight in Russia

Екатерининский дворец. Фото: ГМЗ "Царское Село"

Wherever fate may have thrown us
Wherever luck may have had us go
We remain the same; outsiders to the world-
Citizens of Tsarskoye Selo
A.S. Pushkin. “The ninetenth of October”

Tsarskoye Selo is a third most visited famous sight in Russia. According to the Ministry of Culture of Russia, in the first half of 2016 1.4 million people have visited it.

The Ingrian lands, on which the series of palaces and gardens “Tsarskoye Selo” are situated, were occupied by the Swedes in the XVII century during the Time of Troubles in Russia, but were returned back as a result of the Great Northern War in 1702. In the years 1710-1720, the tsar residence was build there and the members of the household settled down around it. That was the way Tsarskoye Selo appeared.

The representatives of the press service of the museum complex highlight that “statistics is completely natural. The state historical and cultural museum and heritage site “Tsarskoye Selo” is a former official summer residence of the Russian emperors, a monument of world architecture and landscape art of the XVIII – beginning of XX centuries, that was included by UNESCO into world heritage list, and the decree of the President of Russia – the State corpus of especially valuable of cultural heritage sites of the peoples of the Russian Federation”.

According to Irina Anatolyevna Nazarova, the head of the public relations department of the state museum “Tsarskoye Selo”, “every year the number of visitors of the museum “Tsarskoye Selo” increases. In 2015, in the museum “Tsarskoye Selo” it was recorded nearly 3.6 million visits. That’s half a million more than in 2014.

“E Vesti” magazine asked Irina Anatolyevna, what the visitors find most attractive from among the sights of Tsarskoye Selo. “Of course, the museum’s brand is the Amber room in the Catherine Palace. The Catherine Palace and Catherine Park arouse the greatest interest among the visitors. The Catherine Palace is the main purpose for most tourists. This place has reached its limit for attendance in peak season, in terms of the visitor capacity of the building.”

The Catherine Palace, which was called the Great Tsarskoselsky Palace until 1910, is an outstanding monument of the Russian Baroque. It was built by J. F. Braunstein for a wife of Peter I, Catherine I, in 1717-1724 years, but it was changed during the XVIII-XIX centuries, rebuilt and expanded at the request of the other empresses and emperors. Destroyed by the German fascist invaders during the Great Patriotic War, it survived many years of recovery.

The Amber room is a room decorated with amber. It was originally a Prussian project, provoked interest of Peter I and was given to him by Friedrich Wilhelm I. It was built by Rastrelli for the Winter Palace in 1746, and it moved to the Catherine Palace in 1755. The works under the direction of F. Rosenbruch were completed in 1770, but the original panels were taken by the Germans. Then, they were lost after an attempt to return it to Russia. The current panel is the result of a reconstruction.

“Visitors also tend to see the Alexander Palace (currently closed for restoration), the Agate rooms, the Martial chamber, – said I. A. Nacharova, – On August 24, a refurbished Arsenal pavilion was opened, it was in a dilapidated condition for over 70 years. Here you will find a new exhibition “Tsarskoselkiy Arsenal. The Imperial collection of weapons”, created jointly with the State Hermitage. This pavilion is a compositional center of Alexander Park”.

The Alexander Palace (or the New Tsarskoselsky) was ordered by Catherine II to architect of John. Quarenghi, as a gift on the wedding to her grandson, a future Alexander I. It is a pattern of classicism. Later it was rebuilt and reconstructed. Here Nicholas II was born, here he spent 12 years of his reign, from here he went into exile to Tobolsk.

We also asked Irina Anatolyevna about who usually visit the museum complex: “a lot of visitors coming from different parts of Russia. It can be also stated that the share of foreign visitors has increased in the last two years, due to the increasing flow of tourists from China”…

Hopefully, the Russian tourist, and everyone who cherish the Russian history and literature, and will pay attention to places, where everything breathes the poetry of Alexander Pushkin (who visited it in the autumn – he will understand), and where everyone can admire the original splendor of the Russian Imperial style.

The Tsarskoselskiy Lyceum (in other words, Aleksandrovsky) was located in a wing of the Catherine Palace, built for the princesses from 1811 to 1843 years. The school for children of nobles, where they were studied moral, verbal, historical, physico-mathematical sciences, art and gymnastics for 6 years. The graduates of the Lyceum – Alexander Pushkin, Alexander Gorchakov, A. A. Delvig, and the Decembrists.

Today, the state policy in the sphere of tourism is aimed at enhancing interest in domestic routes. Therefore, there is every reason to believe that the glory of Tsarskoye Selo will multiply. Especially because, according to the Ministry of culture, Tsarskoe Selo is one of the leaders not only by quantitative but also by qualitative indicators…

Resources: Tsarskoye Selo: Guide book. – St.-Petersburg, Studio of Zimin A., 1999