Tsarskoe Selo — the legacy of three empresses


One after another three empresses reigned over Tsarskoe Tselo, each one making her own contribution and impression on the estate's palace and parks.

One after another three empresses reigned over Tsarskoe Tselo, each one making her own contribution and impression on the estate's palace and parks. In 1710 Peter I gave his wife, Catherine I, the former estate of a Swedish magnate, along with 40 small villages. She then built a modest Dutch-style palace with an accompanying park. Catherine the First's daughter, Elizaveta Petrovna, was frivolous and beautiful and loved balls. With the help of the great Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli she had a luxurious golden palace built where she could host lavish parties and other festivities and named it the Catherine Palace in honor of her mother. Elizaveta Petrovna's daughter-in-law, Catherine II, completed the ensemble by adding aspects of classicism to the architecture and by decorating and outfitting the regal summer residence.