Leaving St Petersburg through the suburbs first stop before entering the snowy countryside was Chesme Church.
The full name is the Church of Saint John the Baptist at Chesme Palace, but it’s known locally simply as Chesme Church. The cake shaped church was built to honour the 1770 Russian victory over the Turks in the Battle of Chesme. The location of the church is where Catherine the Great heard about the victory on her way to Pushkin. Standing alone in a large park it’s really rather arresting, more so than some of the much larger and more ornate cathedrals in the city centre.
Catherine’s Palace, located in Pushkin, was the summer residence of the tsars. The first version was designed in 1717, but various rebuilds and additions continued until Catherine’s death in 1796.
Catherine Palace Facade
The facade is considered a masterpiece of the Russian Baroque style and was built in 1717 by order of Ekaterina I (Catherine). An international team of architects worked to create the facades and interiors.
Amber Room in Catherine’s Palace
The legendary Amber Room was stolen lost during the World War II. It has been fully reconstructed and supposedly is now the main attraction of the Catherine Palace. To me it was definitely unique, but compared to the rest of the palace was one of the less beautiful rooms.
Catherine’s Palace Tips
Something I love in Russia is the prevalence of cloakrooms – both here and in The Hermitage yesterday there are cloakrooms right by the door. It means you can walk in from the snowy outside and enjoy the museums in heated comfort without carrying layers of coats and jumpers and boots and scarves and gloves.
They’re free to use and very friendly.