➤ Pushkin/Tsarskoye Selo
➤ Visiting Catherine’s palace & world-famous Amber Room
➤ Troika ride experience
Stunning Rococo palace is located 30 km south of St. Petersburg. The building was commissioned by Catherine I in 1717. Johann-Friedrich Braunstein was the architect charged with designing her summer residence. It was expanded in 1743 by Empress Anna, but later renovated in favor of a much grander version requested by Empress Elizabeth. This new structure built in the Rococo style was designed by her court architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The 325-meter long palace took four years to build and was completed in 1756. Its façade was once again changed by Catherine the Great.
It is a reconstructed chamber decorated in amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. Constructed in the 18th century in Prussia, the legendary Amber Room is thought to be most valuable piece of art stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War. Before its loss, it was considered an "Eighth Wonder of the World".
Now one of the iconic symbols, "troika" is a traditional harness driving combination using a team of three horses abreast and pulling a sleigh or a carriage. The history of Russian troika goes back to the 17-18th century. At full speed a troika could reach 45–50 kilometers per hour which seemed extremely fast at that time. We shall have this essential winter Russian experience today.