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Amazing facts about Tsarskoye Selo

Tsarskoe Selo 

Palace and park ensemble of Tsarskoye Selo is one of the greatest monuments of world architecture and landscape art. During the Second World War it suffered greatly, but today the process of restoration is almost complete.

At dawn of the XVII century Tsarskoye Selo belonged to the Swedes, who called this land Sarra Manor. In the course of the Northern War, Russia conquered this territory, and in 1710 Peter Alekseevich presented it and all 43 surrounding villages to the future spouse. After the marriage, Martha Skavronskaya became Catherine I, and the lands she was given - Tsarskoye Selo.

Martha Skavronskaya - Future Empress Catherine I

Martha Skavronskaya - Future Empress Catherine I, photo WEB

Since then, all the monarchs, right up to Nicholas II, have spent the summer here - on a hill the climate is milder, it rains less often than in St. Petersburg, and the landscapes are simply amazing. In addition, in these places are located sources of clean water, and historians show that there have never been epidemics. Whether this fact, or other considerations led Catherine the Great here in the autumn of 1768. Behind herself, she brought the person who did the smallpox vaccinations - she instilled smallpox herself, and then her only son, becoming an example for the whole country.

Who knows what the history of Russia would have been if it were not for this extremely bold step for its time. Maybe Pushkin, who 40 years later was attached to the Lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo, would not have been born. An interesting fact, but in the Lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo, Pushkin studied very badly, and in terms of academic performance only 26th of 29 students graduated. However, it was here that he wrote more than a hundred poems and discovered in himself the outstanding talent of the poet.

Lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo

Lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo, photo WEB

Speaking about the Lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo, everybody usually recall Pushkin, who lived here in dormitory No. 14. However, this institution is the alma mater of Pushchin, Volkhovsky, Korf, Matyushkin, Saltykov-Shchedrin and many other prominent personalities. In Tsarskoye Selo itself, inspired by its architecture and landscapes, lived and worked: Lomonosov, Lermontov, Tyutchev, Gogol, Mandelstam, Akhmatova.

The beauty of this place is really fascinating. Today in parks of Tsarskoye Selo are located more than a hundred architectural structures built in the styles of several eras and peoples. Ekaterininsky and Alexandrovsky parks are world-famous sights in their own right, but on the total area of 300 hectares they contain many more architectural monuments. There is a complex of buildings in the Chinese style, the Turkish bath adjoins to it, the Marble fountain of Carrara marble is made in the spirit of medieval Italy, and the Gothic Gate are at the entrance of the park.

Chinese bridges in Alexanderovsky Park

Chinese bridges in Alexanderovsky Park, photo WEB

The stunning architecture is not the only thing that distinguishes Tsarskoye Selo, among other cities of Russia, interesting facts about the history of creation and development of this place can be collected in a separate book. So, for example, the energy and transport systems of the state originated here. This city was the first in Europe, which was fully covered by electricity. The local power station started operating in the year 87 of the 19th century, and 120 lanterns were immediately located on the city streets.

The first Russian railway branch in 1837 also stretched from St. Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo, and another interesting fact was that Nikolay I became one of its first passengers. After 60 years, the auto racing debuted in the empire. At the same time at the Imperial garage opened School of chauffeurs. Tsarevich Alexey was at that time the youngest car enthusiast - at 10 he went through the alleys of the park on a small Peugeot.

Tsarevich Alexey driving Bebe-Peugeot

Tsarevich Alexey driving Bebe-Peugeot, photo WEB

The Catherine Palace keeps one of the most valuable treasures of the country - interesting facts about the Amber Room attract tourists from all over the world. The Prussian emperor presented panels and parts for the cabinet from the Baltic amber to Peter I. In order not to damage the fragile elements, almost a hundred guardsmen walked on foot from St. Petersburg to the palace, carrying boxes of invaluable cargo. But at the Second World Room was robbed, all amber was removed, and its trace was lost. Today, the cabinet is restored partially.

The recreated Amber Room was opened in 2003

The recreated Amber Room was opened in 2003, photo WEB

During the war, many monuments of architecture and art, located in Tsarskoye Selo, were destroyed. But the restored palace ensembles still preserve the richest cultural heritage of the people and are now under the protection of UNESCO. International experts say that 9 out of 10 tourists coming to St. Petersburg are also visited by Tsarskoye Selo sights. The works of architects and artists, as well as the history of this place each year attract more than 2 million guests.

Victoria Romanova, Russia, Moscow