16,000 dresses and counting...
The Catherine Palace in the suburb of Pushkin, Saint Petersbourg is one of the most famous places to visit when you are in the city. However, people seem to not know much about the palace before they make their visit.
In today's post, I'll be sharing with you useful information and fun facts about the palace to make your stay unforgettable!
BEFORE YOU GO:
Friends, if there is one thing that you should keep in mind and remember from this post, is this: Buy your tickets before your visit!
Since the palace is almost in everybody's "must-see list", it is usually crowded year round. If you show up without a ticket, you'll probably end up making a 3 hours line to buy one and there's a chance you won't be allowed inside in the end, since they only sell a certain amount of tickets per day.
When you get an e-ticket, you still have to make a line to get a physical one, but still the line will be much shorter and you'll be 100% certain you'll get in.
To get to the palace, you may use the public transport or a taxi. In my opinion, both options are fine: When using the public transport, it will take you abou 30-40 min to arrive depending on the traffic. If you rent a cab, you'll get there faster, in about 20-25 minutes, but the cost will be much higher.
When I visited the palace, I used public transport and I got there with no problem at all. Most locals know you are heading to the palace so they'll take you exactly where you want to go and it costs really cheap, about 5 USD. However, make sure you verify several bus routes before you go, since some lines may not be working.
To be honest with you, I got lost when I tried to go back to Saint Petersbourg because I took the wrong bus and it took me to only God knows where. Thankfully, I found lovely people who helped me go back to the city. But hey, don't be afraid! Don't let my experience hold you back from taking the public transport, just be prepared.
DURING YOUR VISIT:
These are a few important facts that you should know about the palace:
- This palace was the summer residence of several Tsars from 1717 to 1817. After that year, the palace was still in use but for other purposes, like public events, but not as a summer residence, since Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia lived with his family in the Alexander palace, just a few miles down the Catherine Palace.
- The Catherine Palace didn't get his name from Catherine the Great. Most people think that's where the name comes from, because she was the one who gave its splendour to the palace, but that's not true. The Catherine Palace got his name after Catherine I, who built the first palace in this place. That place was nothing like the palace that stands today, it was smaller and modest.
- In 1752, the grand duchess Elizabeth (Catherine II's daughter) found the palace boring, old-fashioned and uncomfortable so she had it demolished. She was the one in charge of the construction of the new palace, so basically we have to thank her for designing that gem!
- Duchess Elizabeth had a reputation of spending crazy amounts of money. She had over 16,000 dresses! because she said that she wouldn't wear the same dress twice. Nevertheless, we must thank here eccentric taste, because that was what lead her to building the mesmerizing palace that stands there today.
It is said that there are over 200 pounds of gold in the palace, so you can imagine that for her, spending money was not a concern.
- The palace was completely destroyed during WW2 and it had to be rebuilt. Most of the artifacts in the palace are replicas, but still you may find several originals that date from the tsarist times.
- The Amber room, the most exquisite room of the palace, fully decorated with real amber, had to be completely restored after WW2, since the original room was stolen and its location remains a mystery...
So that's it! Now you are ready for your visit to the Catherine Palace!