St. Petersburg, Russia and Catherine’s PalaceWoman in the Middle | September 2, 2013
The main reason I wanted to take a Baltic cruise is because I wanted to see St. Petersburg, Russia. The rest was just frosting on the Russian cupcake, so to speak! So I was very excited to finally get to Russia. Being the age I am, Russia was a place I thought I would never see because I was not going to deal with all of that communist cold war nonsense to visit that country. So the end of the Soviet Union cleared the path for me and Hubby to see at least a small piece of Russia.
St. Petersburg was founded at the mouth of the Neva River by Peter the Great in 1706, so everything in the city is no older than the early 1700s. It was also built on the many islands that are located at the mouth of the river and, like Venice, has many canals. There are a large number of palaces in and around St. Petersburg because Peter the Great expected all the noble families to take up residence in his new Russian capital. Oh, so much to see and only two days to see it in!
I have been saying all along that one of my main goals on this trip was to see onion domes in their native setting. So here are my first onion domes seen while standing on Russian soil. These beautiful domes are on top of the private chapel at Catherine’s Palace, which is located in Pushkin, about an hour outside of St. Petersburg. It was the summer palace, so keep in mind that the opulence you are about to see was in use only a few months a year.
As you can see from the photo below. the palace was huge, even if it was just the summer place. No surprise there, I guess. I think it was a Russian Tsar who coined the phrase “Go big or go home.” On thing that struck me over and over again was the fact that Russian’s love their color. As you will see from my photos we saw many many buildings with bright-colored paint and white moldings around doors, windows, etc….
Almost every room was decorated with gold leaf, so much gold leaf. It as truly spectacular and amazing. I think, however, I was most fascinated by the beautiful wood floors.
The floors were made with many different natural colors of wood. They were not painted or stained. I think why I took so many pictures of the floors was because I could relate to them better than the gold. I will never have gold leaf all over my house, but I might have nifty wood floors….just like Catherine the Great! I know, only in my dreams….
Yet another room, yet more gold leaf…so amazing!
As we walked down a hallway I looked out the window and saw this view into the garden. the same view that the tsar’s of Russia saw. I love going to historic places like this!
We saw so much in Russia that I am afraid I am going to have to break it up into a few separate posts. I hope you are enjoying the armchair tour!