Pushkin is a town under jurisdiction of Saint-Petersburg,
Russia, that is located 24 kilometers (15 mi) south from the
center of Saint-Petersburg.
Population: 84,628. Tsarskoye Selo ("Tsar's Village") is a
former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting
nobility, located 26 kilometres (16 mi) south from the
center of Saint-Petersburg. It is
now part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage
In the 17th century, the estate belonged to a Swedish noble.
Its original Finnish name is usually translated as "a higher
ground". In 1708, Peter the Great gave the estate to his
wife, the future Empress Catherine I, as a present. She
founded the Blagoveschenskaya (Annunciation) church there in
1724, and changed the name of the settlement to
Blagoveschenskoye, but this did not stand the test of time
and quickly went out of use.
It was Catherine I who started to develop the place as a
royal country residence. Her daughter, Empress Elizabeth and
her architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli were largely responsible
for the building of the Catherine Palace. Later Empress
Catherine II of Russia and her architect Charles Cameron
extended the Palace building what is now known as the famous
Cameron Gallery. Currently, there are two imperial palaces:
the baroque Catherine Palace with the adjacent Catherine
Park and the neoclassical Alexander Palace with the adjacent
Alexander Park. The Catherine Palace is surrounded by a
Garden à la française and an English landscape garden, with
such 18th-century structures as Dutch Admiralty, Creaking
Pagoda, Chesme Column, Rumyantsev Obelisk, and Marble Bridge.
The landscape Alexander Park has several Chinoiserie
structures, notably the Chinese Village.
By the end of the 18th century, Tsarskoye Selo became a
popular place of summer residence among the nobility. The
guards' regiments were stationed to the south of Tsarskoye
Selo, where Catherine the Great founded in the 1770s the
town of Sophia (her own German name being Sophie). The
five-domed neoclassical Ascension Cathedral, designed by the
Scottish architect Charles Cameron, is the chief monument of
that area. In 1808, Sophia and Tsarskoye Selo.
In 1811, Alexander I opened the celebrated Lyceum next door
to the Catherine Palace. Among the first students of the
Lyceum who graduated in 1817 were Aleksandr Pushkin and
Alexander Gorchakov. Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin also
graduated from the Lyceum. The Lyceum garden, the house of
the Lycee Director, the house of Ludwig-Wilhelm Tepper de
Ferguson, Lyceum music teacher belong to important historic
sites associated with the Lyceum of Pushkin's time.
The literary traditions of Tsarskoye Selo were continued in
the 20th century by such notable poets as Anna Akhmatova and