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Published: October 3rd 2010
Today we traveled outside St. Petersburg to the town of Pushkin to see Catherine the Great's summer palace. From there we went onto Peterhof, Peter the Great's summer palace that is called the Versailles of Russia.
Pushkin, Catherine's summer palace, actually dates back to Peter the Great when he gave it to his wife Catherine I. Their daughter, Elizabeth, ordered it expanded from 14 rooms to 300 rooms and each room, like the Hermitage (winter palace) was gilded in gold. This is the place of the famous Amber Room. The room is completely covered in various types of amber. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures in there. The original amber was given by the King of Prussia to prevent a war but during the removal of art in WWII the original amber was stolen and never found. The current amber has been collected and the room restored to look exactly as it did before the war.
Afterwards, we went on to Peterhof, Peter the Great's summer palace next to the Baltic Sea. The amazing gardens have 150 fountains, all supplied by gravity from a nearby lake and the water flows into the Baltic from the fountains, so
it's not recycled.
On the way to Peterhof is the weekend home of the President. However, Putin is staying there so our guide oh, so subtley stated, the real power just changed office to the Prime Minister. 😱
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