Sunday, October 18, 2009

more of Russia, Pushkin and Peterhof

Since I can enlarge pictures now (thanks to Laurie and Marty), I thought I would join Chari for Sunday Favorites and repost the country I was so excited to visit, Russia. I am so glad Chari thought of this meme or it would take me forever to upload as many pictures as these. And you know, I do not really have the time right now cause we have guests this week. My stepdaughter with her 3 little kids are visiting from Fort Lauderdale. Little, I mean little, a 4 year old, 2 and a half and the baby is almost 1. It's been so busy here but lots of fun!
We also have the Balloon Festival going on here and I will post pictures for Outdoor Wednesday.
But now, all I do is change the date and repost. Thanks, Chari! Now, please visit Chari at and her other participants too.

It's Saturday again and just as I promised, we will go back to Russia. Do you still have your travel documents ready? Ok then, let's go!

BTW, Melissa at made a very good suggestion. If anyone wants to post vacation or trip pictures too, I would be very happy for you to join in. It can even be just a tour of your hometown. I will post your blog sites here, just make a copy of the Sightseeing Saturday logo, post it on your blog and send me a comment. Then I can add your blog site on my post next Sat. I am not sure if I can figure out how to use Mr. Linky yet, but even if I can't by next week, we'll get by doing it the old fashioned way. Thanks, Melissa, for the very good suggestion. Remember - you can enlarge any of these pictures by simply clicking on it. Let's go to Pushkin, which is the site of Catherine's Summer Palace. Below is Pushkin's Memorial. As you might already know, Alexandr Pushkin is Russia's answer to Shakespeare, the Father of Russian Literature. He is considered Russia's greatest poet. He is also famous for having been killed by his wife's lover in a duel.

This is Catherine's summer palace, also known as Tsarskoe Selo or Tsar's Village. The palace is huge, about 1 mile long. Imagine that? Ideal for having people you dislike as guests. You can put them at the other end and you will never see them again. LOL! This is an actual view from the palace.
a close up
This is the middle part of the building. The palace has a vast number of precious works of art, ornate furniture, paintings, sculptures and statues, including personal belongings of Russian Emperors and their families. It is mostly in baroque style.
Isn't this main entry impressive?
Look at the details on the wall. Notice the plates embedded in the medallions?
In the corner is a massive blue and white ceramic stove/furnace. You will see them all over the palace, also inside Peterhof, which we will visit later on this trip.
Probably the most interesting and valuable room in this palace is the Amber Room.
Everything in it is made of amber. We were not allowed to take a picture in the room so I went into secret agent mode and photographed the Amber room from the adjoining room through the mirror. Can you see it? Ooops, my camera accidentally clicked...LOL! Sorry it's out of focus, I wasn't aiming at anything nor was I looking at the lens or LCD screen. Anyway, you get the idea of how the room looks like. All the walls and even the accessories are made of amber. In 1944, the Nazis dismantled the contents of this room and packed them in crates. No one ever knew whatever happened to them. The room was restored in 1979 using 6 tons of amber and the official opening ceremony was held on May 31, 2003, in honor of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg.

Here are my sister and me in front of the portraits of the last Tzar who reigned, Nicholas II and his queen, Alexandra Feodorovna. Of course you probably know what happened to them and all their children.

This is the Cameron Gallery, which is located at one end of the grounds of the palace.

the front view of the Cameron Gallery.

Time for a break! Let's go shopping for some amber. How about a gorgeous tiffany lamp made out of amber? How about some jewelry?

One of my favorite parts of the tour - lunch! And to top it off, Russian dancers and singers entertained us while we ate.

My turn on the stage, except I can't sing nor dance Russian, so I'll just pose :-)

Now, let's go to Peterhof. This is the entrance. Peterhof was Peter the Great's summer palace.

One of the pretty mantels. I was tempted to turn the urns upside down to see the markings, but thought better of it.
This is the entryway and the main staircase.

Peter the Great's oak study.

just another example of the ornate furnishings found at Peterhof

The grounds are just as beautiful as the interior of the palace. This is Princess Alexandra's Memorial. Princess Alexandra died before her 19th birthday, at childbirth, and was buried holding her dead baby in her arms. The baby was 3 months premature. Isn't that sad?

The grounds of Peterhof has at least 120 fountains. This particular one is located across from Alexandra's Memorial bench.

and this is Princess Alexandra's portrait. Isn't she a beauty? No wonder she was her father's favorite. She was quite a musician too.

Throne Room

Portrait Hall sure you click to enlarge this to see the amazing painted portraits.

a gorgeous table made out of lapis lazuli

Here's another one of those stove/furnace. This is the source of their heat. Also shown are 2 breakfronts, tea and dinner tablescapes.

Peterhof's Imperial Dining Room

Another pretty table but do you see those gorgeous bisque figurines? And look at that lovely parquet floor!

This is the Grand Cascading Fountains. Would you believe that there isn't a single pump operating all these magnificent fountains? It all functions by natural spring. This is a truly amazing sight. This picture does not do it justice at all.

We paid the dressed Russians $2 to pose with us. Behind us, you will see the Marine Canal with a view of the Peterhof facade in the background.

Well, I sure hope you enjoyed the trip. I am glad I wore comfortable shoes cause we sure did some serious walking. See you next week for another great adventure. Thanks for coming along!


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Christine, you have taken some truly fantastic trips. I love that you took so many pictures and we get to tag along through them. The palaces and the grounds are just unbelievable. Such opulence is hard to imagine. Thanks for stopping by my china cabinet post. I'm finally getting some of the basics of this blog thing figured out. I really appreciate your gracious comments. Hugs, Marty

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

Gorgeous photos... I would love to see the sites in person! Thanks for sharing


Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Christine, You are a very lucky lady. I would love to visit Russia. The palaces are so beautiful. Thanks for taking us along on your journey. It was truly amazing.
Hugs, Terrie

Oh, you look so cute!

Nicole ~ said...

I am so amazed at how everything is so intricately detailed. A person could spend so much time in just one of those rooms looking at everything. And, the grounds look spectacular.

You have seen some amazing places. I have always wanted to travel to Russia, thanks for the tour.

Kat said...

Thanks for another great tour Christine. The detail and craftsmanship in these pieces is just amazing. And that dining room - now that's a tablescape lol. Thanks for sharing this wonderful trip with us. Kathy

Tomarie said...

Christine~What a totally enchanting tour! Thank you for taking us along! The beauty of the pics are breathtaking!!!! L~

Cindy J. said...

Christine I feel so honored to get to tag along. My goodness I can't imagine any thing more opulent and beautiful than all of that amber. You've been so blessed to travel with your family and see all of these amazing things. I sure thank-you so much for sharing with us all. Love, Cindy

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Christine, these photographs are beautiful, and I learned so much on this "trip". (I am surprised that John didn't pick up the urns to look on the bottom!) And aren't you smart to take the picture in the mirror (a little sneaky too!). I love taking Saturday trips with you. You are such an excellent guide! laurie

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Christine, what a fantastic tour guide you are. The amber room is incredible..I can only imagine the beauty in real life of the Cameron Gallery. Loved your pose on stage..hope you danced a jig or Peter the Greats oak study is awesome.. would love to relax in their on a rainy afternoon..Peterhof's Imperial dining room is out of this world.. can you imagine putting a tablescape together in there? It would be a blast.. thanks for the tour Christine..I enjoyed it.. have a super w/k.. hugs ~lynne~

Glenda said...

I think you made a wise choice to let the urns keep their secrets. You were very inventive/sneaky in photographing the amber room. Congrats on your ingenuity.

The figurines are beautiful but the table they are sitting on is magnificent. I agree the floors are marvelous.

The green power displayed by the fountains is wonderful. We can certainly use more of that.

Glad my shots were up-to-date and my passport was current. I wouldn't have wanted to miss this trip. Thanks for letting me tag along.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Christine, thanks for your kind comments about my eggs. They are a lot of fun and I have enjoyed them. I do really enjoy the charm bracelet, and I always have people ask me about the eggs. I think the ones you have are so gorgeous. Thanks again, and I have soooo enjoyed all your trips that you've posted. You have so many wonderful pictures and you really explain things so well. It's just like being a mouse in your pocket and tagging along. Hugs, Marty

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Oh Christine! This is just gorgeous!I am absolutely floored! For some reason, I didn't think the Soviets had allowed all of this to remain intact. Wow was I wrong! Now I am planning my next vacation in Russia!Absolutely incredible! Thanks for sharing!...Debbie

Bo said...

Hi Christine, I had never considered Russia as a place I'd like to visit until "going" there with you...I have definitely changed my mind...I'll have to wait until our ship comes in or we win the lottery though! ;-) Bo

Kathysue said...

Hi C, Russia is not a country I have ever wanted to see,but through your eyes,I think you have changed my mind.Thank you for taking us along with you.kathysue

Nicole ~ said...

Happy Sunday Christine.. I left you something over at my place....

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Christine, :)
Thank you so much for mentioning my name and blog. You are so kind! I really hope people join in. It would be a fun event for all to see.

Russia is absolutely amazing! The architecture is truly stunning. So ornate and regal. Love it!
Thank you for sharing this with us.

Have a wonderful evening.
~Melissa :)

Unknown said...

Those pictures are fantastic. I had never thought of going to Russia but now you make me want to visit there. Love them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine! Oh, what a great trip this must have been! I enjoyed myself! You are so blessed to be able to travel like you do.
Chloe Dawn thanks you for coming to see her.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hello Christine...

Ohhh my...I'm finding myself having to do some "back-tracking" on your blog...I don't know how I missed your Saturday travel post!

Well my friend...I am loving each and every step of this journey through Russia with you! What a fabulous trip!!! Thank you so much for sharing the Palace of Peterhof with us...there really aren't words to describe the feelings I have while looking at this fabulous place! The architecture is soooo amazing, I love the Baroque style! Thank you for including so much of it's history too...I love reading the history of these places! You reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies...Anastasia! That's an amazing story, to think that she may have survived the execution of her family! What history, huh?

Well, once again, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip! You're doing a fabulous job as tour guide to all of these interesting/fabulous places! Thank you!!!

Hope you're having a terrific Tuesday...
Love ya,

Rue said...

I missed this post the first time around! What a gorgeous palace! The story of Alexandra is so sad!

Thank you for taking us with you :)


Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst said...

What an interesting trip! Love those blue and white furnaces. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

How wonderfully elaborate, Christine! I can't get over how pretty this is. And the throne room! Look at that wonderful Easter egg color on the walls! So pretty!

Thanks for sharing. I wish I could figure out how to enlarge my pictures. It makes for easier viewing.


Sheila :-)

rosasdolcevita said...

Gorgeous photos! There are a lot of castles like that in Southern Germany and Austria. Ever since I moved to Northern Germany I really miss them. Looking at your photos brought back many fond memories of places that I have visited. Thanks for sharing.

❀~Myrna~❀ said...

Wow, they realy liked to decorate with gold and that table setting was beautiful . I really enjoy seeing your world travels . I never knew there was so much to see in Russia or that it's history was so opulent .
~Myrna Lee

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hello Girlfriend...

Ohhh sounds like you're just as busy as I am! hehe! It's so nice to have John's daughter and family there for a visit though...I bet ya'll ARE keeping busy and having fun! So sorry that I'm just now getting by for your Sunday Favorites was a crazy busy weekend for me...I'm just now getting some time to sit down to the computer!

You know, I'll never forget this's one of my favorites!!! Since I've never been to Russia, I thoroughly enjoyed your tour...ohhhh, and all those rich, opulent palaces!!! I still just stand in awe of the architecture and furnishings! I can't even begin to imagine what it would have been like to have lived in such a place...ohhh, and the lifestyle that went with it!

Thank you so much for re-sharing this post, my friend! It's so GRAND and definitely deserved a second showint!!! What a treat!!! Have lots of fun with your step-daughter and grandchildren, Girlfriend!!! I'll talk with you later!!!

Love ya,
PS...I love, love, LOVE your new's fabulous!!! And...I'm so glad that you went to the larger photo format...sure is nice for my old eyes! Hehe! Love your new blog makeover...great job, Darlin'!!!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Good re-post. We can never get enough of all of this lavish beauty! You are so cute up there on that stage! laurie

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