Catherine Palace, Pushkin, Russia, 16 June 2006

Catherine Palace strikes me as an odd name for a palace. More formal than Cathy Palace, I guess,
but still - an odd name for a palace. Click this picture to see a larger version of the front of the palace.

A closer view of the palace front.

My impression of Catherine Palace is that somebody with entirely too much budgetary discretion -
concluded that if one gold statue is a work of art, then 8 identical gold statues must be a masterpiece.
I counted something like 44 of these guys front and back. Click this picture to see more of them.

Perhaps there is some parallel to the belief that if a glass of vodka is enjoyable, then a liter must be ecstasy.

Here we have a dining room, with gilded chairs, gilded candle holders, gilded window frames, gilded vases,
and on, and on, and on...

Like the forty-plus identical gold-leafed Adonises doing stomach-crunches outside, there were
two of these ladies adorning many of the doorways in the palace. And there were a lot of doorways.

Looking down this hall you can see room after room after room of gilded relief work.
There was no relief from the gilded relief.

But wait, there's more...

And lest there be insufficient gilding on view, why not line the rooms with mirrors?
Daisy remarked that Catherine Palace reminded her of Versailles.
I reminded her that in addition to the appalling displays of excess wealth, another thing that
France and Russia have in common is a history that includes a violent (and long overdue) revolution.

The grounds behind Catherine Palace were admittedly pretty impressive.
Still a lot of gilding and redundancy, but careful attention have been lavished on the gardens...

...and lake, and servants quarters, and guest house.
I can't remember which one this is. Click the picture if you'd like to see a little more detail.

This is another view from the back of the palace.

another backside view

and another

and so on

and so forth

This is a view looking out over the grounds from the back of the palace.
Click the picture to see a larger view.

It would have been unthinkable for Catherine to have to walk in the rain to reach her coach when it pulled
up in back, so a wing was added that extended from the main building to the drive.

Part of the palace was under restoration or construction.

Right next to Catherine Palace was this somewhat less ornate building. It seemed to me that
if they scraped off some of the 200 pounds of gold leaf that adorns Catherine Palace,
maybe they could apply the funds toward other restoration projects.

Daisy found a place to rest while we waited for the tour bus to come pick us up.

While I was waiting for the bus, I snapped this picture of a Nestea Iced Tea billboard.
Is it just me, or does she seem inordinately passionate about her iced tea?