Posted in Russia

RU-2004368: Tsarskoye Selo, Russia

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Postcrossing ID: RU-2004368
Date Sent: 13 September 2013
Date Received: 2 October 2013
Days Travelled:  19
Distance Travelled:  6,978 km 

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In 2013, many of my Postcrossing mailings arrived in envelopes and this one contained two cards.  Posted in Kirov, Russia, they feature the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the reconstruction of the famed Amber Room.  Ironically, I was reading the Steve Berry novel of the same name at the time I received these.  The town itself is now a part of Pushkin and the former imperial palace is a part of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.  The Catherine Palace, begun in 1717, was the summer residence of the Russian czars.  More than 100 kilograms of gold were used to gild the stucco façade and numerous statues erected on the roof. It was even rumored that the palace’s roof was constructed entirely of gold.  Following their retreat during World War II, German troops intentionally destroyed the palace, leaving just a hollow shell behind.  Parts have been restored but there is still work to be done to bring it back to its former glory.  That restoration included a recreation of the original Amber Room – a chamber of heavy amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors – which disappeared at the close of World War II after having been transported by the Germans to Könisberg.

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