Tsarskoe Selo ('Tsar's Village' in Russian) was a summer residence of Russia's tsars. It is a gorgeous town on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, with beautiful green parks and alleyways. It's different parks represent the distinct personalities of various Russian tsars. The ostentatious park of Catherine with its baroque style architecture comes in stark contrast to the simple park of Alexander.

One of the most prominent palaces in Tsarskoe Selo is Catherine's Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, which was a gift from Peter the Great to his wife Catherine. It is home to a unique Amber Room, the wall s of which were looted by Germans and later found by American troops and returned to Russia. This palace is also famous because it was completely pulled down six times and then rebuilt again as its new owners all had their own ideas about what it should look like. Its present style was defined by Elizabeth, who was one of the most spendthrift monarchs in the world. The palace follows a baroque style, disproportional shapes, long and heavy architecture. The abundance of art pieces, columns and gilding could be considered tasteless by modern-day standards, but they do speak to the wealth of the Russian Tsars.

Tsarskoe Selo is also called Pushkin today, after the famous Russian writer and a poet who is considered to be the farther of modern Russian language. You may have read his famous poem of Evgeny Onegin. Interestingly, Alexander Pushkin foretold the circumstances of his own death in the poem. Both Alexander and the hero of his story, Evgeny, die in a dual over a woman they love.

It was in Pushkin that Russia's last emperor, Nicholas II, was held under arrest by the Bolsheviks before they murdered him and his family.