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Is it possible to visit the Amber Room on your own?

Just 25 kilometers from St. Petersburg is the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve, the summer imperial residence. Hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world flock here, primarily for the sake of the Amber Room in the Catherine Palace. It’s worth mentioning right away that Tsarskoye Selo and Pushkin are two names of the same city, the first appeared in the 1937th century, the second name arose in 100, when the XNUMXth anniversary of the poet’s death was celebrated. There are several ways to get to this place.

  1. The most comfortable and fastest option – an individual excursion to Pushkin with a visit to the Amber Room – this is what millions of tourists from all over the world dream of seeing in the first place.
  2. If you want to save a little on your trip, but at the same time hear a story about the sights that you will see along the way, you can book a tour on a large bus for groups. Unfortunately, this type of excursion will not save you from queuing at the palace, which can take several hours at the height of the summer season. Since the duration of such excursions is limited, you will examine the palace rather briefly, no more than five minutes will be allocated to the Amber Room, and Catherine Park may be left completely unattended.
  3. An option for the bravest and most resilient – independent trip. You can get to Pushkin by train from Vitebsky station or by public transport from the Moskovskaya or Kupchino metro stations. It is more pleasant to travel by train, but from the station you will still have to get to the palace, while the minibus goes straight to your destination. But an unpleasant surprise may await you here. The fact is that from May to September it is almost impossible for single tourists to get into the palace without standing in line for two, three, and sometimes even four hours. They are allowed into the palace only from 12.00 to 14.00 and from 16.00 to 17.00, the rest of the time is reserved for reserved groups or individual tourists with a guide. The only advantage of such a trip compared to a tour on a big bus is that you are not tied to a group, and therefore you will be able to explore places that are usually ignored. However, all this can be done on an individual excursion, the significant advantage of which is that it guarantees access to the palace without queues.

However, don’t let all these difficulties scare you, because Tsarskoye Selo is known throughout the world for its attractions:

Catherine Palace with the Golden Enfilade of halls, of which the Amber Room is part. It was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest amber product – it is no coincidence that it is called the “eighth wonder of the world.” More than 6 tons of January were spent on this unique interior (of which less than 1 ton remained on the walls after processing), $11,5 million and 24 years of work. The new Amber Room was opened in 2013, but its “youth” does not make it any less valuable or interesting than the original, which was lost forever during the Great Patriotic War. The palace itself miraculously did not blow up – it was mined, but they never managed to blow it up. However, the fire destroyed all the halls, the restoration of which took more than twenty years of efforts by restorers. Thanks to the courage of the museum staff, about 12000 exhibits were saved – a little more than a quarter of the entire decoration.

Catherine Park, where the Baroque and Romantic eras come together, and pavilions, obelisks, gates and statues remind of Russia’s outstanding military achievements.

Pavilion “Hermitage” in Catherine Park deserves special attention, in which several times a day a mechanism is demonstrated that raises a table from the first to the second floor, where the Empress’s private parties were held – “Hermitages”. The Agate Rooms pavilion has preserved the original decoration of the era of Catherine II: six recreation rooms decorated with Urazov jasper, which in the 18th century was called agate.

Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, where A.S. Pushkin studied for six years – it’s not for nothing that the city now bears his name. Another museum associated with the name of the poet is located not far from the palace – this is Kitaev’s dacha, where he spent his honeymoon.

Alexandrovsky Park with buildings in the Chinese style and the Alexander Palace, which became the last home of the last imperial family.

Fedorovsky Cathedral, reminiscent of the churches of the Rostov Kremlin and erected by personal order of Nicholas II. Not far from the cathedral is the Military Chamber, the only museum of the First World War in Russia.

Babolovsky Park, where the largest granite bath in Russia with a diameter of more than 5 meters and a height of almost 2 meters is located – all that remains of the palace destroyed by the Nazis. The “Tsar Bath” was hewn out of a single piece of granite under the leadership of Samson Sukhanov over ten years, from 1818 to 1828.

As you can see, a whole week may not be enough to explore Pushkin and its surroundings. The city itself resembles an open-air museum with numerous monuments, temples, and historical buildings. Not only A. S. Pushkin lived and worked here, but also G. R. Derzhavin, N. M. Karamzin, V. A. Zhukovsky, N. S. Gumilev, A. A. Akhmatova. If you decide to devote a whole day to this place – no matter whether you decide to get to the city with a large group, or to see the Amber Room and other attractions individually – do not ignore the palace and park ensemble of Pavlovsk, located just a 10-minute drive from Pushkin. This will give you the opportunity to compare two imperial residences that are completely different in style and spirit, explore the magnificent, and at the same time cozy, Pavlovsk Palace, relax in Pavlovsk Park, the largest in Europe, and also dine at the famous Russian cuisine restaurant “Podvorye”, which in itself has long become a tourist attraction.

Over its three-hundred-year history, the Amber Room has experienced many periods from creation to oblivion, from revival as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” to abduction, fruitless searches and a new resurrection in the renovated Catherine Palace of St. Petersburg in modern Russia.

There is a special atmosphere in this room. The glare of the sun and numerous light bulbs imitating candles are reflected in amber, gilding and mirrors. Those entering are enveloped by inexplicable waves of pleasant warmth and peace emitted by the sun stone.

Operating hours in 2024

The pandemic has also made changes to the operating hours of the Tsarskoye Selo palaces in St. Petersburg (now the city of Pushkin). It is proposed to explore the spaces of the Catherine Palace, where the Amber Room is now located, along two strictly established routes. To separate the flow of people, they are directed to different sides of the building.

Both routes pass through the Amber Room, so you can choose any route to visit it:

  • Route №1 passes through the “Golden” Enfilade. Guests of the palace immediately climb the Grand Staircase to the Great Hall, and then move along the second floor of the building from the Golden Gate – the main entrance.
  • Route №2 guides visitors through the former living quarters and passes by windows overlooking the Old Regular Park (the Lyon Hall is closed for restoration).

Both directions coincide for visiting the Amber Room, the Great Hall and the general exit to the Stasov Stairs.

If you have never been to the Catherine Palace for a long time or have never been, choose route No. 1, it is more formal and educational. No. 2 is suitable for those who want to make up for the lack of impressions after previous visits.

  • The park opens at 7:00.
  • The opening hours of the museum itself in Pushkin and, accordingly, the Amber Room have not changed – from 10:00 to 18:00 (ticket office until 16:45, entrance to the exhibition until 17:00).
  • Entrance for visitors is divided into sessions that begin every 15 minutes.
  • The last one is at 16:45. The beginning is always indicated on the ticket. Delay is allowed no more than a quarter of an hour. Subsequently, the entry documents are cancelled.

Read more: Ticket prices to the Catherine Palace and opening hours in 2024

The passage of guests to the Amber Room occurs differently in 2024. Before the start of the session, at the entrance to the park, attach the ticket barcode to the turnstile window. Then perform a similar procedure a second time – at the entrance to the palace from the Old Catherine Park in the wing closest to the Cameron Gallery. Follow the signs: the door depends on the route number. Only after this will museum staff check personal documents.

After visiting the Amber Room, you can walk around the huge park until 18-00.

Day off – Tuesday. During the cold season from November to April, another non-working day is added – every last Monday of the month.

Ordering tickets to the Amber Room and their cost

The best way to purchase tickets to the Amber Room is online. The museum box office, located next to the main entrance to the park at the Lyceum Arch and in the Hermitage Kitchen, receives exclusively unsold remains.

On the official website of the museum, tickets are posted a week in advance. Up to 50 visitors are planned for any session. In one order you will issue no more than 5 tickets.

Ticket price to the Amber Room in Tsarskoe Selo

Tourist category Cost, rub.
citizens of the Russian Federation and the EAEU*
Adults 1100
Retirees 600
Students, cadets, schoolchildren over 16 years old 600
Members of creative unions (architects, designers, artists), employees of state museums 600
Other foreigners
adults 1800
Students and schoolchildren over 14 years old 900

*EAEU member countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan.

Free categories

Regardless of citizenship:

  • Children up to 14 years old
  • Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia;
  • full holders of the Order of Glory;
  • participants and disabled combatants, camp prisoners, home front workers, blockade survivors.

Citizens of Russia and the Eurasian Union:

  • disabled people of groups I (plus 1 accompanying person) and group II.

Only on the second Sunday of every month – citizens of the Russian Federation:

  • students of higher and secondary educational institutions;
  • graduate students, residents, adjuncts;
  • children from 16 to 18 years old.

It’s important: entrance tickets for free visits are purchased subject to including at least one in the order – for money.

When registering, the passport details of the purchaser are required. They will have to be presented at the entrance, and beneficiaries will also have to confirm their right to a discount on the price or free viewing.

Tickets with audio guide

To get better acquainted with the Amber Room and learn a lot of new things, we recommend booking a ticket with an audio tour in WeGoTrip format. The electronic guide will tell you in detail about the Amber Room and “guide” you not only along one of the palace routes, but also through the luxurious park. You will see its regular and landscape parts, the Grotto and Hermitage pavilions (with a kitchen), the Cameron Gallery and even the Lyceum, where Pushkin and other famous compatriots studied (unfortunately, only from the outside).

The ticket price for an adult citizen of Russia is 1890 rubles, with benefits provided.

All-inclusive visit to the Amber Room

If you want to see the Amber Room, but don’t like the hassle of finding the right transport, and even prefer the stories of a live guide instead of an electronic one, an all-inclusive bus tour would be an ideal option. You will be taken to the palace from the center of St. Petersburg. You can place your order online.

All-inclusive ticket price

Categories of tourists Cost, rub.
Adult citizens of Russia and EAEU countries* 2950
Pensioners with citizenship of the Russian Federation and Belarus, Russian students of any educational institutions 2800
Children from 6 to 13 2500
Children under 5 years old with a separate seat 2000
Foreigners 3500

The ticket price includes:

  • the guide’s story on the way to Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo) about the history of its palaces and parks;
  • inspection of the Catherine Palace and visit to the Amber Room;
  • excursion and walk in the park.

Read more: The best excursions to the Grand Catherine Palace in 2024

Independent visit to the Amber Room in Pushkin

This information will be useful for active tourists choosing individual travel. If you have already purchased entrance tickets yourself, then it is not difficult to find the road to the city of Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoe Selo).

To get to the Amber Room you need to go up the Grand Staircase of the Catherine Palace to the second floor and go through the White State Dining Room, the Raspberry Dining Room, the Green Dining Room and the Portrait Hall, immediately after which you will get to the Amber Room.

Plan of passage to the Amber Room:

How to get to the Catherine Palace and the Amber Room

For travel you can choose one of three directions.

  1. By train. From Vitebsky station, trains to the Tsarskoe Selo railway station depart every 15-25 minutes. Travel time from 28 to 33 minutes. Ticket price – 49-50 rubles. You are not affected by traffic jams. You can get to the entrance to the palace (about 2,5 km) by minibuses No. 371, 377, 382 or walk.
  2. Minibuses from the Blue metro line. Tickets cost 40-46 rubles, travel time depends on traffic jams, especially when traveling from Moskovskaya station (it is closer to the city center). Minibuses run from:
  • “Moskovskaya” – No. 287, 342,347,299,
  • “Zvezdny” – No. 347,
  • “Kupchino” – No. 286, 287, 342, 347, 545a.
    1. Personal transport. In this case, you should focus on the traffic situation on the way, and also take into account the problem with parking in Pushkin.

    Museum address: St. Petersburg, Pushkin, Sadovaya st., 7.

    Official website: https://tzar.ru

    Phone for information: (812) 415-76-67, (812) 415-76-68

    Driving directions:

    Interesting facts from the history of the Amber Room in Tsarskoe Selo

    Initially, the amber cabinet was created by order of the Prussian king Frederick I for his beloved wife Sophia-Charlotte to be installed in her residence.

    In 1709 the queen died. The husband decided to move the finished amber panels to the gallery of his own palace. On his next trip to Europe, Peter I looked for allies in the war with Sweden. We managed to find common interests with Frederick, and in the palace he showed the Russian Tsar the exquisite creation of his own masters. Peter was amazed by what he saw.

    Frederick I died in 1713. For his son Friedrich Wilhelm, the alliance with Russia was also important. As a result, the signed treaty of 1716 was sealed with a gift. The king sent his companion an amber “unliquidated” one, and in return the famous martinet received 55 tall guardsmen and a bowl of elephant tusk, made by Peter himself.

    From palace to palace in Russia

    The received gift was examined by Menshikov, who knew a lot about elegant things. The verdict was this: magnificent, but incomplete. The wonder was placed in the “People’s Chambers” – the public museum of the Summer Garden.

    The next to become interested in amber decoration was Peter’s daughter, Empress Elizabeth. In 1743, by her decree, the panels were restored and placed in one of the palaces in St. Petersburg, creating the first version of the Amber Room. The missing details were replaced with canvases painted to look like sunstone. The office was used to receive distinguished foreign guests: the Empress knew how to surprise the envoys!

    After the construction of the new Grand Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, at the behest of Elizabeth in 1755, boxes with amber details were transferred to the new residence by 6 guards in 76 days. The creation of the cabinet was personally led by Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

    The new, larger hall was filled not only with amber, but also with pilasters with mirrors in gilded frames, as well as the usual paintings imitating stone.

    Catherine II, who ascended the throne, did not have enough luxury in the Amber Room. She ordered the canvases to be removed and the entire space filled with amber.

    As a result, the room’s design was turned into a three-tier one, adding a bottom row. A gilded arched decoration was built above the front door. Another 450 kg of amber was spent on finishing. 4 Florentine mosaics with allegories of the five human senses made of amber, agate and jasper were added to the panels. There was also more gilded carving.

    The interior was complemented with a table and several chests of drawers inlaid with sunstone. The imperial collection of Chinese porcelain and amber items was displayed in the windows.

    For the periodic restoration of the fragile and capricious stone, a special position of master caretaker was introduced, which is why the Amber Room survived until Soviet times in the form approved by Catherine.

    Restorations carried out in the 19th century compensated for the loss of amber as a result of microclimate instability. The stone was damaged by damp weather in summer and uneven stove heating in the cold season. In the middle of the century, the ceiling lamp was replaced. The work was led by architect Stasov.

    disappearance

    In 1936, in case of war, an evacuation plan for the museum was drawn up, where for some reason the removal of amber panels was not provided for. The 1939 update disappeared under unclear circumstances. Most likely, it ended up in the same hands as Hitler’s order to export Soviet cultural property to Germany, where the Amber Room was number one.

    What could the 5 remaining caretakers of the Catherine Palace do to save the Amber Room in the summer of 1941, if the total weight of the decor was several tons? Just cover it with auxiliary materials and boards. Only a small casket and a mirror were evacuated from the amber decoration.

    The Germans who entered Pushkin dismantled the amber room within a couple of days and took it to Konigsberg, where it was exhibited in the main museum.

    Unsuccessful searches?

    Both the special services and a group organized by the writer Yulian Semyonov have been searching for the country’s amber treasure for many years.

    First version. The room was destroyed in Königsberg by bombing of the city or in a fire. The found report from the director of the museum established that small parts were damaged, the rest were dismantled and hidden in the basement.

    After the fire, which occurred on the second day after the capture of Koenigsberg by the Soviet army, our experts found no traces of melting of the glass from the mirrors, gilding and the amber itself. The burnt remains of the mosaics were left intentionally.

    Version two. The room was lost during transportation by sea along with a blown up ship. This is not documented.

    Version three. The packed panels were taken long before the assault on Königsberg to one of the castles in Thuringia, and then hidden in a salt mine. This part of Germany was subsequently captured by the Americans, and the treasures were found and taken to America. The events look quite plausible.

    The search in this direction was carried out by Yulian Semenov’s group and, it seems, they found new clues. Unfortunately, one of the German specialists was brutally killed before the press conference, and the other died under strange circumstances. Semenov himself shot himself, allegedly unable to withstand the pain of oncology.

    Version four, which arose already in 2012-2015. The packed panels were nevertheless found by our troops in Koenigsberg. The museum director’s explanation that this is a local treasure is taken at face value. Later it was included in the list of valuables transferred to the United States in payment of the lend-lease debt. What is this – criminal negligence or malicious intent?

    And even after this, enthusiasts are trying to unravel the mystery of the missing masterpiece of world art!

    Revival

    The restoration of the Amber Room began in 1979. First, we spent a long time studying photographs, historical documents of the 1981th century, and ancient technologies for processing materials. Work began in XNUMX.

    By the nineties, the ceiling lamp had been recreated. In the Mikhailovsky Castle, two of its original parts were found, removed during the restoration of the 19th century. The upper tier of panels was replaced with stone-like paintings. The mosaics were restored using burnt samples. The parquet was made from the photographs. Empty spaces were covered with canvas. Then the funding stopped.

    The money was found in 2000. The Amber Room was revived in full in the Catherine Palace for the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg and the G2003 summit held in May XNUMX.

    Miracle

    In 2000, the Florentine mosaic with allegories of smell and touch, as well as the chest of drawers, returned to Russia.

    It turned out that when the room was dismantled in 1941, the officer in charge of the work stole the mosaic. When trying to sell it in 1997, the German judicial authorities confiscated it.

    During an audit, an amber chest of drawers was also found in the storerooms of one of the German museums. Its identity was determined by the inventory number.

    By order of German Chancellor Schröder, both items were transferred to Russia. These events cannot be called anything other than a miracle.

    The Amber Room in numbers

    • The area of ​​the hall is 96 m2.
    • Ceiling height – 7,8 m.
    • The area covered with stone is 86 m2.
    • The first panels were made in 1701.
    • To replace empty spaces during the “Elizabethan” restoration, 24 mirrored columns-pilasters were installed.
    • The total weight of amber used during restoration in 2000 is 6 tons.
    • The revival of the Amber Room cost $11,35 million, of which 70% came from the Russian budget, 30% came from sponsorship from the German Ruhrgas.

    Helpful information

    1. Wheelchairs and a lift are offered to disabled citizens.
    2. Photography is strictly prohibited in the Amber Room. Numerous camera flashes can ruin a capricious stone.
    3. Check the opening hours of the palace, park and Amber Room before purchasing tickets: it all depends on the pandemic situation.

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