Stone Tracery in the Chapel Vaults
Parish Church of Our Lady, Ingolstadt, Germany
The incredible, deceptively delicate stone vaults of Parish Church of Our Lady were sculpted by the Rottaler family in the 15th and 16th Century.
Photos: Courtauld Institute of Art
The Catherine Palace (Russian: Екатерининский дворец) is a Rococo palace located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), 25 km south-east of St. Petersburg, Russia. It was the summer residence of the Russian tsars.
The residence originated in 1717, when Catherine I of Russia engaged the German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. Over the years, the palace was expanded. On 30 July 1756 the architect presented the brand-new 325-meter-long palace to the Empress Elizabeth, her dazed courtiers, and stupefied foreign ambassadors.
During Elizabeth’s lifetime, the palace was famed for its lavish exterior. More than 100 kilograms of gold were used to gild the sophisticated stucco façade and numerous statues erected on the roof. It was even rumored that the palace’s roof was constructed entirely of gold. In front of the palace a great formal garden was laid out. The interior of the pavilion featured dining tables with dumbwaiter mechanisms. A delicate cast-iron grille separates the complex from the town of Tsarskoe Selo. Although the palace is popularly associated with Catherine the Great, she actually regarded its “whipped cream” architecture as old-fashioned.
In Twentieth Century Fox’s 1997 animated feature, “Anastasia”, the Catherine Palace is depicted inaccurately as the home of the last imperial family.