History of Pushkin

Establishment of a settlement

Three-ruble memorial coin of the Bank of Russia

In 16091702, on the place of Catherine Palace stood a Swedish estate Sarskaya Manor (Russian: ??????? ????, Finnish: Saari mojs, Swedish: Sarish off meaning "high place"). It was a small estate, which consisted of a wooden house, household annexes, and a modest garden divided by two perpendicular avenues into four squares. This estate originated from an earlier settlement, which was mentioned in church inventories of 1501 and marked on maps drawn for Boris Godunov as Saritsa (Russian: ??????). This name later transformed to Sarskaya Manor, then to Saar Village, and finally became the Tsarskoye Selo (meaning "Tsar's Village" in Russian).

After the expulsion of the Swedes from the area Peter the Great gave the manor to Alexander Menshikov. Later, by an official decree of 13 June 1710 the whole area including 43 villages was assigned to Marfa Skavronskaya, wife of Peter who later became Empress Catherine I. This date of 13 June 1710 is considered as the founding date of the city. In 17171724 the architect Johann Braunstein built here a two-storied stone palace surrounded by ancillary buildings, and Y. V. Roozen created a garden with two ponds at the palace. Because of the growing number of servants, a separate village and a wooden Uspenskaya Church (1716) were built nearby. Around then the Sarskaya Mansion transformed into Tsarskoye Selo. The first street of the city, Perednyaya Street (meaning "Front Street", now Sadovaya Street) was established in 1720. Construction of the Znamenskaya Church, the oldest stone building in the city, started in 1734.

Imperial residence

Empress Elizabeth of Russia in Tsarskoye Selo (Eugene Lanceray,gouache, 1905)

During the reign of Elizabeth, Tsarskoye Selo became the imperial residence. In 1740-50s the modest palace of Catherine I was rebuilt into a luxurious summer residence, the Catherine Palace