I can just say that this card captured me from the first time i looked at it! I love cards with castles and palaces, but some of them just look way tooo magnificent!!
This card shows the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo in Russia (n.b: "Selo" means "village"...its the same in Macedonian as in Russian :))
It is a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, in the vicinity of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin and of the UNESCO whs "Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments"...hey, a new UNESCO! I realized just now as i was looking up information about the card! Yaaayy!!
The Catherine Palace is the Rococo summer residence of the Russian Tsars. It originated in 1717 when Catherine I of Russia engaged a German architect to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. In 1733, Empress Anna two other architects to expand the palace, while Empress Elizabeth however, found her mother's residence outdated and incommodious and in May 1752 asked her court architect to demolish the old structure and replace it with a much grander edifice in a flamboyant Rococo style.
Construction lasted for four years and on 30 July, 1756, the brand-new 325-meter-long palace was presented.
More than 100 kilograms of gold were used to gild the sophisticated stucco façade and numerous statues erected on the roof. It was even rumoured that the palace's roof was constructed entirely of gold. In front of the palace a great formal garden was laid out. It centres on the azure-and-white Hermitage Pavilion near the lake, formerly crowned by a grand gilded sculpture representing The Rape of Persephone.
The grand entrance to the palace is flanked by two massive "circumferences", also in the Rococo style. A delicate iron-cast grille separates the complex from the town of Tsarskoye Selo.