For someone who generally prefers minimalism in interior design--such as yours truly--the exuberance of late Baroque and Rococo of Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoe Selo just outside of St. Petersburg can be overwhelming. In fact, the same could be said of many famous attractions in the former capital of the north. Yet it is precisely this level of exuberance that makes one appreciate its aesthetics despite having divergent taste. Best known for its Amber Room, we, too, felt a bit like royalty in the Palace, a certain degree of mandatory kitsch and artifice notwithstanding, as we were treated to a classical-music concert, which included Strauss and Brahms, among others, to go along with our champagne.
P.S. All images are mobile shots via an iPad.