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Russia – St Petersburg
St Petersburg – The home of Elena’s Uncle Edward a retired Russian Astronomer who resided on the grounds of the oldest observatory in Russia at Pulkovo on the nest to the International Airport on the outskirts of the city. Uncle wanted to show us so much but we had only a few days before taking the Trans Siberian Rail to Elena;s home city of Chelyabinsk.
Although lacking the dazzling splendour of the estates at Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof, Pavlovsk is well worth visiting both for the treasures in the elegant palace and for the charming, rambling park, which is one of the largest and finest English-style landscape gardens outside the UK. Both the Park and the Palace at Pavlovsk were victims of wanton destruction during the Nazi occupation, and the extraordinary restoration project was not completed until the mid-1950s. Fortunately, there were extensive blueprints available for all aspects of the estate, so what you see now is almost entirely faithful to the original designs.