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Pushkin (po͝oshˈkĭn, Rus. po͞oshˈkĭn), city (1989 pop. 95,000), NW European Russia, a residential and resort suburb of St. Petersburg. It produces road-building equipment and has an important botanical institute. Founded in 1708 under Peter I on the site of a Finnish village, it was first called Tsarskoye Selo [czar's village], but was renamed Detskoye Selo [children's village] after the Bolshevik Revolution. Pushkin served as a royal residence from 1725, with the huge baroque style summer palace of Catherine II (built 1748–62) and that of Alexander I (built 1792–96) in the classical mode. The vast park at Pushkin had innumerable rococo style grottoes, pavilions, canals, lakes, and bridges. The school where the poet Pushkin studied was opened is now a museum. In 1837 the city was joined with St. Petersburg by Russia's first railroad. Heavily damaged during World War II, Pushkin and its palaces have since been restored.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Leningrad Oblast, RSFSR, administered by the Leningrad City Soviet. The city was called Tsarskoe Selo from 1728 to 1918 and Detskoe Selo from 1918 to 1937, when it was renamed in honor of A. S. Pushkin on the 100th anniversary of his death. It has a railroad station 24 km south of Leningrad.

In 1708, Peter I gave the land on which the city now stands to his wife, the future Catherine I. During the second half of the 18th century Tsarskoe Selo (Tsar’s Village) became the country residence of the royal family. In the 18th and early 19th centuries palaces were built here, notably the Catherine and Alexander palaces, surrounded by parks and memorial structures. During the summer the court aristocracy lived at Tsarskoe Selo, and guards regiments were stationed here. Around 1770 the town of Sofia was founded in the southern part of present-day Pushkin, and in 1808 the two towns were united into a single city, which became the capital of Tsarskoe Selo District in St. Petersburg Province. In 1811 the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum was opened; A. S. Pushkin studied there from 1811 to 1817. In 1837, Tsarskoe Selo was connected with St. Petersburg by the first railroad in Russia.

In the spring of 1917 the former emperor Nicholas II was held under arrest in the Alexander Palace, and during that year a government radio station functioned in the city. Under Soviet rule Pushkin became an important scientific and industrial center of Leningrad Oblast. On Sept. 17, 1941, the city was occupied by the fascist German invaders, who destroyed many works of historical and artistic significance. Liberated by the Soviet Army on Jan. 24, 1944, the city was rebuilt during the postwar years. Its industries include plants producing road machinery and electrical appliances and a toy factory. The Leningrad Agricultural Institute is located here, and in 1967 the All-Union A. S. Pushkin Museum was opened in the Church Wing of the Catherine Palace.

Pushkin’s regular layout evolved out of a plan developed by the architect C. Cameron around 1780. The city is the site of the USSR’s largest palace and park complex, built in the 18th and 19th centuries. (In 1918 the complex was converted into municipal museums and parks.) A small stone palace was built here between 1717 and 1723 and expanded and rebuilt between 1743 and 1748, when the architect A. V. Kvasov erected two symmetrical wings, connected with the central building by single-story galleries, as well as outbuildings. Next, the architect S. I. Che-vakinskii built a church and the orangery hall in a line with the palace and its wings, connecting them to the wings by single-story galleries: the church with the right wing and the orangery hall with the left wing.

Between 1752 and 1757 the architect V. V. Rastrelli rebuilt the palace in the magnificent ornate style of the Russian baroque of the mid-18th century. He raised the galleries to the level of the main buildings, thereby connecting the independent volumes of the palace into a unified whole, imposing in its length (306 m). Rastrelli adorned the facades with a wealth of sculptural ornamentation and made lavish use of gilded wood carving, mirrors, and semiprecious stones in decorating the interiors. During the 1780’s and 1790’s the left wing of the complex acquired several classical additions: the Agate Pavilion with its Cold Baths, the Hanging Garden, and the Cameron Gallery and ramp, all designed by Cameron, as well as the Zu-bov Wing, designed by the architect Iu. M. Fel’ten. The Church Wing and the Lyceum, both designed by I. V. Neelov, were added to the right wing. (The Lyceum was partially rebuilt in 1811 by the architect V. P. Stasov.) Some of the interiors were redecorated in the classical style by Cameron and other architects.

Pushkin’s parks were created between the 1720’s to the 1860’s, and they now occupy an area of 600 hectares. The Catherine and Alexander parks have both formal gardens (1720–21) and naturally landscaped areas (1771–80). Within the parks stand the Alexander Palace (1792–96, architect G. Quarenghi), numerous pavilions (including the Hermitage, 1743–54, architects M. G. Zemtsov and V. V. Rastrelli), and decorative structures (ruins, summerhouses, and cascades), built in the baroque, pseudo-Gothic, and classical styles. The parks also contain monuments, garden and park sculpture by Italian masters, ponds, and artificial canals. The enormous Great Palace is the dominant architectural feature of the entire ensemble: the symmetrical axial system of the facade’s superimposed porticoes corresponds to the basic spatial coordinates of the formal park.

During the fascist occupation the ensemble was heavily damaged, and the palaces were plundered. With the exception of some of the interiors in the Great Palace the ensemble has now been completely restored under the direction of N. V. Baranov, A. A. Kedrinskii, and N. E. Tumanova.


Petrov, A. N. Pushkin. Dvorlsy iparki [2nd ed.]. Leningrad, 1969.
Dem’ianov, I.I. Slovo o gorode Pushkine. Leningrad, 1972.
Muzei i parki Pushkina [4th ed.]. Leningrad, 1972. (Guidebook.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Aleksander Sergeyevich . 1799--1837, Russian poet, novelist, and dramatist. His works include the romantic verse tale The Prisoner of the Caucasus (1822), the verse novel Eugene Onegin (1833), the tragedy Boris Godunov (1825), and the novel The Captain's Daughter (1836)


a town in NW Russia: site of the imperial summer residence and Catherine the Great's palace. Pop.: 97 000 (latest est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005