Tsar Skoye Selo
TSAR SKOYE SELO, a district town of Russia, in the government of St Petersburg, and an imperial residence, 18 miles to the south of the capital, is situated on the Dudcrhof Hills and consists of the town proper, surrounded by several villages and a German colony, which are summer resorts for the inhabitants of St Petersburg, and the imperial parks and palaces. The town is built according-to a regular plan, and its houses, a great number of which have been erected by the crown, are nearly all surrounded by gardens. The cathedral of St Sophia is a miniature copy of that at Constantinople. The town has two gymnasia for boys and girls. The imperial parks and gardens cover 1680 acres; the chief of them is the " old " garden containing the " old palace," built by Rastrelli, the gallery of Cameron adorned with fine statues, and numerous pavilions and kiosks. The population numbered 15,000 in 1885.
When Peter I. took possession of the mouth of the Neva a Finnish village, Saari-mois, stood on the site now occupied by the town, and its Russified name Sarskaya was changed into Tsarskoye when Peter I. presented it to his wife Catherine. It was especially embellished by Elizabeth. Under Catherine IL, a town, Sophia, was built close by, but its inhabitants were transferred to Tsarskoye Selo under Alexander I. The railway connecting the town with St Petersburg (1838) was the first to be constructed in Russia.