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Entries / Pushkin, town

Pushkin, town

Categories / City Topography/Historical Geography/Towns within Greater St. Petersburg

PUSHKIN, a town and municipal unit situated south of Saint Petersburg. Known until 1918 as Tsarskoe Selo, and in 1918-37 as Detskoe Selo. As of 2002, population totalled approximately 95,000 inhabitants. Pushkin's history goes back to 24 June 1710, when Tsar Peter the Great granted the former Swedish Sarskaya farmstead, along with its adjacent land and villages, to his wife Ekaterina Alexeevna. The palace and park were immediately built (see Tsarskoe Selo), and under Empress Elizaveta Petrovna became a magnificent imperial residence surrounded by a builders' settlement and palace servants. Under Empress Catherine the Great (who resided there from Spring to Fall for more than 30 years) Tsarskoe Selo saw its heyday. A pipe was laid from Taitsy in order to supply water to Tsarskoe Selo. The district town of Sofia was founded south of the Bolshoy Pond, where the Holy Wisdom Cathedral later emerged. Under Emperor Paul I, the residence fell into desolation. Emperor Alexander I, who spent most of his time as a child in Tsarskoe Selo, established the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum in 1810. St. Catherine’s Cathedral was erected under Emperor Nicholas I. In 1836, a railway between Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk was launched, and in 1837 the Tsarskoselskaya Railway went into operation. In the late 19th century, Tsarskoe Selo became Europe's first completely electrified town, and later a standardised water pipe and sewage system were constructed. In 1905, Alexander Palace became the main imperial residence. By the turn of the 20th century, the city's layout was finalized. Its western area accommodates Catherine Palace, Alexander Palace, Babolovsky Park; residential blocks sprang up around the northeast of the old settlement, keeping the original street network, including Sadovaya Street, Moskovskaya Street, Magazinnaya Street, Bulvarnaya Street, Oranzhereynaya Street, Leontyevskaya Street, Konyushennaya Street, and others. A Gostiny Dvor, an outdoor trading square, a vocational school, and a hospital were built in this part of the town. A railway to Pavlovsk and Vitebsk stretches along the eastern edge, and behind it races track. Sheltered among the trees of Otdelny Park, on the southeast of Tsarskoe Selo, are the summer residences of Grand Princes Vladimir Alexandrovich and Boris Vladimirovich. The residential quarters of the Hussar Life Guards Regiment, Riffle Battalion, Cuirassier Regiment, and His Imperial Majesty's Escort were all located in the southern part, as was Catherine Park in the Sofia suburb, vast professional training grounds, a jail house, and a house for crippled soldiers. After the February Revolution of 1917, the former Emperor Nicholas II and his family were put under house arrest at the Alexander Palace until early August. From 1918, the palaces and mansions accommodated all sorts of children's organisations. In 1937, the town was renamed in honour of Alexander Pushkin. In September, 1941 Pushkin came under German occupation, and on 24.1.1944 was liberated as part of the Krasnoselsko-Ropshinskaya offensive. Restoration of the palace and park ensemble took place soon after, with the parks opened for visitors in 1946, and the palaces in 1959. In the 1950-60s, the town saw residential development along Leningradskaya Street, Alexeya Tolstogo Boulevard, the Krasnoselskoe Highway, and Sapernaya Street. A number of industrial complexes were constructed on the town's eastern part and in Sofia. In the 1980s, individually designed multi-apartment building projects sprang up in the Kuzmino area to the town's north. Present day Pushkin is a large tourist, scientific, academic, military and industrial centre. It accommodates the Northwest Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Plant Protection, The Plant Industry Vavilov State All-Russian Scientific Research Institute, the State Agricultural University, the State Leningrad Region University, the Navy Engineering Institute, a branch of the Military Cosmonautics Engineering University, the Saint Petersburg Military Technical Engineering Institute's training facility, and the Turner Children's Orthopedic Institute. The industrial sector includes the Tsarskoselsky Sofia Plant and the Pushkinsky Mechanical Engineering Plant. A number of historic structures have survived, including the Feodorovsky settlement and Court Cathedral of Our Lady Fedorovskaya, the Church of the Holy Sign (1746, Litseysky Garden), the Zapasnoy (Reserve) Palace (1818, 22 Sadovaya Street), the Kochubey Mansion (1913, 4 Radishcheva Street), the Gostiny Dvor (1866, 25 Moskovskaya Street), the Tsarsky Railway Station (1913, 35 Akademichesky Avenue), the Egyptian Gates (1830, Peterburgskoe Highway/Oktyabrsky Boulevard), and a monument to Alexander Pushkin (Litseysky Garden). The Green Belt of Glory Monuments, which include "The Peoples' Militia" (Peterburgskoe Highway) and "The Unconquerable" (Kolpinskoe Highway), are located near Pushkin.

References: Музеи и парки Пушкина: Иллюстрированный путеводитель. 6-е изд., доп. Л., 1980; Семенникова Н. В. Пушкин: Дворцы и парки. 2-е изд., испр. и доп. Л., 1987; Ласточкин С. Я., Рубежанский Ю. Ф. Царское Село - резиденция российских монархов: Архит. и воен.-ист. очерк. СПб., 2000.

Е. А. Bondarchuk, P.Y. Yudin.

Alexander I, Emperor
Boris Vladimirovich, Grand Prince
Catherine I, Empress
Nicholas I, Emperor
Nicholas II, Emperor
Peter I, Emperor
Pushkin Alexander Sergeevich
Turner Henrich Ivanovich
Vavilov Nikolay Ivanovich
Vladimir Alexandrovich, Grand Prince

Akademichesky Lane/Pushkin, town, house 35
Alexey Tolstoy Boulevard/Pushkin, town
Kolpinskoe Freeway/Pushkin, town
Konyushennaya Street/Pushkin, town
Krasnoselskoe Freeway/Pushkin, town
Leningradskaya Street/Pushkin, town
Leontievskaya Street/Pushkin, town
Magazeinaya Street/Pushkin, town
Moskovskaya Street/Pushkin, town, house 25
Moskovskaya Street/Pushkin, town
Oktyabrsky Boulevard/Pushkin, town
Oranzhereinaya Street/Pushkin, town
Peterburgskoe Freeway/Pushkin, town
Pushkin, town
Radischeva Street/Pushkin, town, house 4
Sadovaya Street/Pushkin, town, house 22
Sadovaya Street/Pushkin, town
Sapernaya Street/Pushkin, town

Семенникова Н. В. Пушкин: Дворцы и парки. 2-е изд., испр. и доп. Л., 1987
Ласточкин С. Я., Рубежанский Ю. Ф. Царское Село - резиденция российских монархов: Архит. и воен.-ист. очерк. СПб., 2000
Музеи и парки Пушкина: Ил. путеводитель. 6-е изд., доп. Л., 1980

The subject Index
St. Sofia Cathedral at Tsarskoe Selo
St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Tsarskoe Selo
Alexander Palace (Pushkin)
February Revolution of 1917
Vavilov Research Institute of Cultivation
Agricultural University
Feodorovsky Settlement (Pushkin Town)
Court Cathedral of Our Lady Feodorovskaya
The Green Belt of Glory