A statue of Perseus, the legendary founder of Mycenae, in front of Catherine Palace (Большой Екатерининский дворец) in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), 25 km south of the centre of Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Perseus was the Greek hero who killed the Gorgon Medusa, and claimed Andromeda, having rescued her from a sea monster sent by Poseidon in retribution for Queen Cassiopeia declaring herself more beautiful than the sea nymphs. As you can see, Perseus is holding the head of the Medusa in his right hand.
The palace is named after Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great, who ruled Russia for two years after her husband's death. Originally a modest two storey building commissioned by Peter for Catherine in 1717, the palace owes its awesome grandeur to their daughter, Empress Elizabeth, who chose Tsarskoe Selo as her chief summer residence. Starting in 1743, the building was reconstructed by four different architects, before Bartholomeo Rastrelli, Chief Architect of the Imperial Court, was instructed to completely redesign the building on a scale to rival Versailles.
The brand new palace was presented to the Empress in 1756. It is 325 meter long and nearly 1 km in circumference, with elaborately decorated blue and white facades featuring gilded atlantes, caryatids and pilasters designed by German sculptor Johann Franz Dunker, who also worked with Rastrelli on the palace's original interiors. In Elizabeth's reign it took over 100kg of gold to decorate the palace exteriors, an excess that was deplored by Catherine the Great when she discovered the state and private funds that had been lavished on the building.
PerseusMycenaeGreekHeroMedusaPoseidonCassiopeiaAndromedaStatueGrandCatherinePalaceTsarskoye SeloPushkinSaint PetersburgSt. PetersburgPetersburgRussiaPeter the GreatElizabethRastrelliVersailleHDRLandmarkfoje64