The Catherine Palace (Russian: Екатерининский дворец) is a Rococo palace located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), 25 km southeast of St. Petersburg, Russia. It was the summer residence of the Russian tsars. The residence originated in 1717, when Catherine I of Russia engaged the German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a Summer Palace for her pleasure. In 1733, Empress Elizabeth commissioned Mikhail Zemtsov and Andrei Kvasov to expand the Catherine Palace.
Empress Elizabeth, however, found her mother's residence outdated and incommodious and in May 1752 asked her court architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli to demolish the old structure and replace it with a much grander edifice in a flamboyant Rococo style. Construction lasted for four years, and on 30 July 1756 the architect presented the brand-new 325-meter-long palace to the Empress, her dazed courtiers, and stupefied foreign ambassadors.