The Great Hall or Bright Gallery, as it was called in the eighteenth century, is the largest state room in the palace. It was created to Rastrelliís design between 1752 and 1756. The stylish hall with a floor area of over 800 square meters was intended as the venue for official receptions and celebrations, banquets, balls and masquerades.
The hall occupies the whole width of the palace and has windows on both sides. In summer the interior is filled with light that plays across the gilding throughout the day. In the evening 696 candles, framed by mirrors, illuminate the Bright Gallery.
In 1941 Tsarskoye Selo was occupied, Catherine Palace was taken over by Nazi forces, ransacked and used as army barracks. When Nazis finally retreated in January 1944, Catherine Palace was burnt and was ready to be blown up.
The part of the palace that contains the Great Hall and the Antechambers suffered particularly badly during the Second World War. Many years of restoration efforts were required to bring this grand palace to its former glory.
In the WS I post another view of the hall showing more of the ceiling.
Critiques | Translate
emka (58982) 2013-03-04 23:14
Nice view from the palace interior. Beautiful rich golden decorations and mirrors. Difficult light conditions but you managed quite well.
Noel_Byrne (8055) 2013-03-05 9:52
I've been excited to see the inside this fine place since you mentioned you would be uploading, and you certainly havent dissapointed. Wow, thats a sign of past glory if ever I seen it! Sumptuous and stunning designs, and I love how you have captured the lighting agains the gold and glass. At first glance, this reminded me of the Gallerie de Glace in Versailles, and reading your great note, it seems to have a few things in common with that other iconic place.
A beautiful capture, really nicely done.