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Introducing Pavlovsk

The grand imperial estate of Tsarskoe Selo (Tsar's Village; 465 2281; eng.tzar.ru; Sadovaya ul 7) in the town of Pushkin, 25km south of St Petersburg, is often combined on a day trip with the palace and sprawling park at Pavlovsk, 4km further south. This is a pity because both are gorgeous places that deserve a day each to be fully appreciated; if you have the time it's best to see them separately.

The railway that connects Pushkin and Pavlovsk with St Petersburg was Russia's first opened in 1837 to carry the royal family between here and the then capital. The town changed its name to Pushkin in 1937 after Russia's favourite poet, who studied here and whose school and dacha you can also visit.

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