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What does it feel like to be in a Russian palace?

During last summer I did several visits to attractions in Moscow that were yet unknown to me. In each of these explorations I experienced unique sensations at the sight of wonders and uncommon things. There is one visit that I’d like to tell more about here, one that I did to Tsaritsyno Park, in the south of Moscow. A friend and I left the hostel where I was living and headed to the metro. We took the green line and after some 40 minutes we reached the station that led to the park. It was a merciless sunny day, no one could bear standing for too long under the sun rays without complaining. There was a railroad station connected to the metro station and we actually had at the first moment a misunderstanding while trying to find the way out. Some street market was also settled on the area making the flow of people there quite intense. After some 10 minutes, we found ourselves in front of the entrance of the park. Tsaritsyno was the garden of the royal family back in the 19th century and for this reason when you get inside you become fairly impressed with the beauty and visual delight the place offers you. It is absolutely effortless to imagine what life looked like when the empire was still ruling this nation.

The main thing we wanted to see was the palace deep inside the park so we spent very short time appreciating the gardens, the lake and its water streams. We kept on walking the sloping pathway till we saw the immense and glorious palace standing on a higher surface of the park. The bright sunlight made the view even more fantastic, many tourists were also exploring the park and just about everybody was stopping in front of the facade to make a remarkable photograph of the view. We walked towards the gates on the left side and went down to an underground reception area where were set the box offices. We joined one of the queues and shortly bought our tickets to explore the main sectors of the palace. As I followed the corridors, everywhere I entered portraits and other artworks were hanging on the walls. Every room and space inside the incredible building is designed and decorated with extreme mastery to a point that during the first minutes of my wandering inside the luxurious residence I couldn’t walk ten meters without stopping to make a shot, however soon later I realized that I was there to photograph something way more surreal than what I had seen. After going a bit further into the corridors I came across the entrance to the main salon, and that was when my eyes grew in astonishment. I stood at the middle of that hall and moved my head smoothly to see in detail the abusive use of gold on the walls, pillars, ceiling and furniture. It’s hard to conceive how could people live inside such insanely fancy home as if it were something absolutely normal. I cannot assure that all the gold in the place was in fact pure or even actual gold, however the impeccable architecture alone would make any material stand out in it. Being there caused an extreme loss of concentration in taking the photos so that for my vision I don’t really like the way I made those shots. Notwithstanding the unsatisfying photographs, the shocking visualization itself made my expedition worth the money.

It’s not exclusively from the Russian empire that royal families could afford live in such level of aristocracy and power, even so going there made me feel like I was before a reality that I didn’t know existed. As a fan of history I easily come across articles and written content that depict the undreamed level of luxury that kings, dukes, emperors and other influential powerful people afforded as lifestyle. Yet you don’t really understand the extravagance till you see tangible ambition just like I did.

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