From June 1 to September 30, 2019, Zerbst Castle (Schloss Zerbst) host the exhibition "In Search of Catherine the Great" organized by the initiative of the “Tsarskoye Selo” State Museum-Reserve. It will be part of the international cultural project "Russian Seasons" in Germany.
Zerbst and Tsarskoe Selo are two important places in the life of Russian Empress Catherine the Great: in the former she spent her youth, while the latter had become her summer residence. 26 images (split into 13 pairs) of Tsarskoye Selo located near St. Petersburg will be brought to Catherine's homeland in Zerbst. Next to each story from the past, captured in photographs of paintings and engravings of the 18th-19th centuries, a modern 21st century photograph of the same location will be placed: landscape compositions, architectural objects, vantage points.
The photo exhibition “In Search of Catherine the Great” aims to demonstrate how the park landscapes have changed: with overgrown shrubbery in place of earthen paths, big trees in place of low plants. Over the centuries, some pavilions have disappeared, others have changed their appearance, but on the whole, the beloved residence of Catherine the Great remained beautiful and regal, as the enlightened empress conceived it.
It is not accidental that the exhibition takes place in the Zerbst Castle. From here, the 14-year-old Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg went to St. Petersburg as the bride of Grand Duke Peter Fedorovich, the prospective Emperor Peter III. She adopted Orthodox faith and became the Grand Duchess Ekaterina Alekseyevna. She became the most influential Russian Empress, inscribing her name in the history of Russia and Europe for centuries to come.