The fireplace in the Catherine Palace (Tsarskoye Selo) now works! (english version)

русская версия

Fireplaces constitute a familiar feature in the Catherine Palace (Saint Petersburg, Russia). They are often made of marble; these works, designed by prominent architects of the imperial era, can be seen in most rooms of the palace. Each of these fireplaces is unique and therefore priceless. Silent and majestic, they delicately accentuate the special atmosphere of the room where they stand.

Have you ever wanted to close your eyes and imagine yourself next to one of these fireplaces where intricate flames flicker calmly over the walls, softening the severe appearance of this grand palace? Now, try to imagine that the picture imprinted in your mind has finally become real. More specifically and to the point – how long has it been since you last visited the Catherine Palace? Has it really been so long since you walked by the Blue Chinese Drawing Room? If so, then you now have a good excuse to visit Tsarskoye Selo again – there is now a real fire ablaze in the Drawing Room of the Catherine Palace!

You don’t believe us, do you? … and rightly so! Who would allow anyone to build a real fire in the century architectural masterpiece designed by the Scottish architect of the 18th century, Charles Cameron – a chimney portal made of white marble that served several masters over a relatively short period of time.

Do you think that we have deceived you? Of course not, modern technology allows us to simulate real flames in order to literally revive the antique fireplace in the Catherine Palace, thus avoiding all the risks associated with possible damages to the fireplace and the interior of the room where it is located. This project was implemented thanks to a modern system of imitation flame effects – “Opti-Myst”, specially designed for the production of electric fireplaces.

Of course, given the rather large size of palace fireplaces in the museum, it is not always possible to use commercially available models of electric heaters. This is due to the fact that ready-made electrical fireplaces are mainly produced for domestic use.

In the case of the fireplace in the Catherine Palace, the problem was that the dimensions of the portal did not match those of the heater; this problem was resolved by making a special fireplace basket. An electric fireplace – “Juneau Dimplex”, the most suitable for this project – was placed in the basket. The dimensions of the basket were chosen carefully so that the disparity between the heater and the framework would not be noticed by a casual observer. The inner space of the basket, which was not occupied by the electric fireplace, was filled with additional imitation logs.

Every effort was made so that the little basket would be in tune with the general concept of the interior of the Blue China Drawing Room. After all, museum visitors should see realistic fire effects in the fireplace, and not the means by which these effects have been realized. You can judge the results of this work on your own – this recently renovated museum room is now open to the public! 

site of the museum Catherine Palace (Tsarskoye Selo)

Similar projects - “reviving fireplaces” - in other museums:
revitalizing fireplaces in the “Third antechamber” of the Catherine Palace (Tsarskoye Selo)
decorative fireplace in the museum – “Nizhnaya Vanna” (Lower Baths) (Ekaterininskiy Park, Tsarskoye Selo)
electric fireplace at the museum – “Apteka Doktora Pelia” (Doctor Poehl’s Pharmacy) (Saint Petersburg)

If you have any questions or suggestions related to using electric fireplaces at cultural exhibitions, please contact us by e-mail: Specialists of the Yaroshenko Design Company will be pleased to help you implement similar programs in fields of particular cultural and historical significance. Our rich experience and our ability to work directly with the world's leading developers of innovative technologies for safe and realistic flame effects is the key to our company successfully fulfilling the most ambitious and original projects.

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