Catherine the Great Filming Locations Guide: The HBO series real Winter Palace location

Catherine the Great location
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Catherine the Great series is an opulent joint production of HBO and Sky TV, showing epic filming locations from the old golden age of the Russian Empire. The filmmakers decided to pack the 34-year reign of one of the top rulers that the country has ever had in a 4-episode television series. Set in the troubled times of the 18th century Russian court, the period drama is starring Helen Mirren as Empress Catherine II, and Jason Clarke plays her twins soul, the military commander Grigory Potemkin.

Catherine the Great was filmed in Lithuania, Latvia and in two wonderful historical Russian palaces located near Saint Petersburg. Here’s a spoiler-free tour of the series locations:

Where is Catherine the Great filmed?

Catherine the Great series palace
A lot of filming took place in the Rundāle Palace in Pilsrundale (Latvia). This outstanding Baroque monument doubles as the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, nowadays hosting the Hermitage Museum.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of HBO/Sky and Jeroen Komen - Map

Where was Catherine the Great filmed
Many interiors were also shot here in the Rundale Palace. This was major residence of the nobility of Courland (a historical region in western Latvia), not built by any Russia Czar, but by the Dukes of Courland. Pictured, the throne room reception hall. Image courtesy of HBO/Sky and Avishai Teicher>

Catherine the Great filmed on location
Some exterior shots were filmed on location in the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (aka Pushkin), built in the outskirts of St. Petersburg. The Rococo 325-meter-long palace was completed in 1756 after four years of works.
Image courtesy of HBO/Sky and Andrew Shiva - Map

Catherine the Great film location
If you had the chance to visit Tsarskoye Selo, you may remember the much more smaller and secluded Pavilion Hermitage. Tourist guides like to say that here is where the most lavish parties for members of high society took place. Image courtesy of HBO/Sky and Florstein - Map

Catherine the Great drehort
The Peterhof Palace, nicknamed The Russian Versailles, is the other massive tourist attraction that you can't miss out if you are traveling to the former capital of Russia. Pity that a large part of the ensemble was destroyed during WW2. Apparently, not only the German invasion damaged the place; Stalin had Peterhof bombed to foil Hitler's plan to hold a Christmas party here during the war. Image courtesy of HBO/Sky and Andrew Shiva - Map

Catherine the Great filming Vilnus
The council room of the Empress is the Hall of Franciszek Smuglewicz of Vilnius University Library. Some more historical halls from the complex are featured in the series (including the first image that opens this report).
Image courtesy of HBO/Sky and Raimondas Malaiška - Map

Series filming Trakai
The series opens with a scene taking place in the Shlisselburg Prison, built on an island in Lake Ladoga. It was actually filmed at Trakai Castle, located only a few miles away from Vilnius. Image courtesy of HBO/Sky and Jo Sau - Map

Catherine the Great shooting locations
The exterior of the temple in St Petersburg was filmed at Vilnius Town Hall Square, using a lot of CGI. Thanks to Vilnius Tourism we know all the filming locations of the show shot in the city. Image courtesy of HBO/Sky and Google Maps

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