Tsar-Bath (Babolovo Basin), Pushkin

Tsar-vanna (Babolovskaya chasha), Pushkin

In Tsarskoye Selo, next to Babolovsky Park are the ruins of gothic-style Babolovo Palace built in 1785 for Prince Grigory Potemkin. Due to the Palace being relatively small its owners never stayed there for long and only occasionally visited it. The building soon fell into disrepair. The Palace was given the second birth after it had been redesigned in 1820 by Vasily Stasov.

Nowadays, if you look through a break in the wall of an eight-sided tower of the Palace, you will see a real wonder – a colossal perfectly round-shaped basin hewn from a granite monolith weighing over 160 tons. It was ordered by emperor Alexander I and made by a team of craftsmen led by Samson Sukhanov.

Supposedly a block of red granite had been polished from 1818 to 1828 (some researchers suggest different dates – from 1811 to 1818). The Babolovo Basin is a true stone cutting masterpiece listed in the Guinness Book of Records. The Bath sizes are unique: it is 1.96 m tall, 1.52 m deep, 5.33 m wide, 45 cm thick, and it weighs 48 tons! First, the Bath had been installed in the future pavilion, and only after that the walls and roof were built. Many St. Petersburg citizens come to Tsarskoye Selo to see this real masterpiece.

The Babolovo Palace was destroyed during World War II. The Germans wanted to move the Bath to Germany as a rare artefact, but failed to find equipment and transport which would be fit for the task.

Address: Babolovsky Park, Pushkin, Saint-Petersburg
How to reach: from Vitebskiy Vokzal railway station by commuter train to Tsarskoye Selo (town of Pushkin) station proceeding by bus 371, 382 or by fixed-route taxi-van 371, 377 or 382. From metro Moskovskaya by fixed-route taxi-van 286, 287, 342, 347 or 545, or by bus 187 to the town of Pushkin railway station proceeding by bus 371, 382 or fixed-route taxi-van 371, 377 or 382. From metro Zvyozdnaya and Kupchino by bus 186. From metro Kupchino by fixed-route taxi-van K-545a, K-286, K-287 or K-347a.
Coordinates: 59.709876, 30.344063