Tsarskoye Selo (Russian: , IPA: ['tsarsk s'lo] , "Tsar's Village") was the town containing a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located 24 kilometers (15 mi) south from the center of Saint Petersburg. The residence now forms part of the town of Pushkin. Tsarskoye Selo forms one of the World Heritage site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
The area of Tsarskoye Selo, once part of Swedish Ingria, first became a Russian royal/imperial residence in the early 18th century as an estate of the Empress-consort Catherine (later Empress-regnant as Catherine I (r. 1725-1727), from whom the Catherine Palace takes its name.
In the Soviet Union the nickname "the Czar's village" came to apply to blocks and small neighborhoods that housed the nomenklatura (Soviet elites). Their stores were better stocked, although they were still affected by Soviet-era shortages. The buildings in the neighborhoods were better designed, constructed and maintained. One such neighborhood, west of Moscow, contained less industry and more parks than any other neighborhood.
Catherine Palace at the main entrance, September 9, 1911. Adolphe Kégresse seated behind the wheel of the Imperial "Benz"
Alexander Palace 1918
Tsarskoye Selo Imperial Station/ Emperor railway station in Pushkin town 1910s
Under the Soviets [...] the name 'the Czars' Village' began attaching itself to blocks and small neighborhoods that housed the Soviet elites.
The stores here were better stocked, even though they were affected by the shortages. The buildings were better designed and constructed.