Catherine the Great is Helen Mirren’s new period drama, chronicling the life of Russia’s longest-running female ruler. She plays the Empress of Russia in the new four-part drama following the latter part of her rule as well as her passionate love affair with Grigory Potemkin (played by Jason Clarke). Here’s everything fans need to know about where the series was filmed and set.
Where was Catherine the Great filmed?
Catherine the Great is a new HBO and Sky Atlantic mini-series set in 18th century Russia.
Focusing on the latter part of the Russian ruler’s reign, the show picks up in the 1700s after Catherine (Helen Mirren) ousted her husband, Peter III.
The series is set in the opulent palaces of Russia where Catherine spent her time with her court, advisors and her long-time lover Grigory Potemkin.
Since it was released, the series has been praised for its epic sequences spanning contemporary Russia as well as its breathtaking shots.
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These scenes were mostly filmed in Lithuania as well as some of the actual palaces across Russia.
One of the real locations was the Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg, which was used in the first episode when Catherine and Lady Bruce (Gina McKee) first meet Potemkin.
Episode two also used a location in Saint Petersburg called the Yusupov Palace Palace, which was the setting for the scenes at the theatre.
One of the most iconic settings used was Catherine Palace in Pushkin, which is located around 30 kilometres from Saint Petersburg.
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This was reportedly the setting for the gold corridor that Catherine is seen walking through in a number of shots of the series.
In an interview with Express.co.uk and other media, Potemkin actor Clarke revealed that one of his favourite shots was in the location of the gold palace ballroom in Catherine Palace.
He said: “And the Russians, they were fantastic tours. There were a lot of ‘niets’ to begin with but they opened it up for us.”
However, not all of the show was filmed in Russia, with a number of locations in Lithuania also doubling up for the real thing.
These included the Pazaislis Monastery in Kaunas, which was used as the soldiers’ barracks as well as a number of shots filmed around Vilnius.
Finally, the Baroque Rundale Palace in Latvia was also used for the cross-dressing ball at the end of episode one.
The palace, which the real Catherine gave as a gift to Count Valerian Zubov was also the location for Countess Bruce’s quarters and a number of shots inside of the palaces.
Gina McKee, who played Countess Bruce in the mini-series, also spoke about the experience of filming in these real locations.
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She said: “They did allow us access to some of the palaces in Saint Petersburg and just outside of Saint Petersburg.”
One of the most wonderful parts of filming for her was the moment in the first episode when the plates appear from underneath the table as that really part of the location they shot in.
She added: “That is the genuine thing, it’s phenomenal the mechanics of that is is really worth the trip to see it’s staggering.
“And she had that built as an intimate place to dine.”
Catherine the Great airs on Thursdays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic and is available to stream in full on NOW TV.