Catherine II of Russia was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia on 2nd of May, 1729 with the name Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg.
She arrived to the Russian court while she was still very young and naive. She had been chosen to become the wife of the Grand Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, the prospective tsar. At that time, Sophie was homesick and unhappy.
She could have never imagined she would have been proclaimed Empress of Russia.
Only six months after the ascension to the throne, Peter III’s eccentricities and his policy of friendship towards the Prussian king, Frederick II, lead to a revolt of the Imperial Guard that deposed him from power and declared Catherine Empress Regnant.
She immediately revealed her talent for politics and expanded the Russian borders. Although, her authoritative power created discontent and Catherine had to face many sanguine rebellions.
Smart and well-learned, Catherine was a patroness of artists and philosophers, such as Voltaire. She even opened some schools that allowed women (even if only noble ones) to receive an education.