"in the Czar's menagerie at Petersburg"

The Tsar's Palace in question is Tsarkoye Selo ('Tsar's Village'), situated 15 miles south of St Petersburg in Russia.  The residence actually includes two palaces, the Catherine Palace and Alexander Palace.  The former was named for Catherine I, who was given the estate in 1708 by her husband Peter the Great, and the latter was built by Catherine the Great for her beloved grandson, Alexander I.  It was common for members of the aristocracy to spend time at the estate during the summer.  The Lyceum was founded in 1811, to educate the children of noble families; a famous

Catherine Palace
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCatherine Palace - Credit: Deror avi

student was the poet Alexander Pushkin. The menagerie was a specially designated, forested area built in the 188 square hectare Alexander Park next to the Catherine Palace.  After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the estate was renamed Detskoye Selo, meaning 'Children's Village'.  Despite considerable damage by the Nazis in World War Two, the estate has survived and benefitted from investment in reconstruction work; it has been given back its former name and enjoys the status of a World Heritage Site.