Today, as in Elizabeth's time, visitors enter the palace from the Upper Gardens. The galleries of the ground floor lead to the western wing, an extensive lobby with a marble floor, and further on to the Main Staircase. The bright streams of light, the multicoloured paintings and the glamour of gold produce an indelible impression on visitors. Right from the first stairs they can appreciate the height of the building. The walls are embellished with painted decor imitating high-relief garlands, vases and mythological figures in the illusory niches; these are matched by the real recesses decorated with carved ornaments and the gilded wooden statues of Autumn and Winter.
On the pedestals of the upper staircase railings stand two other allegoric sculptures, Summer and Spring. The light pouring from the real windows reflects in the mirrors of their illusory counterparts opposite them. The walls run up smoothly to the painted curves of the vaults and these to the ceiling entirely covered with an allegorical depiction of Empress Elizabeth in the guise of Spring, a work of the Italian artist Bartolomeo Tarsia. The inlaid parquet and forged grilles with gilded details add to the beauty of the interiors. The restored staircase has been opened to visitors in 1985. Its restorers carefully preserved the remains of earlier painting on the walls; one of the companion sculptures, Winter, which has been saved, and a vase are now on their former places again.