Little is known of Cameron's early life in Europe, except for the fact that he studied in Italy and France. Having read his book about Roman thermae, Catherine the Great summoned him to Russia to reconstruct her summer residence in Tsarskoe Selo. In that village, he designed the so-called Cameron Gallery with the Agate Rooms, the Hanging Gardens, and the Cold Baths. In these structures, Cameron skillfully reproduced the colorful decoration of Roman public baths. Sophia Cathedral was the only notable church designed by him. For the future Emperor Paul he built an extensive residence, the Pavlovsk Palace, somewhat plain in exterior appearance but dazzlingly luxurious inside. In 1799-1803 he rebuilt the Razumovsky palace in Baturyn, Ukraine.