Gatchina is a town and the administrative center of Gatchinsky District in Leningrad Oblast. It is located 45 kilometers (28 mi) south of St. Petersburg, along the E95 highway leading to Pskov.
Gatchina is the largest town in Leningrad Oblast, and is best known as the location of the Great Gatchina Palace, one of the main residences of the Russian Imperial Family during the 18th and 19th centuries. Gatchina is frequently placed high in quality of life rankings in Russia, and the historic center and Gatchina Palace are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
— transfer: Gostinti Dvor Metro Station — Pavlovsk — Gostinti Dvor Metro Station.
— tickets and excursion (Palace and Park)
Gatchina Palace. In May 1917, the Provisional Government issued an order for the creation in the cities of the palace department of Peterhof, Tsarskoe Selo and Gatchina artistic and historical commissions «for the reception, registration and systematization of both the artistic and the economic aspects of all movable and immovable property of the former palace administrations.» Formation of the collections of the Gatchina Palace began at the first owner of it — Count G.G. Orlov, who collected hunting weapons, paintings, works of arts and crafts of Western European and Eastern masters. After the death of G.G. Orlov Gatchina Palace with all the collections goes into the possession of Grand Duke Paul Petrovich and since 1796 becomes the imperial residence, which remained until 1917. During this time, the palace collections were replenished and expanded by its owners. After the October Revolution, the Gatchina Palace was opened as a museum and before the Great Patriotic War was the largest of all the suburban palaces of St. Petersburg, both in area and in the number of artistic values. Expositions and funds numbered 54,030 exhibits.
Gatchina Park. One of the main attractions of the city of Gatchina is the landscape park ensemble of the Palace Park, created in the late 18th century. It is the oldest of the complex of Gatchina parks, its area is 143 hectares. The spatial structure of the area in which the Palace Park was planned and developed determined its composition, prompted the organizers to place the Great Gatchina Palace, the directions for laying alleys and glades, and species positions for park structures. Almost a quarter of the park’s area is occupied by the water surface — the White and Silver lakes, the channels of small rivers and canals, the surface of ponds. Coastal areas have a longline layout, which, together with the curves of the banks, creates a number of species points at different levels, each of which represents the landscape from a new perspective. In addition to the coastal points of sightseeing, scenic views are opened from the surface of lakes and from the towers of the Great Palace. The center of the park ensemble is the White Lake, through which the two main compositional axes of the park pass. The first axis begins at the Great Gatchina Palace, goes through the Silver and White Lakes, the Venus Pavilion and the Birch Gate. When moving along this axis, landscapes are hidden by picturesque «wings» — the Great Palace, the massif of the Long Island, the terraces of the Botanical Gardens. The second conditional axis begins at the Admiralty Gate and passes through the Long Island in the direction of the Great Iron Gate on the border of the Zverinets — the movement in this direction reveals panoramic views of the White Lake. These two main directions are supplemented by the possibility of traversing alleys and paths, which are coastal and located in the depth of the park, opening new views of the park.