Gatchina is a suburb of St. Petersburg, primarily known for its luxurious palace and park ensemble, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Due to its large size, it is necessary to set aside an entire day for inspection, while the rest, no less interesting parts of the city can remain on the sidelines.
In addition to the main attraction, there are several nice churches in Gatchina, the quiet streets are full of inexplicable charm, interesting collections are kept in museums and estates - it would be wrong to ignore all these places. Gatchina was considered the estate of Grigory Orlov in the Catherine era and the key center of the aviation industry in Soviet times, so the city has something to offer to curious travelers.
What to see and where to go in Gatchina?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a brief description.
1. The Great Gatchina Palace
The complex was built in the XVIII century according to the project of A. Rinaldi for Count G. G. Orlov, the favorite of Catherine II. The prevailing architectural style of the exterior and interior of the palace is Russian classicism. After the death of Grigory Orlov, the imperial family began to own the ensemble, after 1917 a museum was created on its territory, which they began to call the "suburban Hermitage". During the Second World War, the buildings were seriously damaged, reconstruction began only in the 1970-80s.
2. Priory Palace
Quite an original structure, whose appearance stands out against the background of other buildings of Gatchina. It was erected in the XVIII century according to the design of N. A. Lvov. The building was erected by order of Paul I for the Prior of the Catholic Order of Malta, which had a representative office in Russia. The first reconstruction was carried out in the 1880s. At the beginning of the 20th century, exhibitions began to be organized in the palace.
3. Monument to Paul I
A monument to the emperor was installed in the middle of the XIX century. The sculpture was created by a sculptor of Italian origin I.P. Vitali. The opening of the monument was accompanied by a ceremonial parade attended by Nicholas I. In 1919, the revolutionary authorities tried to get rid of the statue of the hated king for obvious reasons, but thanks to the efforts of the curator of the Gatchina Museum, the sculpture was saved for posterity.
4. The Cathedral of St. Paul
An Orthodox church in the pseudo-Russian style with the use of Gothic elements, built in 1852 according to the project of R.I. Kuzmin. To our time, the building has survived almost in its original form, but the original interior was lost in the Soviet period. The temple contains valuable icons of past centuries and the relics of St. Maria Gatchinsky.
5. Intercession Cathedral
The temple was built right before the start of the 1917 Revolution with the money of a Gatchina merchant who decided to donate his random win in the lottery to a charitable cause. The consecration of the church took place in 1914 even before the completion of construction work. Services lasted until 1939, after which a warehouse was organized in the building. After the collapse of the USSR, the building was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church and restored.
6. Church of the Protection of the Holy Virgin
Religious building of the late XIX century, built according to the project of D. I. Grimm and consecrated in the presence of Emperor Alexander III. For a long time it served as a parish church for the court rangers. In the 1930s, all values were confiscated, and the interior was destroyed. Recovery began in 1940-50. The temple is included in the cultural heritage of the Russian Federation.
7. Lutheran Church of St. Nicholas
The Lutheran parish arose in Gatchina in 1789. The first church church was built of wood four years later. The stone church in the manner of strict classicism was built in 1825 according to the project of D.I. Quadri. In Soviet times, the church repeated the fate of almost all of the country's religious institutions - it was looted and closed, and the parish itself ceased to exist. After the restoration of 1995, divine services resumed.
8. Museum-estate of P. E. Scherbov
The memorial exhibition of the cartoonist P.E. Shcherbov, located in the original building of the early XX century. The collection consists of two sections: the first is devoted to the history of Gatchina, the second to the personality and work of Shcherbakov. The estate was built according to the plan of S. S. Krichinsky in the style of St. Petersburg Art Nouveau - a rather rare urban planning style.
9. Museum of the history of aircraft engine building and repair
The museum exposition is located in the premises of the former aircraft factory, which are architecturally unique buildings. On an area of 800 m², models of aircraft engines previously manufactured and repaired at the enterprise are located. You can also view the exhibition of models of aircraft, executed on a reduced scale.
10. The monument to the submarine S. K. Dzhevetsky
In 1880, in Gatchina, trials of the submarine Dzhevetsky, the first serial submarine in the world, were tested. Monument - an exact copy of the vessel, made on a scale of 1: 1, was installed in 2006. The boat seems quite small, especially compared to modern vehicles, but do not forget that it was constructed in the 19th century. The monument is located on the road to the Gatchina Palace.
11. Museum of the city of Gatchina
The exposition is located in the building of the former women's gymnasium, built in the 19th century. Museum exhibits are divided into four thematic sections: “Old Gatchina”, “Military Hall”, “Soviet Hall”, “City of Military Glory”. During a tour of the museum you can get acquainted with the history of the city until the beginning of the 20th century, the fate of its inhabitants during the Second World War and the events of the Soviet period.
The architectural ensemble, consisting of an obelisk and a square, erected at the behest of Paul I. During a trip to France, the emperor was so impressed with the similar complex near Paris that he wanted to see something like this in Russia. In 1881, a lightning bolt destroyed the obelisk. Five years later, it was restored on an even larger scale. In 2016, the next restoration of the monument began.
13. Chesme Obelisk
The obelisk is located on the shores of White Lake a few hundred meters from the Gatchina Palace. Presumably, it was created by architect A. Rinaldi. The monument is dedicated to the victory of the Russian fleet in the battle in Chesmenskaya Bay (one of the episodes of the Russian-Turkish war). Since the commander of the squadron was Alexei Orlov, they decided to place the image of the obelisk on the family coat of arms of this family.
14. Venus Pavilion
One of the arbours of the Palace Park, located on the shores of White Lake. The building was built after the next trip of Paul I to Europe, who liked a similar building in the French Chantilly. The pavilion is made of wood, its foundation is made of plates and stone. It consists of a lobby and the Great Hall, decorated with ceiling paintings and stucco molding in a palace style.
15. Pavilion of the Eagle
The construction decorates the Palace Park, it stands on one of the islands of the White Lake. The pavilion is a building in the form of a rotunda about 10 meters high. Due to the size and location on a hill, it is clearly visible from the coast. Presumably, it was built at the end of the XVIII century according to the project of V. Brenna. The last reconstruction was carried out in the 1970s.
16. Birch gate
Another architectural masterpiece of the Palace Park, erected in the XVIII century according to the project of V. Brenna. The gate is considered one of the best creations of the master in the framework of the Gatchina park ensemble. Birch gates are included in the ensemble of the English Garden. The appearance of the attraction is similar to the buildings of Ancient Rome - the same monumentality, solidity and symmetrical forms.
17. Birch house and portal "Mask"
A composition that is part of the architectural complex of the Palace Park. It is an outwardly modest pavilion of birch logs with luxurious interior decoration and an entrance portico, made in the best traditions of the classical style (it seems to mask the entrance to the main building). The construction was built for recreation of noble companies walking in the park.
18. Marina Terrace
In the XVIII century, the marina was used for the ships of the Gatchina flotilla. The total length of the pier, located near the Gatchina Palace, is 51 meters. From the opposite shore of the White Lake, it looks like an integral element of the palace complex. In past centuries, fireworks and theater performances were often launched on the terrace.
19. Humpback Bridge
The bridge connects the two islands of White Lake. It was built according to the design of A. D. Zakharov in the style of "high classicism". The design fulfills not only practical goals - it offers a beautiful view. The bridge was specially placed in such a good place so that the walking public could admire the beauty of the palace park for a long time. Previously, the building was decorated with a balustrade, but to this day it has not been preserved.
20. Karpin bridge
The passage is thrown over an artificial strait connecting Karpin Pond with White Lake. The name of the creator of the structure is unknown, however, it is believed that the same V. Brenn worked on it. The original bridge was destroyed during the Great Patriotic War, in the 1980s it was rebuilt. Today, the attraction favorably emphasizes the picturesque appearance of the Palace Park.
21. The "bird house"
A pavilion built specifically for keeping pheasants who took part in the imperial hunt. The building was erected according to the design of A.D. Zakharov in 1801. Until 1820, it was used for its intended purpose, after which it was abandoned and dilapidated. In the middle of the XIX century, the building was dismantled and rebuilt from more durable materials. It lasted until the 1980s, but after the fire turned into ruins.
22. Grotto "Echo"
The grotto was created at the request of the first owner of the Gatchina Palace Grigory Orlov. It is located on the lake and is connected by a secret passage with the main hall. "Echo" is a stone arch, composed of boulders of irregular shape. The place got its name because of its unusual acoustic properties - the last syllables of the spoken word can be repeated 20-30 times, if you stand in a certain place.
23. Rozhdestveno Museum-Estate
A classic mansion with a landscaped park located around it, built at the end of the 18th century according to the project of an unknown author. At different times, the estate was owned by merchants and public servants, after 1917 a dormitory was located on its territory, and after the end of the Second World War - a village library. Since 2002, the mansion has a historical exposition.
24. Centuries-old oak on Silver Meadow
In the Gatchina Palace Park there is a special tree, which was planted even under Count Orlov - an old spreading oak. According to an alternative version, it appeared much later, however, even according to conservative estimates, this oak is at least 200 years old. The tree reaches a height of 20 meters. It successfully survived a powerful lightning strike in the 1970s, splitting it into two parts.
25. The complex of Gatchina parks
Gatchina can be called the city of landscape parks arranged in the best palace traditions: with ponds, pavilions, bridges, small architectural forms and trimmed lawns. Such places were created in imitation of the European tradition, which was followed by Russian emperors in the XVIII – XIX centuries. The complex includes the Palace Park and its individual parts - Sylvia, Prioratsky, Menagerie.
Gatchina is a district center 50 kilometers from St. Petersburg with a population of 80 thousand people.
For the first time Gatchina is mentioned as the possession of Veliky Novgorod in 1499. Subsequently, the city withdrew to Sweden and Livonia. In 1721, Gatchina was returned to Russia. In 1783, Catherine II bought the Gatchina Manor for Prince Pavel Petrovich - the future Emperor Paul I.
The historical core of the city is the palace and park ensemble, which developed in the 18-19 century in a picturesque area in the area of White, Black and Silver Lake. In the park are the main attractions of Gatchina.
The history of the Gatchina Palace consists of three periods. The first period is when in 1766 - 81 A. Rinaldi began the construction of the palace for the favorite of Catherine II Count G. Orlov. The palace consisted of a central building with three floors, galleries and office buildings. The palace was made in the style of early classicism. However, in the appearance of the palace, it was possible to distinguish the features of a medieval English castle because of ten faceted towers and an underground passage leading to the lake. In the decoration, the architect used one of the varieties of Gatchina limestone, which is distinguished by a wealth of color shades.
In 1783, Gatchina became the suburban residence of Prince Pavel Petrovich, the future Emperor Paul I. Under the new owner, the palace was rebuilt in 1793-97 to give it an even more severe, "serf" look. The meadow in front of the palace was turned into a parade ground with stone bastions, a drawbridge, guns and trellises.
The third period in the history of the Gatchina Palace was associated with Emperor Nicholas I. Significant rebuilding was carried out, in particular, the restoration of 18th-century rooms was made, the bastion wall was redesigned, a new front staircase was built.
Around the palace are picturesque landscape parks - Palace, "Menagerie", Prioratsky, "Sylvia". The total area of the parks is 617 hectares. In the 18-19 centuries under the leadership of Brenna, A.D. Numerous bridges are erected for Zakharov and others: Lion's, Stone, pavilions: Orel, Venus, Poultry, gates: Admiralty, Birch.
During the occupation by the Nazi invaders, the Gatchina Palace and Park Ensemble suffered irreparable damage: the park pavilions were destroyed, the interiors of the palaces were destroyed by fire. In the first post-war years, parks and park structures are being restored. Since 1977, the restoration of the premises of the Gatchina Palace.
Sights of Gatchina today are a popular destination among Russian and foreign tourists. The most interesting in Gatchina can be seen in 1-2 days. The best time to travel is summer and golden autumn.
Gatchina Imperial Palace
The construction of the palace in the style of an English hunting castle began in 1766, shortly after the palace coup of 1762. The palace was a kind of gift to Count Grigory Orlov, the favorite of Catherine II, who was one of its organizers. True, Orlov did not live long in the palace until 1783. Later, the palace became the residence of the Russian emperors Nicholas I, Alexander II, Paul I, Alexander III.
The palace was rebuilt more than once, and during the war many buildings were completely destroyed. Restoration work has not been completed so far, but every tourist has the opportunity to view the luxurious ceremonial halls.
The most interesting in the palace:
- The spectacular Marble Dining Room, the walls of which are richly decorated with plaster bas-reliefs depicting scenes from ancient Greek myths about Dionysus.
- "Executive" front bedchamber with a huge monarch bed.
- The throne room of Empress Maria Fyodorovna, which houses a collection of paintings by Western European painters.
- The elegant throne room of Paul I with luxurious decorative trim, a gilded throne chair and French tapestries.
- An underground passage with excellent acoustics. The echo in it repeats up to 4 syllables.
- Armory Gallery, numbering about 1000 units of cold and firearms.
Pavilion "Birch House"
The “Birch House” pavilion looks like a log of birch firewood, but gilded stucco molding and an abundance of mirrors are hidden behind its facade. The stone portal “Mask” masks the unpresentable appearance of the pavilion. The funny house became a kind of gift to Maria Fedorovna, Grand Duke Paul. In the pavilion, the wife treated her husband and guests with fresh milk, fruits grown in the greenhouses of the park.
Sylvia Landscape Park
From the Sylvian gate, which invite travelers to the park, the alleys diverge in three rays.The middle one leads to the Farmer’s complex, the right one leads to the Poultry (they used to contain pheasants, today they are in ruin), the left one goes to the Black Gate (the entrance to the park is from Krasnoarmeysky Prospekt)
Farm complex it’s only reborn, but from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends (only in summer) you can get acquainted with a small exposure and look into the room where animals are kept.
The landscape park was used for the imperial hunt. American deer, hares, wild goats, bison, and wild boars were kept here. He was badly damaged during the war years and now restoration work is underway in the park.
It consists of the English Garden, the Lower and Upper Botanical Gardens, the island of Love, the Lower and Upper Dutch Gardens, Flower Hill, forest and water mazes.
A walk in the Palace Park can be boat (on the White Lake) or on foot. During a water excursion, tourists get acquainted with the numerous islands, admire the magnificent views of the Palace, the waterfall under the Karpin bridge and throw a coin into the Jordan Well in the hope of returning to Gatchina again.
Pokrovsky Cathedral (Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin)
In 1895, Gatchina merchant Kozma Karpov invested 90 thousand rubles in its construction. So wise to manage the money in his declining years advised him about. John of Kronstadt (priest and preacher, later elevated to the face of saints). The missing 6 thousand rubles were donated by local residents and soon the red-brick walls were crowned with blue domes.
The merchant and the Icon of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin donated, in honor of which the main aisle of the church was consecrated. There are several aisles in the cathedral: in the name of Nicholas the Wonderworker, Alexander Nevsky, John of Kronstadt. All of them are richly decorated with icons.
Those who came to Gatchina a few years ago remember the bright red brickwork of the Intercession Cathedral. Today the temple is almost completely plastered, but it is crowned by the same large blue domes.
The main parish church of the city simultaneously became a memorial church to the founder of the city, Emperor Paul the First. It was built in 1852 and to this day has been preserved practically in the form that R. I. Kuzmin planned: a five-headed stone structure with two belfries.
Inside the cathedral are stored: the icon of the holy great martyr Panteleimon (with a particle of relics), the icon of the Mother of God of Filerma with the image of the right hand of John the Baptist, as well as the relics of Mary of Gatchina.
Museum "The nanny house of A. S. Pushkin"
The world's only museum, created in memory of the serf woman, is located in a wooden house with more than 200 years of history. During the restoration, only the roof and floor were replaced.
All exhibits of the museum, giving an idea of what the peasant hut of the 18th century looked like, were donated by Kobrin residents and admirers of Pushkin. Here you can see a rolling pin and a ruble, spinning wheels, icons, a hanging baby cradle. There is only one relic - a bag-bag made of homespun cloth, owned by the Pushkin nanny. Opposite the museum is a cafe "At the nanny."
Beautiful streets of the city
The city of Gatchina, noteworthy, is located on 4 streets:
- Prospect October 25 - The main highway of Gatchina. Here are the Connetable obelisk, the Admiralty Gate, milestones, Kirche.
St. Red Attention worthy of it is a wooden house number 6, built in 1828. This is the oldest wooden house in Gatchina. For 150 years, people living in the same surname - Olderogge lived in it.
St. Cathedral - the oldest city street, now pedestrian. Its main attraction is the Pavlovsky Cathedral. For many years, musician M.A. Balakirev lived in house number 25.
Gatchina Short Description
Gatchina is a calm town in the Leningrad Region, located in the upper reaches of the Izhora River at a distance of forty-two kilometers from St. Petersburg. On an area of 28.7 km 2 a little more than 95 thousand people live.
The earliest marks about the village of Hotchino, found in one of the scribal books of Veliky Novgorod, date back to 1499. For a long time, the Gatchina lands existed as an object of contention between the Russian Empire and Sweden, to which they belonged during the 17th century, until the Russian state in the Northern War. In 1765, Catherine II presented the Gatchina lands to her close associate, Grigory Orlov, and a year later, the construction of the palace and the ennoblement of the landscape park began here. After the death of the original owner, the territory passed into the hands of Paul I. Under the emperor, unusual park buildings appear. Around the estate, the population is growing, and already in 1796 he was awarded the title of city.
After the death of Paul I, the city with the palace passed to his wife, Maria Fedorovna. Then it was inherited by the Russian tsars - Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III. In the 1850s, railways for trains were stretched here from St. Petersburg. In 1941-1943, the city was occupied by the Germans, and the estate was damaged by shells. In the post-war period, the park complex was recreated, but not fully.
Four times the city was renamed:
- 1923 - named Trotsky in honor of the statesman Lev Davidovich Trotsky,
- 1929 - Krasnogvardeisky,
- 1942 - named by the Germans Lindemannstadt (German: Lindemannstadt),
- in January 1944 the settlement was returned to its true and still valid name - Gatchina.
In the XX century, the village began to develop, grew due to the construction of residential areas and industrial companies. Since April 2015, he was awarded the status of the City of Military Glory of Russia.
How to get there
You can get to Gatchina by several means of transport:
- by plane. From all the cities of Russia where there is an airport, you can fly to Pulkovo, located just 33 km from the center of Gatchina, and from there you can travel by bus or bus,
- on the train. You need to get to Gatchina by electric train from the Baltic Station in St. Petersburg. You can catch an electric train going to the Gatchina Baltiyskaya station and get off at the final stop - then you will be at the main Gatchina Palace (the distance to it will be 500 meters). If you take the train going to the Gatchina-Varshavskaya station, you need to get off at the Tatyanino stop, as you can get into the park ensemble after 1.5 km from it. From the Gatchina-Varshavskaya stop, it’s easy to reach the Priory Park in 10 minutes. Electric trains run from St. Petersburg and back every hour. The cost of the trip is about 100 rubles. It’s going to take a little over an hour, Train from St. Petersburg to Gatchina depart from the Baltic Station
- by minibus or bus. From the northern capital to Gatchina, fixed-route taxis and buses run from the Moskovskaya metro station. The departure point is located on Moskovsky Avenue on the opposite side of the Singing Fountains, which can be reached by minibuses No. K18a, No. K18 and bus No. 431. Passenger transport leaves in 15–20 minutes. Travel time takes a little less than an hour. The fare is 80 rubles. There are direct daily bus services from Pavlovsk and the New World with an interval of routes of 15–20 minutes, from Vyritsa (every 40 minutes), Pereyarovo (7 flights per day) and Nikolsky-Spankovo (6 flights per day),
- by car. If you go to Gatchina by car from St. Petersburg, then you should go along the Pulkovsky and Kiev highway. The road will take you half an hour. From Pskov, the path here is 240 km. You can get through the highway E95 and R-23. The whole journey takes three hours. The A120 highway can be reached from Ulyanovka and Tosno in 35–40 minutes. When leaving Veliky Novgorod, 178 km can be overcome in 2 and a half hours along the A120 and M10 highways.
State Museum-Reserve "Gatchina"
The museum is one of the main attractions of the city, because it includes several architectural and natural cultural monuments.
Confidently navigate the vast territory of the reserve will help the tourist map with the attractions marked on it
The reserve extends over an area of 146 hectares and is divided into 4 entertaining parks, interconnected and constituting a single composition:
Photo Gallery: Parks of the State Museum-Reserve Gatchina
The year 1765 was marked by the beginning of the life of the park, when Catherine II acquired the Gatchina Manor and ordered the construction of a palace there for the general-feldzeichmeister Count Orlov. An architect of Italian descent Antonio Rinaldi designed:
- Grand Imperial Palace,
- Big menagerie for hunting,
- Chesme Obelisk.
All buildings met the latest requirements of landscape art. This manor became the only one in Russia with a panoramic park. Artificially created embankments-islands appeared here, and an underground passage to the park zone was made from the palace.
Photo Gallery: Buildings Designed by Antonio Rinaldi
Under King Paul I, the architect Vincenzo Brenna worked here, who built regular gardens, Sylvia Park, the Venus Pavilion, the Birch House and the Mask portal. And also installed the Sylvia, Admiralty, Zverinsky and Birch gates in front of the park entrances, which, unfortunately, have not been preserved. In 1798, according to the drawings of the architect N. A. Lvov, the Priory Palace was built. Architect A.D. Zakharov added several more buildings to the park: Humpback Bridge, Cold Bath and Birdhouse.
The park was a well-kept country monastery for the rest of the emperors. After the Revolution, he served as a manor-museum, but the Great Patriotic War made adjustments, causing great harm to the entire park. Some pavilions were burned, valuables stolen, trees cut down. It took several decades to recover.
Photo Gallery: Buildings designed by the architect Vincenzo Brenna
Address: Krasnoarmeysky Ave., 1. From the Gatchina Baltiyskaya railway station, you can walk to the park in 4 minutes along the alley of Emperor Paul I. If you are leaving from Tatyanino railway station, then follow directly along Chekhov Street and turn later to Lieutenant Schmidt Street - the road will take 15 minutes. The estate can also be reached along the shores of the White and Black lakes. Opening hours of the museum: from 6.00 to 22.00. The first Tuesday of every month here is a sanitary day. You can go to the park for free.
Grand Imperial Palace
The beginning of its construction is considered to be 1766. Architect Antonio Rinaldi conceived it in the style of a hunting castle. Recent work on the decoration of the building was completed in 1772. The original owner - General Orlov - lived in it for a short time - until 1783. After his death, the building and the lands passed into the possession of the son of the tsarina - Pavel Petrovich. Subsequently, the palace was considered the favorite residence of Russian emperors. Nicholas I, Alexander II and Alexander III often visited here. Under their control, the palace building and the surrounding territories were completed and remade several times. During the military operations of 1941-1942, the architectural monument was half destroyed, the restoration of the buildings was never completed.
The Grand Imperial Palace is one of the unofficial symbols of Gatchina
Nowadays, the palace resembles a medieval castle, which is located on a hill and consists of three parts: an elongated building and two five-sided towers on the sides. The building is surrounded by Palace Park and Serebryany Bor. The ensemble composition ends with a parade ground in front of the South facade and the monument to Paul I standing on it.
Monument to Paul I is located opposite the Great Imperial Palace
The palace is worth a visit to the Marble Dining Room, which amazes with its huge area. The ceiling is supported by sixteen Corinthian columns of Carrara stone, and the walls are covered with stucco moldings depicting the ancient Greek god of harvest - Dionysus.
Ceremonial dinners were held in the Marble Dining Room
The executive master bedroom with luxurious decoration of walls, ceilings and a four-poster bed was located on the path of the obligatory follow of the guests, therefore it was obliged to demonstrate the high status of the owners. Here you can also see a collection of paintings by Empress Maria Feodorovna.
Executive master bedroom - one of the most luxurious rooms of the palace
The Signal Tower with a 191-step spiral staircase is noteworthy, from the top of which you can see the entire estate. Under the palace there is an underground passage, alluring with its mysticism, partly because it has excellent acoustics: it ends in the park with a grotto called “Echo”, where sounds are repeated up to 4 syllables.
Address: Krasnoarmeyskiy pr., House 1. You can visit the museum-palace on any day except Monday and the first Tuesday of the month. Opening hours: from 10.00 to 18.00. Ticket prices: adults - 300 rubles, students, schoolchildren, pensioners - 150 rubles.
Pavilion "Birch House"
From the outside, the house looks like a carelessly stacked log of wood - hence its name. On one side, the view of the woodcutter closes the Mask portal with columns. They were built in 1795-1797.
The birch house is a pavilion of the Gatchina park in a pastoral style, fashionable at that time
Behind the walls of this modest-looking building is a chic interior with gold stucco and mirrors. The building was a comic gift from Maria Fedorovna to her husband - Emperor Paul. Guests were treated to vegetables and fruits grown in the greenhouses of the estate.
The birch house is a small elegant pavilion-surprise, which surprises with a stunning contrast between the modest appearance and the palace elegance of the interiors
Address: Palace Park, the nearest house is Khokhlova street, 2A. You can visit the pavilion on any day except Monday. Tickets for adults - 70 rubles, for students - 30 rubles.
The park was organized in 1770. There were several hundred species of animals for collection and animals for hunting fun. Here they planted 30 thousand lindens and built an artificial flowing lake. The menagerie today is a territory cut by direct alleys and paths along the diagonal. There are 6 bridges that unite artificial islands.
For 150 years of the existence of the Zoo Park, deer, deer, bears, camels, wild boars, horses, wolves, foxes, hares, pheasants, black grouse, capercaillie, grouse lived in it
The park composition is located along the White Lake. You can visit it at any time when the entire park complex is open: from 6.00 to 22.00. Free admission.
The building was built in 1911 in a modernist style and is a museum in memory of the cartoonist P. E. Shcherbov. During his lifetime, the artist made this house the cultural center of the city. It was visited by F.I. Chaliapin, A.I. Kuprin, artists M. Nesterov and K.K. Pervukhin. The museum will tell about the history of Gatchina and about the life and works of Shcherbov.
There are two reasons to look into the estate: the bold and unusual architecture of the building and the interesting museum exposition dedicated to the cartoonist P. E. Shcherbov
Address: st. Chekhov, 4. The building is located 400 meters from the Warsaw station, on foot you can walk in 10 minutes. The museum is open any day of the week, except Mondays. Ticket price: for adults - 100 rubles, for pensioners and students - 50 rubles.
Gatchina Cathedral of St. Paul
The construction of Pavlovsky Cathedral was completed in 1977. Nicholas I conceived it in memory of his parents and brother. To this day, the temple has not undergone any significant modifications. The building is the central temple of Gatchina. Two relics are stored here:
- the relics of the canonized St. Mary of Gatchina,
- Icon of the great martyr Panteleimon with a breast particle of his relics.
Address: st. Soborna, 26. You can walk to the sacred place in 9 minutes from the Tatyanino railway station. Free admission.
The church is a Lutheran monastery in the name of St. Nicholas, built in 1828 by the architect D. I. Quadri. In Finland, an organ was made for her. Kirche is an original rectangular building with pronounced ledges for the altar. Here you can listen to organ compositions that are performed every evening.
The people of the church of St. Nicholas received the name "Church of the Rooster" because of the figures of this bird on a spire, symbolizing the abdication and repentance of the Apostle Peter
Address: Avenue, October 25, 39. You can get here without turning anywhere from the Gatchina Nature Reserve along the street on October 25. Free admission.
Marienburg and Gatchina Geysers
Marienburg is a village officially considered part of Gatchina. It consists of old wooden houses of the XVIII century, in which employees of the imperial court lived. You can walk along the small old streets that have absorbed the spirit of past centuries. On the outskirts of the village along Korpikovsky highway there are 6 ice-free fountains, popularly called Gatchina geysers.
Gatchina geysers do not freeze in winter
You can get to the destination by buses No. 3 and 7, and from St. Petersburg - No. 18A. If you travel by train, you will need to go to the Marienburg station.
What to see depending on the time of year
In late spring, summer and early autumn, you can see all the splendor of the Gatchina Park: get lost among the islets, ride a boat on the White Lake, go to all the pavilions.
In late autumn and winter, you can come to visit the palaces. During the New Year holidays, a Christmas market is held on the parade ground of the Grand Palace. There are wooden slides for children and adults.
Christmas Market runs from December 30 to January 8
What to see if you come with a child
It is absolutely necessary to take children to Gatchina, because the road from Petersburg takes only about an hour, and in the town itself there will be something to do. In the park you can walk along the alleys with them, feed the birds, ride a boat on the waters of the White Lake. While adults attend excursions, children will have fun and usefully spend time in the children's room under the supervision of a professional teacher. In addition, the city has a Theater for Young Spectators. The ticket price for the performance is 200–300 rubles. Feeding a child is also not difficult - there are many cafes in Gatchina.
How long can I look around in the city
In one day, visiting all the sights of Gatchina with excursions will be almost impossible. Take a walk around the main ones:
- Arriving at the Palace Park, you can head to the Great Imperial Palace. Studying it outside will take you about 10 minutes, and a walk through the inner chambers will last at least an hour and a half,
- exiting through the Echo grotto into the park, follow to the pavilion of Venus, enjoying silence and fresh air along the way,
- walking along the alleys, you will find yourself at the Birch house,
- going out through the Birch Gate, you will find yourself on Khokhlova Street, which will lead you to the city center, Birch gates, similar to the ancient Roman triumphal structure, serve as the eastern entrance to the palace territory
- on Cathedral Street you can visit the Lutheran church,
- if you have time, return to the Palace Park on foot or by any bus, then go to Priorytsky and look around the palace. From there, it is easy to get to Warsaw Station and leave for St. Petersburg by train.
If you have a few days left, then you can visit the ancient streets of Gatchina: Roshchinskaya, Radishchev, Gorky. Also go to the Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Pavlovsky Cathedral, go to the Shcherbov house-museum or go to Marienburg.
Where to stay
For tourists in the city there are many hotels. Some of them are located in the center:
- Garden House is located in a 19th-century building, and its windows overlook the Pavlovsk Palace. There is free parking, air conditioning in the rooms. The price for one person starts from 2500 rubles. Address: Avenue October 25, 3,
- Varshavsky Guest House is located eight minutes from the Priory Palace. Room prices start from 1800 rubles. Address: Karl Marx Street, 11a,
- Boutique Hotel "Capital" stands out for its location and comfort. It is located two minutes from the Gatchina Palace Park, has its own parking and a large number of rooms. Address: Chkalov street, 21A. The cost of one night - from 2700 rubles. Boutique Hotel Capital is located in the historical, cultural and business center of Gatchina
What to bring as a gift
In Gatchina, they don’t sell some unique souvenirs. Here, as elsewhere, you can buy magnets, mugs, plates and paintings depicting the sights of the city. The largest selection of such products is presented in the "Artist's Bench" located on 79 Chkalov Street.
I want to talk about the Priory Palace, which is located in Gatchina, in the Priory Park on the shores of Black Lake. The architect of the palace is Lvov N.A. The Priory was built from clay, by long ramming it with a special device, which is in the museum. You can even try it - the children liked it. 🙂 As a result, over the course of 200 years, the walls of the palace have become even stronger, “settled”, but the tower quickly crumbled, it was later built of brick - this can be seen. Lvov wanted to offer this construction technique for regions where there are no forests. But we understood that she did not take root in Russia: it’s easier to cut forests, and it’s cold in winter in such a clay hut. And so the castle is very cute, like a toy. It seems somehow fabulous. In the castle museum you can see a photograph of the beginning of the last century, on which Priory is surrounded by a forest on one side and a lake on the other. Very unusual and mysterious. It resembles an abbey or a Catholic monastery. In its design used various symbols of the Order of Malta. The black lake, on the banks of which Priory stands, symbolizes human sins. The roof of the castle is decorated with planets of our solar system.
I paid 300 rubles for visiting the museum with an individual excursion, children - for free. Without an excursion, it’s much cheaper, but there’s nothing to see: the portrait of Paul I is the highlight of the exhibition, paintings, photographs, mock-ups, the things of those who lived in the castle. I recommend listening to the tour, which will explain why Paul made friends with little Malta and became the head of the order.
The Gatchina Palace is the largest palace in area, located in the modern Leningrad region. The palace itself looks like an impregnable fortress from the outside, although it was used as a medieval castle, as a nobleman’s mansion, and as a home for people with a refined taste. Of course, the hidden underground passage of the palace deserves special attention, with which there are many rumors and legends. It is here that the nymph Echo lives, answering the questions of visitors, optical illusions allow you to see ghosts. On the whole, a visit to the palace caused a very favorable impression; I wanted to visit there again, but to visit another part of the exposition.
One visit is not enough to get acquainted with the Gatchina Palace. He is beautiful, mysterious, amazing. Rich in history. Shone in the old days and was the richest suburban imperial residence. Alexander the Third adored him and did not want to leave even for a short while. The palace with a difficult fate, survived ups and difficult times. Revived from ruins and appears before us in all its glory. There are many thematic tours. I want to note the excellent work of the guides and how everything is now organized thoughtfully. There is even a children's room where the kids play under the supervision of the museum staff, while the parents, meanwhile, get acquainted with the exposition of the palace and roam quietly through the halls. I recommend everyone to visit this palace - both to the residents of St. Petersburg and to the guests of the city. You will get great pleasure.
Venus Pavilion is a small, but very romantic place in the Gatchina Palace Park. A tiny island is located on the White Lake, separated from the land by two channels, on which stands a temple dedicated to the ancient Greek goddess Venus. Two bridges lead to the island. A ticket to get on it costs 50 rubles. Moreover, you can stay on the island as much as you like, however, time is limited by the operating mode of the museum pavilion and the park itself. There are very few visitors on the island, it is well maintained, there are benches and various flowers and bushes planted. The island offers beautiful views of White Lake and Gatchina Park - this place is loved by young couples, as well as mothers with young children, it is quiet, cozy, romantic and simply beautiful in the spring and summer.
They did not expect to see such a picturesque house in Gatchina, and even among the new buildings! The unusual house-estate of Shcherbov with a tiled roof in the style of northern Art Nouveau - just an architectural miracle! It is a pity that the interiors were not preserved, but the oak panels and fireplace in the living room are very impressive. In addition, we got acquainted with the work of the now not too well-known cartoonist artist. But once he was very popular! Unfortunately, the museum has no genuine works, only copies. In addition to halls with interiors of that time, there are also local history and military exhibitions. The museum is interesting and worth visiting. In addition, the ticket price is very moderate, only 130 rubles. for adults.
When there is very little time left, I suggest to go and look at the Gatchina geysers. Tourists love them, but do not always find them. A minibus runs from Gatchina to the village of Korpikovo, take about 20 minutes, drive along Korpikovskoye Shosse, before reaching the bridge we leave and keep the path to the left. Next, we go about 3 km through the gardening, the nearby forest, and in front of the eyes are Gatchina geysers. Backpackers and I just walked, walked, walked along the path, asked the local cyclist who directed us on the true path that we were going the right way. He warned us that it was very dirty. I advise you to strain up and go first to the first two, and only then, having a rest in an open field, go to the small. We found only three sources out of a possible six. Take along any mosquito repellent, otherwise I won’t save from them)) In the summer such geysers slightly resemble springs, but, surprisingly, they function year-round. It looks so amazing in winter.
Gatchina is not only a historically preserved monument of architecture, but also carries a living atmosphere of bygone centuries. Small old streets, rich temples and well-kept parks here stop time and allow you to relax your body and soul.