Gatchina Estate

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The Gatchina estate was founded by Grigory Orlov, a participant in the Seven Years' War and head of the Russian artillery, the first president of the Free Economic Society and a prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Gatchina is one of the most romantic suburban ensembles founded in the middle of the 18th century.

In 1783 after Orlov's death, Catherine II gave Gatchina to her son Paul who on becoming emperor, raised the estate to the status of a town and set about turning it into an example for the rest of the empire. The Gatchina palace was assigned the role of citadel, thus Orlov's elegant poetic caste, inspired by Hampton's Court in England, gradually acquired features of a real fortress.

Under Orlov Gatchina was not just palace and park. It was a huge well-organized economic complex with stables, sawmills and hothouses where they grew a variety of fruits, melons and squashes. It was also vast hunting grounds extending far to the north.

Today you can visit not only the main palace, but also Priory Palace which Paul intended as a residence for the Maltese knights. One more sight of Gatchina is the Birch Cottage that was made for Maria Fiodorovna (wife of emperor Paul). Its walls, imitating birch logs, conceal miniature but richly decorated interiors.

Closed: on Mondays and the first Tuesday of the month

Duration of a tour: 6-7 hours (including driving threre and back to St. Petersburg)

Please contact us if you would like to arrange a tour.

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