After the completion of the Gatchina Palace Grigori Orlov decided to create there one of the most beautiful landscape parks in the suburbs of St. Petersburg. Around the big Lake Beloye (White Lake) there were built pavilions and bridges and were made walking paths.
Unlike the other palace and park complexes, such as Peterhof or Tsarskoye Selo where significant spaces are taken up by regular parks, the Gatchina Park is a landscape park, and only the Upper and Lower Dutch Gardens, located to the right of the Gatchina Palace, have a regular layout.
A small Sobstvenny garden with the regular layout was planted at the very foot of the Gatchina Palace. It was intended only for emperor and his family. There are several walking paths under the trellises enlaced with creepers, as well as sculpture groups at the garden.
And the main spaces of the park are around the big Lake Beloye, as well as the adjoining Carp Pond and the Lake Serebryannoe. Such a vast water system made it possible to create interesting landscapes with bridges, canals and smaller ponds.
A subway comes out to the Lake Serebryannoe that now you can get in only with a tour of the palace, and before it was used as intended, that is you could use it to leave the palace unnoticed by way of a small grotto at the Lake Serebryannoe.
Various pavilions and obelisks are scattered all over the Gatchina Park: Eagle Pavilion and Eagle Pillar, Forest Conservatory, Amphitheatre, Poultry Yard and many others. Venus Pavilion is on the Island of Love on the the Lake Beloye.
Priory Palace and Park dating back to 1799 take a special place at the Gatchina Park. The Russian emperor Paul II had it built for the priories of the Maltese Order. As is known, Paul I was the Grand Master of this Order and so he decided to build a separate palace for its priors where they could stay during their sojourn in Russia.
To get to the Priory Palace you should leave the Gatchina Park and go along the road to the right of the palace. The Priory Palace is at a significant distance from the Gatchina Palace and you should go there only if you have enough time.