The small town of Gatchina is located 40 kilometers south of St. Petersburg. Certainly, the imperial palace is the most interesting tourist attraction of the town. However, in Gatchina Park and in the town itself there are many other interesting sights.
The Grand Gatchina Palace was built in 1766 by the architect Rinaldi for Grigory Orlov, the favorite of Empress Catherine II. It was built in the style of a stern medieval castle with a large parade ground in the middle. After the death of Orlov, his palace became an imperial palace. The heir to the throne, Paul I, lived there, and at the end of the 19th century, Emperor Alexander III made it his only residence.
The Gatchina Palace is surrounded by a beautiful landscape park of the same name on the banks of the Silver Pond. There are many beautiful pavilions in the park, such as: Venus Pavilion, Eagle Pavilion, Birch House and Mask Portal. The park also has many beautiful bridges.
The Priory Palace is of a particular interest. Emperor Paul I gave an order to build it for the Prior of the Order of Malta, near Gatchina Park. As is known, Paul I was the Grand Master of the Order of Malta. Today various exhibitions are held in the Priory Palace.
In Gatchina there are several beautiful cathedrals and churches, such as the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle, the Intercession Cathedral, as well as the Intercession Church. The Museum of history of aviation engine-building and repair is in the building of the 218 aircraft repair plant opposite the palace. There you can see various types of engines and get acquainted with the history of aviation.