Gatchina is a town 45 kilometers far from Saint Petersburg, a former tsar residence.

The Gatchina Palace is a palmary example of early Russian classicism designed by Rinaldi, a prominent Italian architect, as a hunting estate for Count Orlov. Later it is to become a favorite among his estates for Emperor Paul who proclaimed the place an official Emperor’s residence. Built as a secluded castle, the palace rises above the still water and dominates the surrounding landscape. Giant sizes, ten towers, walls faced with local limestone, and the underground passage leading to the lake make the palace and the whole ensemble different from the other summer residences in the suburbs of St. Petersburg.

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