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Gatchina and Vicinity

Gatchina is the birthplace of Russian aviation. Russia's first military pilots and technical support staff were trained in the town in 1910. Russia's first qualified pilot M. Efimov was the first to conduct a night flight at Gatchina with the help of a floodlight. Here, the Nobile's airship landed. In Gatchina, Yakob Gakkel designed and flight tested his airplanes. In 1910, the first airplane of Russian design took off from the Gatchina airfield.

During the Second World War the town contributed to the heroic feat of the Soviet people. The Krasnogvardeysky fortified area was built around the town to defend Leningrad from August- September 1941. In the German-occupied town, a resistance group was formed. There is a monument in the Silvia Park dedicated to the 25 members of the resistance movement who were shot on the spot.