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Palace Park Highlights

The Gatchina Palace park is one of the most attractive and enigmatic parks outside St Petersburg.

In creating landscapes with the use of natural coniferous trees and erecting park pavilions, architects and landscape designers successfully drew on western influences to creat the imperial estate and transform severe northern landscapes.

Conceived by master designers, these landscapes are taken care of by the museum staff beginning from 1918 to the present. The palace and park structures are still undergoing restoration. The park is to be renovated by parts and landscape areas, its ferries, gates and bridges have to be restored and its lakes cleaned.

Once you have seen the monument to Paul I and the palace, make sure you don’t miss the tunnel. We suggest you start the park tour from the Jordan porch, offering a splendid vista of the Silver clearing and the opposite bank of the White Lake. Go on then to see the
Private Garden and the adjacent parks (the Lime Tree Garden, Upper and Lower Dutch Gardens), the Carp Bridge with a cascade, the Carp pond with a series of bridges (Corps de Garde Bridge, the Three-arch Bridge and the former Ferry Bridge) and the Admiralty. The Silver Lake with the Echo grotto on its bank and the Octagonal Well are really impressive.

You may choose to take a boating trip to enjoy panoramic views of the Silver Lake with its numerous islands and the park’s major structures including the Large Ferry Terrace (one of the first structures to be built in the park),the Chesme Obelisk, the Venus Pavilion on the Island of Love, the Hunch Bridge with its Italianate motives and the classically inspired Large Stone Bridge.

Be sure to visit the
Botanical Gardens with its ponds and flower parterres to appreciate the idea conceived by landscape designers – the Water Labyrinth with its bridges and waterways is contrasted with the Woods Labyrinth with an intricate network of walkways.

For those who like mysteries are the Amphitheatre and the Eagle Column offering a view of the Eagle Pavilion in the southern end of the park, further away are the areas of woodland – the Sylvia Park with stone fencing and the 18th-century gate.

A longer stroll will produce more surprises for you – a dignified stone Farm with an icehouse and a well and the romantic Aviary built on the bank of the Kolpanka River.

Taking a different route to return to the palace you can discover more rare structures – the Cold Baths, the Forest Orangeries, a variety of stone gates (Black, Solid, Animal, Cascade and Admiralty Gates). On Topky Island, you can get and taste some spring water and relax by water next to the sluice gates.

Visits to the Birch Log House and the Mask Portal with adjacent alleys lined with mighty oaks and delicate ash trees will cheer you up in any weather.

Finally, toss a coin in the Jordan Well for good luck, if you want to come back here again.