Where to go in Gatchina: the best sights and things to do

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Where to go in Gatchina: the best sights and things to do
Where to go in Gatchina: the best sights and things to do

If you are going to St. Petersburg and decide to visit its suburbs and small towns nearby, include Gatchina in your tour list. This place deserves a visit for many reasons, and you will definitely not get bored there. We talk about where you can go in Gatchina in our material.

A little about Gatchina

Gatchina, the mention of which first appears in chronicle documents as early as 1500, is located just over forty kilometers from the Northern capital. Considered a city since the end of the eighteenth century, today Gatchina is a city of military glory (it received this status in 2015). The settlement, which in Soviet times managed to "vilify" such names as Trotsk and Krasnogvardeysk (became Gatchina in 1944), spread over almost 29 square kilometers. It is home to just over ninety thousand people.

Gatchina beauty
Gatchina beauty

What is Gatchina famous for? At least with its palace and park ensemble of the same name - it, along with the historical center of the city, is included in the listUNESCO World Heritage Site. During the war, the ensemble was seriously damaged - the fact is that the Germans occupied Gatchina. However, in the post-war period, both the dilapidated city itself and its main attraction were restored. So where to go in Gatchina?

Sights of the city of Gatchina

So, you have arrived in Gatchina! Where to go, what to do, what interesting things can be seen in this small town? Don't be confused by the size of this settlement - despite its compactness, you definitely won't be bored. Maybe there are not so many entertainments in Gatchina, but there is something to see. Next, we will dwell in detail on the main sights of the former Krasnogvardeysk.

Gatchinsky Palace and Park Ensemble (Museum-Reserve)

The museum-reserve in Gatchina covers an area of 146 hectares. It combines several sites at once: the Great Gatchina Palace, the Palace Park, the Priory Palace with the park of the same name, the Venus Pavilion, the Birch House and many other park structures that are best seen with your own eyes.

The history of the reserve dates back to 1765 - from the very moment that the Gatchina manor was presented by Catherine the Great to her favorite, Count Orlov. He ordered to build a palace on its territory - this is how the Great Gatchina Palace arose, the architect of which was Antonio Rinaldi, famous in those years. By order of Orlov, a park near the palace was also laid out, and it was done in the English style - then such parks became fashionable at court. Palacethe park became the first landscape park in Russia with islands, bridges and even an underground passage connecting the park and the palace.

Palace in Gatchina
Palace in Gatchina

When Count Orlov died, Catherine II bought the estate and gave it to her son Pavel. At that time, many elements that have survived there until now appeared on the territory of the ensemble: the Pavilion of Venus, the Humpback Bridge, and so on. At the same time, the Gatchina Palace itself was rebuilt for the first time (reconstruction touched it more than once and subsequently).

After the October Revolution, the Gatchina Palace became available to the public as a museum. During the Great Patriotic War, it was badly damaged, as was the surrounding area. Restoration work was carried out for a long time, only in the mid-eighties the doors of the palace reopened to visitors. Currently, restoration is underway on the territory of the palace and park ensemble, but it is possible to go inside the palace.

The address of the museum-reserve in Gatchina, where you should definitely go today in order to see this magnificence with your own eyes and touch the history, is: Gatchina, Krasnoarmeisky Avenue, 1. More on some of the "exhibits" of this Gatchina ensemble.


Venus Pavilion

This building is located on the territory of the museum-reserve, in the Palace Park on the island of Love. The idea of building such a pavilion Paul the First brought from Chantilly. The Gatchina pavilion was not only built, but also painted on the model of Chantilly.

Humpback Bridge

The bridge with a magnificent panoramic view ofthe territory of the park is a favorite place for guests and citizens for all kinds of photo shoots. Street artists often work on it. It connects two islands on the White Lake - the only one of all the existing bridges (the rest connect the islands and the coast).

Priory Palace

Formerly socialites lived in this building, but now there is a museum. The palace was built in 1799 specifically for the knights of the Order of M alta. Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge, the palace managed to visit both a camp site and a pioneers' house, but now it tells about its own history. Visiting the museum-palace is interesting and useful for both adults and children.

Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle

Let's leave, perhaps, the amazing territory of the palace and park ensemble and think: where else can you go in Gatchina at least one, even in a company?

Cathedral of Saint Paul the Apostle
Cathedral of Saint Paul the Apostle

Of course, to the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle: even if you are not a very religious person and do not want to go inside, the view of the cathedral from the outside will undoubtedly impress you.

Pokrovsky Cathedral

For a long twenty years a temple was built in Gatchina, now called Pokrovsky. It was opened in 1914 and is still functioning. During World War II, the cathedral was closed - a warehouse operated in its premises. The church building was returned only in 1990, a year later the first divine service took place, and now the largest church in the Leningrad Region, consecrated in honor of the Virgin, works like clockwork.

Gatchina Intercession Cathedral
Gatchina Intercession Cathedral

He rightfullyIt is considered the main temple of Gatchina and impresses with its magnificent decoration. Although this is not the place in Gatchina where you can go with a child or a girl for fun, but to broaden your horizons and the opportunity to touch history or at least stand near the cathedral and admire its appearance, you should definitely.


Where to go in Gatchina with a child? Of course, to the cinema! There are several of them in the city: Sky Cinema on General Knysh Street, in the premises of the Pilot shopping and entertainment complex, Pobeda on 25 October Avenue and Kinopolis on Pushkinskoye Highway.

Sky Cinema is a brand new cinema that will be one year old this summer. It consists of five halls, two of which are halls of superior comfort, designed for only 50 spectators. The cinema uses the latest equipment that allows you to watch movies in 3D with Dolby Digital 7.1 sound.

There are two halls in Pobeda, one of which is large and the other is small. In total, the cinema accommodates almost 700 spectators, of which a little less than 150 people - the capacity of the small hall. Pobeda also has modern equipment.

As for Kinopolis, it is considered the most modern. It has seven halls, four of which belong to the VIP class.

Children are very fond of going to the cinema, because it is an opportunity to watch a movie, and indispensable popcorn, and new experiences. So, no matter which cinema you choose, any of them will turn out to be the very place in Gatchina where you should definitely go to have fun with your offspring.

Menagerie Park

The entertainment for children in Gatchina, of course, includes the landscape park "Zverinets" near the museum-reserve. Its territory is rather big - more than 340 hectares. The park began to develop several centuries ago under Count Orlov.

Menagerie Park
Menagerie Park

This picturesque place was conceived by him as a reserve: wild animals (including rare ones) were brought there, bridges were built in the park, linden alleys were broken, artificial reservoirs were created. It is good to walk and admire the surrounding flora and fauna. It's a kind of zoo, and zoos are always fun for kids.

Where to go in Gatchina: a trip around the region

Not only in Gatchina itself there are interesting places - there are many of them in the nearby villages. So, lovers of literature and admirers of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin should definitely go to the village of Kobrino - there is the house of the poet's nanny (now there is a museum in it). For two centuries, he was inextricably linked both with the life of Arina Rodionovna herself and with her family. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday from ten to sixteen.

Be sure to visit the village of Siversky. There, on Pushkinskaya Street, you will find the house-museum of the composer Isaac Schwartz.

House Museum of Isaac Schwartz
House Museum of Isaac Schwartz

This cozy house is remembered not only by the maestro - many of his eminent friends stayed here: Bulat Okudzhava and Joseph Brodsky, Vladimir Vysotsky and Andrei Mironov … The atmosphere that was in it during the life of Schwartz is still preserved in the house.

To feel the atmosphere of thattime is available from Wednesday to Sunday from eleven to six o'clock.

Shopping and entertainment complexes

Still thinking where to go with a child in Gatchina? Well, of course, in the shopping and entertainment complex! For example, in "Pilot" on General Knysh Street! This is the only such complex of the European level in this city, and there is truly everything that may be of interest to the modern offspring: a children's area, a cinema, a food court, and many shops. Opening hours of the complex: from nine in the morning to eleven in the evening daily.

In addition to the "Pilot", in Gatchina there are children's entertainments in the shopping center "Megapolis". It is open from ten to twenty one from Monday to Sunday and is located on October 25 Avenue, at number 42.

Youth Theater

Where to go in Gatchina on weekends? How about the temple of Melpomene? For example, visit the Theater of the Young Spectator. And it is not at all necessary to go there with a child, because the troupe's repertoire includes not only children's, but also adult productions.

Gatchina Youth Theater
Gatchina Youth Theater

The cultural institution in Gatchina has been functioning for sixteen years, and its performances are a success with the audience. The theater has a studio for young children.

Address of the theater: Varshavskaya street, 47 (building 2), from ten in the morning to six in the evening.

Gatchina Philharmonic

If you do not know where to go with a girl in Gatchina, do not hesitate to buy tickets to the Philharmonic. Mostly classical music concerts are held there, but jazz performers also perform. By the way, if yourthe child shows interest in music, he can also be taken to a similar concert.

The Philharmonic in Gatchina is located at the address: Chkalova street, 66.

Interesting facts about Gatchina

  1. Gatchina received city status in 1796 by decree of Paul I.
  2. It was in Gatchina that the first tests of a passenger monorail in our country were carried out. This historic event happened in 1900. A trailer with a capacity of up to twenty people drove along the paved road.
  3. Gatchina is generally famous for its tests: for example, the famous Mosin rifle, which was in use until the end of World War II, was also tested here.
  4. At the end of the nineteenth century, Russia's first telephone network connected the Gatchina Palace and the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.
  5. The first military airfield in our country, the first aeronautical school also appeared not just anywhere, but in this small town. And electric lighting also passed the test "for strength" for the first time here. By the way, in Gatchina there are many monuments in honor of these significant events - you can see them walking along the streets of the city.
  6. According to a survey in 1900, Gatchina is the most comfortable small town in Russia.
  7. Unlike other suburbs of St. Petersburg and settlements of the Leningrad region, the name of Gatchina is used only once in local folklore (among proverbs, phraseological units, sayings, nursery rhymes, riddles). This is a riddle for schoolchildren: "A pig is coming from Gatchina - all dirty." The answer is a chimney sweep.
  8. My nameGatchina got from the word "gat" - that is, the road through the swamp, lined with logs and brushwood. Allegedly, on the site of the city, such a road has long passed - through the White Lake, which is spread today on the territory of the Palace Park. There is another version: "Gatchina" is a reworked version from "Hotchino", which was mentioned in the Novgorod annals. It is believed that this name comes from the male name Khotyn (by analogy with Ivanovo, Petrovo).