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Gatchina Palace

Listed under Castles & Palaces in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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The town of Gatchina was given by Catherine the Great to Count Orlov and it’s evident from the residence he built there that his taste in castles was more sedate than that of Catherine and the rest of the Imperial Family. Square and pale like Buckingham Palace, the refined, quiet looking palace was laid out over English style parks adding to the sobriety. It still had 600 delicately stuccoed rooms, Italian style parquetry, painted ceilings and a zoo, but the tone was softer than the magnificence seen in other Russian palaces of the age. Catherine liked Orlov’s work and after his death brought the palace for her son Paul to live in, who’s extensive travels gave the palace and Gatchina a cosmopolitan flavour. Paul eventually did the palace over in the Russian neo-classical style, adding garnishes and opulence to the more severe rooms and to the park and it passed down the Imperial family receiving minor alterations and adjustments of style and atmosphere with each new owner. Like many of Russia’s great Imperial Palaces it was opened as a museum after the Revolution in 1917. St Petersburg has sprawled to meet Gatchina and it is now a suburb rather than a separate town (with the highest quality of life in Russia) as it was in 1900. Restoration work is still being done of the palace but some of the state rooms have been re-opened to the public.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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