|- Town -|
Location of Leningrad Oblast in Russia
|Town Day||Third Saturday of September|
|Federal subject||Leningrad Oblast|
|Administrative district||Gatchinsky District|
|Settlement municipal formation||Gatchinskoye Settlement Municipal Formation|
|Administrative center of||Gatchinsky District, Gatchinskoye Settlement Municipal Formation|
|Municipal status (as of November 2011)|
|Municipal district||Gatchinsky Municipal District|
|Urban settlement||Gatchinskoye Urban Settlement|
|Administrative center of||Gatchinsky Municipal District, Gatchinskoye Urban Settlement|
|Population (2010 Census)||92,937 inhabitants|
|- Rank in 2010||184th|
|Time zone||MSK (UTC+04:00)|
|Town status since||1796|
|Previous names||Gatchina (until 1923),
Trotsk (until 1929),
Krasnogvardeysk (until 1944)
|Postal code(s)||188300-188310, 188319|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 81371|
Gatchina (Russian: Га́тчина) is a town and the administrative center of Gatchinsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located 45 kilometers (28 mi) south of St. Petersburg by the road leading to Pskov. Population: 92,937 (2010 Census); 88,420 (2002 Census); 79,714 (1989 Census).
Early history 
Khotchino (old name of Gatchina) was first documented in 1499, a village in possession of Novgorod the Great, Russia. In the 17th century, in a series of wars, it passed to Livonia, then to Sweden, and was returned to Russia during the Great Northern War. At that time, Gatchina was a southern vicinity of the new Russian capital, St. Petersburg. In 1708, Gatchina was given by Peter the Great. to his sister Natalya Alexeyevna, and after her death, Peter founded an Imperial Hospital and Apothecary here. In 1765, Catherine the Great bought Gatchina with suburban twenty villages, then she granted it to her favorite General Count Orlov. Between 1766 and 1788 Count Orlov built a sombre castle with six hundred rooms  and laid out an extensive English landscape park over 7 square kilometers (2.7 sq mi), with an adjacent zoo and a horse farm. A triumphal arch was erected to a design by the architect of Gatchina, Antonio Rinaldi (1771, built 1777-1782), forming a monumental entrance, the gift of Catherine The Great to Count Orlov for his efforts during a recent outbreak of plague at Moscow.
The Gatchina Palace was expanded several times by several imperial owners. Rococo interiors were designed by Rinaldi and Vincenzo Brenna and executed by Italian stuccoworkers and Russian craftsmen. Interiors were highlighted with parquetry floors, painted ceilings, and distinctly Italian furniture (illustrations, right).
Imperial residence 
The Empress took such a great liking of the Gatchina Palace and park that at Orlov's death in 1783 she bought it from his heirs and presented it to her son, the future Emperor Paul I.
Paul I was the owner of Gatchina for eighteen years. He invested much resources as well as used his experience from his travels around Europe to make Gatchina an exemplary town and residence. During the 1790s, Paul expanded and rebuilt much of the palace, and renovated palatial interiors in the sumptuous Neoclassical style (illustration, left). Paul I graced the park with numerous additions, bridges, gates, and pavilions, such as "The Isle of Love", "The Private garden", "The Holland garden" and "The Labyrinth" among many other additions. In November 1796, following the death of his mother, Catherine the Great, Paul became Emperor Paul I of Russia, and granted Gatchina the status of the Imperial City - official residence of the Russian Emperors.
A remarkable monument of Paul's reign is the Priory Palace on the shore of the Black Lake. Constructed for the Russian Grand Priory of the Order of St John, it was presented to the Order by a decree of Paul I dated August 23, 1799.
After Paul's death the grand palace and park were owned by his widow, Maria Feodorovna, from 1801 to 1828. Then Emperor Nicholas I was the owner from 1828 to 1855. He made the most significant expansion of the palaces and parks, adding the Arsenal Halls to the main palace. The Arsenal Halls served as the summer residence of Tsar Nicholas I and his court. In 1851, Tsar Nicholas I opened the monument to his grandfather, Paul I, in front of the Gatchina Palace. In 1854 the railroad between St. Petersburg and Gatchina was opened. At that time the city of Gatchina's territory was expanded by incorporation of several villages and vicinity.
Alexander II of Russia used Gatchina Palace as his second residence. He built a hunting village and other additions for his Imperial Hunting Crew, and turned the areas south of Gatchina into his retreat, where the Tsar and his guests could indulge in living country-style among unspoiled wilderness and woods of north-western Russia. Alexander II made updates and renovations in the Main Gatchina Palace.
Alexander III of Russia made Gatchina his prime residence, after experiencing a shock and stress of his father's assassination and the palace became known as 'The Citadel of Autocracy' after the Tsar's reactionary policies. He lived most of his time in Gatchina Palace. During his reign, Alexander III introduced major technological modernization in the Gatchina Palace and parks, such as electric lights, telephone network, non-freezing water pipes and modern sewage system.
Nicholas II, the last Russian tsar, spent his youth in the Gatchina Palace. His mother, Empress Maria Fedorovna, widow of Alexander III, was the patron of the city of Gatchina and Gatchina Palace and parks.
20th century 
Gatchina was honored as the best-kept city of Russia at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris (Exposition Universelle (1900)). The quality of life, education, medical services and public safety in Gatchina were recognized as the best, and it was recommended as an example for other cities in Russia.
One of the first airfields in Russia was established in Gatchina at the beginning of the 20th century. The pilot Pyotr Nesterov was trained at Gatchina airfield and made his first long-distance flight from Gatchina to Kiev in the 1900s. At that time, an aviation industry was developing in Gatchina, eventually becoming one of the first centers of aviation and engine technology in Russia.
During the 1900s, Gatchina remained one of the official Imperial Residences of the Tsar Nicholas II, who was presiding over annual military parades and celebrations of the Imperial Russian Army garrisons, stationed in Gatchina until 1917.
During World War I, major medical hospitals in Gatchina were patronized by the Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Maria Fedorovna, the mother of Nicholas II, his wife the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, as well as their daughters: the Grand Duchess Olga, the Grand Duchess Tatiana, the Grand Duchess Maria, and the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
According to the some sources, "in May 1918, in the former imperial palace, one of the first museums in the country was opened for the victorious popular masses" of the Russian Revolution. From 1918 to 1941, the Gatchina Palace and parks were open to public as a national museum.
In 1923–1929, the town was called Trotsk (Троцк) after Leon Trotsky. After Stalin became General Secretary of the Communist Party and Trotsky was exiled, the town was called Krasnogvardeysk (Красногварде́йск), or "Red Guard City" until 1944, when the original name was returned and the city has been called Gatchina ever since. During the German occupation, the city had the name Lindemannstadt after the Wehrmacht general Georg Lindemann.
The Nazi Germans looted much of the Gatchina palace collections of art, while occupying the palace for almost three years during the German-Soviet War (World War II). The Gatchina Palace and park was severely burnt, vandalized and destroyed by the retreating Germans. The extent of devastation was extraordinary, and initially was considered irreparable damage.
Restoration works continue over sixty years after the war, in order to restore some of the original handcrafted interiors of the Gatchina Palace. Some pieces of the art collection were recovered after WWII and returned to Gatchina. One section of the Gatchina Palace is partially completed and certain state rooms and the Arsenal Halls are now open to the public. Other areas of the Palace, including those of Tsar Alexander III, remain closed and unrestored.
In science, Gatchina is also renowned for being the site of the Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Science.
Administrative and municipal divisions 
Administratively, the district is divided into seventeen settlement municipal formations. Municipally, the district is incorporated as Gatchinsky Municipal District and is divided into six urban and eleven rural settlements.
In Gatchina, there are several enterprises related to timber industry, including a paper mill, and to food industry.
Gatchina is an important railway node. One railway, running north to south, connects the Baltiysky railway station in Saint Petersburg with Dno and Nevel. Within the town limits, suburban trains in this direction stop at the platform of Tatyanino and the station of Gatchina-Varshavskaya. Another railroad, also from the Baltiysky railway station, arrives to Gatchina from the northwest and has two stops, Mariyenburg and Gatchina-Passazhirskaya-Baltiyskaya. One more railroad runs south of the town center from east to west and connects Mga via Ulyanovka with Volosovo. The railway station on this line in Gatchina is Gatchina-Tovarnaya-Baltiyskaya.
The M20 highway connecting Saint Petersburg and Pskov, crosses Gatchina from north to south. South of Gatchina, it crosses the A120 highway, which encircles Saint Petersburg. A paved road connects Gatchina with Kingisepp via Volosovo. There are also local roads.
Twin cities 
- Oblast Law #32-oz
- "Гатчина готовится к Дню города" (in Russian). Администрация МО «Город Гатчина». Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Law #113-oz
- "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
- Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. p. 104. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9.
- "Гатчинский уезд (февр. 1923-авг. 1927)" (in Russian). Система классификаторов исполнительных органов государственной власти Санкт-Петербурга. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- "Троцкий район (август 1927 г . - август 1929 г .), Красногвардейский район (август 1929 г. - январь1944), Гатчинский район (январь 1944 г. )" (in Russian). Система классификаторов исполнительных органов государственной власти Санкт-Петербурга. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- "List of postal codes" (in Russian). Russian Post. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
- "Гатчина и Гатчинский район Справочная информация" (in Russian). gatchina.biz. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров." [All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989) (in Russian). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Peter the Great: His Life and World (Knopf, 1980) by Robert K. Massie, ISBN 0-394-50032-6 (also Wings Books, 1991, ISBN 0-517-06483-9)
- St. Petersburg:Architecture of the Tsars. 360 pages. Abbeville Press, 1996. ISBN 0-7892-0217-4
- a small Priory Palace
- Suburbs of St.Petersburg : Gatchina
- (Russian) Гатчинский дворец, годы испытаний
- Max Schafer (2011), Jahrgang 1924, p. 44 ISBN 3-8423-1113-3
- "Комитет экономики и инвестиций" (in Russian). Гатчинский муниципальный район. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Законодательное собрание Ленинградской области. Областной закон №32-оз от 15 июня 2010 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Ленинградской области и порядке его изменения», в ред. Областного закона №34-оз от 15 мая 2012 г. «О внесении изменений в некоторые Областные законы в сфере административно-территориального устройства Ленинградской области». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Вести", №112, 23 июня 2010 г. (Legislative Assembly of Leningrad Oblast. Oblast Law #32-oz of June 15, 2010 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Leningrad Oblast and on the Procedures for Its Change, as amended by the Oblast Law #34-oz of May 15, 2012 On Amending Various Oblast Laws Dealing with the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Leningrad Oblast. Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
- Законодательное собрание Ленинградской области. Областной закон №113-оз от 16 декабря 2004 г. «Об установлении границ и наделении соответствующим статусом муниципального образования Гатчинский муниципальный район и муниципальных образований в его составе», в ред. Областного закона №17-оз от 6 мая 2010 г «О внесении изменений в некоторые областные законы в связи с принятием федерального закона "О внесении изменений в отдельные законодательные акты Российской Федерации в связи с совершенствованием организации местного самоуправления"». Вступил в силу через 10 дней со дня официального опубликования (27 декабря 2004 г.). Опубликован: "Вести", №147, 17 декабря 2004 г. (Legislative Assembly of Leningrad Oblast. Oblast Law #113-oz of December 16, 2004 On Establishing the Borders of and Granting an Appropriate Status to the Municipal Formation of Gatchinsky Municipal District and to the Municipal Formations It Comprises, as amended by the Oblast Law #17-oz of May 6, 2010 On Amending Various Oblast Laws Due to the Adoption of the Federal Law "On Amending Various Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Due to the Improvement of the Organization of the Local Self-Government". Effective as of after 10 days from the day of the official publication (December 27, 2004).).
Further reading 
- St. Petersburg:Architecture of the Tsars. 360 pages. Abbeville Press, 1996. ISBN 0789202174
- Knopf Guide: St. Petersburg. New York: Knopf, 1995. ISBN 0-679-76202-7
- Eyewitness Guide: St. Petersburg.
- Glantz, David M. The Battle for Leningrad, 1941-1944. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002. ISBN 0-7006-1208-4
- Edvard Radzinsky. Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar. New York: The Free Press, 2005. ISBN 0-7432-7332-X
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gatchina|
- Art monuments & History of former residence of the Russian emperors
- Gatchina Over the Centuries
- Views of Gatchina Park
- 19th-century views of palacial interiors
- Gatchina Humanitarian Portal
- Gatchina map