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Харитонов Даниил Игоревич, 11В класс
Гимназия №166, Санкт-Петербург
Учитель Чечина Инесса Федоровна

Gatchina lies 45 kilometers south of St. Petersburg. The place was first mentioned in a manuscript of 1499 as a village Kholtchino. In 1708 Gatchina was given by Peter the Great to his sister Natalia Alekseevna and from this moment its architectural history begins. It then passed through hands of many owners until it became the property of Catherine II’s favourite Count Gregory Orlov. Between 1768-1781 the architect Antonio Rinaldi built for the count a palace and the Gatchina Park was laid out with a lake in the centre. In 1783 Gatchina became the residence of future Emperor Paul I. The next periods in the history of Gatchina Palace are associated with the names of Nicholas I and Alexander III. During the World War II Gatchina was occupied by Nazi troops. When the town was liberated, it lay in ruins. However the palace is famous for diverse works of art: a collection of porcelain, furniture and oriental art objects.
There are many beautiful places in Gatchina but my favourite one is the Gatchina Park. The style of this park is typically English. Beautiful scenery of the Gatchina parks inspired many painters, and if you do not have time to go to Gatchina, you may visit the Russian Museum and admire landscapes of Sylvester Schedrin, who liked to paint Gatchina and managed to depict the atmosphere of the place well, or you can read A. I. Kuprins story “Gatchina Ghost”.
When I was a child I used to walk in the park with my grandparents. I shall never forget how beautiful the park was in the autumn: I could spend all day in the magic part of the town with its history and tales. There is no wonder that everyone who visited Gatchina wants to stay and live here.

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