Priory Palace

Coordinates: 59°33′29″N 30°7′17″E / 59.55806°N 30.12139°E / 59.55806; 30.12139

Priory Palace (Russian: Приоратский дворец) is an original palace in the formerly royal town of Gatchina (Гатчина), Leningrad oblast, Northwest Russia, a suburb of Saint Petersburg. It was built in 1799 by the architect N. A. Lvov on the shore of the Black Lake (Chyornoye ozero / Чёрное озеро). Constructed for the Russian Grand Priory of the Order of St John, it was presented to the Order by a decree of Paul I of Russia dated August 23, 1799.

Priory Palace

Features of the palaceEdit

The Priory Palace is not as luxurious as other palaces in St Petersburg's suburbs. Its fame is determined by its unusual construction technology and original combination of the palace and the surrounding landscape.

The Priory is the only surviving architectural monument in Russia built mainly by the technology of earthwork: layers of compacted loam are poured with lime mortar. The walls of the palace, the fence, and the court buildings were built using this technology.[1] The retaining wall is made of the famous Pudost stone, with which many of Gatchina's buildings were built.[2] The tower of the palace was made of stone from Paritz.

Priory Palace

The Priory was built in the style of Russian architecture of the last third of the 18th century, called the Pre-Romantic trend. The building is a stylization of medieval Catholic monasteries. The role of the temple belfry is played by a tower, all buildings are united by a courtyard and a blind fence. The Priory, like the monasteries, has a secluded location. The monastic character of the monastery is emphasised by the ascetic inner decoration. The Priory resembles a medieval castle. Details of the palace are characteristic of classicism style. The horizontal partitions of the facades, the ceilings - the main decoration of the premises of the palace.

The researchers note the precision of the layout of the Priory, the original composition, and the characteristic refusal of symmetry.[2][1] From the side of the Black Lake, the illusion is created as if the palace was situated on an island. A retaining wall gives the palace the features of a fortress. To the south, the Priory resembles a Gothic chapel. The northern façade seems to rise out of the water. On the side of the main entrance is a country manor house.


  1. ^ a b Ki︠u︡chariant︠s︡, D. A. (2001). Gatchina : khudozhestvennye pami︠a︡tniki. Abram Grigorʹevich Raskin. Sankt-Peterburg: Lenizdat. ISBN 5-289-02007-1. OCLC 50503644.
  2. ^ a b Makarov, V. K. (2005). Gatchina. A. N. Petrov (2-e izd., ispr. i dop ed.). Sankt-Peterburg: Izd-vo S. Khodova. ISBN 5-98456-018-6. OCLC 191258144.

External linksEdit