The Gatchina parks rank among the finest landscaped parks that became widespread in Russia in the 1760s. Credit for their creation should be given to G. Gachette, G. Sparreau, the brothers Helmholz, and many other gifted landscape designers and gardeners.
The area of three parks—the Palace, Prior's, and Menagerie—is about 700 hectares. The Palace Park 143 hectares in area stretches along the shores of the picturesque White and Silvery lakes, which are studded with canals, water labyrinths, and islands.
All the islands, both natural and man-made, bear names of their own, for example Long Island, Swan Island, Fir-tree and Floating Islands, etc. This accounts for the wide variety of bridges, terraces, landing-stages, ferry-boats, and balconies in the park. Standing out amidst the scenery of the Palace Park are the Admiralty. Birch-tree, and Sylvia Gates, as well as several obelisks and pavilions.