sidence, 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.
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 ofNicholas 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,