We will tell you about some estates in Moscow and the surrounding area which offer an opportunity to feel the atmosphere of the Golden Age, to admire the architecture, breathe fresh air, and discover scenes from old movies in the landscape.
A noble culture monument near Moscow
The Ostafyevo Estate was the property of the Vyazemsky princes beginning in the late 18th century. The classicist building became a center of cultural attraction and was named the “Parnassus of Russia”: Nikolai Karamzin worked on his History of the Russian State within its walls, Vasily Zhukovsky was a guest, and the most influential authors of the Golden Age also gathered there. Pushkin once recited an excerpt from his Eugene Onegin at the estate, while Griboyedov presented his Woe from Wit, reading it aloud and even staging a production in the household theater. Today, Ostafyevo’s grounds include the owners’ mansion, since converted into a museum, the Trinity Church, and the old park with a pond. One of the estate’s oldest landmarks, the linden grove, is still called the “Parnassus of Russia”. The museum is dedicated to the famous owners and guests of Ostafyevo and features a replica of Karamzin’s study, a separate building known as the Medals Cabinet, and restored historical interiors, both everyday and ceremonial, which were lost in the Soviet period. The estate regularly hosts new exhibitions, concerts, and themed events, but it can be visited without any special occasion: just to stroll through the park and the grove where Pushkin once walked, to take a boat ride, and to have a coffee at the museum cafe.
“Versailles near Moscow” with a rare ceramics collection and organ music concerts
The summer residence of the Counts Sheremetev was called “Versailles near Moscow” for the elegance of its palaces, gardens, and sculptures even before the revolution. The complex of the central front part of the palace, built in the 18th century in the classicist style, the park with pavilions, and the Great Stone Greenhouse have survived to the present. In addition to walks (which are nice in any weather), it is also possible to visit one of the museum exhibitions to see household items from past centuries, view portraits of Russian tsars and European monarchs, contemporaries of Peter the Great and the first Count Sheremetev, and the rarest still lifes. In the palace and the Great Stone Greenhouse, visitors can admire Italian majolica, German porcelain sculptures, the famous French ceramics of Bernard Palissy, and Russian porcelain. The estate can be visited to take classes in the pottery workshop or specially for organ music concerts.
The former estate of Savva Morozov, where Lenin lived
Visit the complex on the bank of the Pakhra River and you will be surprised that pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary heritage can exist on one territory practically side by side: an old park and lakes, a neoclassical house, and a brutal example of Brezhnev’s architecture.
The estate has had several owners in its several centuries. The last owner was Zinaida Grigoryevna Reinbot, the widow of philanthropist Savva Morozov. In 1909, she ordered a renovation in the neoclassical style from Fyodor Schechtel, the star of Moscow Art Nouveau. In the course of the work, the estate house was supplemented with a winter garden and a large veranda, bas-reliefs on themes of Greek mythology appeared above the windows of the second floor, and the east facade was decorated with a colonnade of the Tuscan order. The renovation was completed in 1914. By that time, a model farm had been established on the estate.
After the revolution, the estate became the permanent residence of Vladimir Lenin, and after his death, the entire estate complex was transformed into the museum. That is why Bolshie Gorki is one of the best-preserved estates in the Moscow region. On the estate itself there is a memorial museum: luxurious interiors, rare furniture and tapestries, a leaf of a flip calendar for January 21, 1924 in the bedroom, a bed with a screen and medicine bottles, a living room with Meissen porcelain, a telephone room, and a library—all about how Lenin lived and worked hour by hour. In the memorial garage, the leader’s Rolls-Royce gleams with polished chrome. In a separate brutalist building, built at the end of the Soviet era, a separate large-scale exhibition tells about the leader of the world proletariat and the revolution.
Unique interiors, a palace theater, and a center of modern urban life
This estate is located on the territory of an 18th–19th-century palace complex, the park of which is connected with the neighboring VDNKh. The palace museum itself is still under renovation, but after the work is finished, it will be possible to walk for hours through its halls with unique interiors and watch theatrical performances on the historic stage of the palace theater. In the meantime, it is possible to admire the neoclassical exterior of the estate, enjoy the fresh air, feed the squirrels in the park, or just stroll along the alleys.
Architectural monuments, a river, and an apple garden
There is an incredible number of architectural monuments on the territory of this summer country estate on the bank of the Moskva River. It is possible to see a palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and a house of Peter the Great, which was built by Russian and Dutch shipbuilders. The main attraction, the Church of the Ascension, was built in the 16th century.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site along with the Kremlin, Red Square, and the Novodevichy Convent. Visitors can walk along the river in any weather, admire the apple garden, drink tea, and learn about Moscow history in the museum.
This complex of monuments of manorial architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries is hidden in the depths of the park in the northeast of Moscow. It includes the manor house, which retains its 1851 design, the restored Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, built in 1763, a brewery, and stables. The Altufievsky pond, surrounded by the apple orchard, spreads out in front of the estate. Visit to see the old architecture and wander the alleys and paths of the park together with the passing history.
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