|“Moscow is a city of Monasteries and St. Petersburg – the one of Palaces,” some people used to say. It seems to us that Moscow has not really lost its reputation as the city with many historical suburban estates. If St. Petersburg gives an impressive history of the Russian Empire, Moscow offers you a chance to be delighted with its Palaces’ beauty, the riches of its aristocrats, the variety of their interests and the wide scope of their constructions. We would like to introduce you to a new look on Moscow as a center of Russian Suburban Estates.|
|The history of this estate goes back to the 14th century, when Kolomenskoye was mentioned for the first time. In the 16th century the estate became the country residence of Russian Princes and Tsars. In 1532 the Grand Prince Vassily III ordered the Church of the Ascension built to commemorate the birth of his son, Ivan the Terrible. More than 60 meters tall, it was one of the tallest Russian buildings in the 16th century and one of the first stone churches in the tent-roof style. In the 17th century the second Tsar of the Romanov dynasty, Alexey Michailovish, ordered the construction of a luminous wooden Palace: Having 250 rooms and 3,000 windows, it was built in a year. The murals were painted by Simon Ushakov. That Palace was so beautiful that people used to call it “the eighth miracle of the earth.” But during the Catherine the Great reign, the Palace was demolished because of its old age. In 1930 some wooden structures from Siberia were brought to the Kolomenskoye park, including the cottage of Peter the Great. The Palace Gate museum contains old armaments, period furnishing and decorations, paintings, metal works and ceramics.
Kolomenskoye estate is a perfect venue for staging Russian winter festivals with troika-rides or any kind of folklore events all year round.
|The Palace and Park complex was created in 1775, later to become the Moscow Versailles. It used to be the countryside residence of Count Sheremetiev, built and decorated especially for receptions and festivities. In the 1760s and ’80s, the estate owners entertained as many as 30,000 guests in a single day and it was the Moscow aristocracy’s favorite playground for more than 100 years. The festivities would include sumptuous balls, fireworks, folk dances, theater performances and rowing on the lake. Since 1932 the Museum of Ceramics has displayed Italian, French, German and Iranian glassware and porcelain. Part of this trove belonged to the family of Ivan Morozov, a well-known Moscow merchant. Kuskovo’s gardens were immaculate; 300 gardeners maintained them. Fifty-four statues are displayed throughout the estate, most of them from 18th-century Italian masters, including one of Minerva to celebrate the visit of Catherine the Great in 1775. The Ballroom of the Palace is the perfect venue for dinners, cocktails receptions or concerts (summer only), the Orangery and the Italian Pavilion perfect for intimate dinners. The Park is an excellent location for a garden party.|
|Ostankino (summer only)|
|The village of Ostankino has been known for centuries. The estate once belonged to Ivan the Terrible; from the 17th century it was the property of Prince Cherkassky, whose last daughter married a Sheremetyev and brought the land into his family. The Sheremetyev’s holdings at the height of their influence included more than 2 million acres spread over 17 provinces, and more than 200,000 serfs. Nikolay Sheremetyev, one of the richest and most educated aristocrats of his time, decided to begin the construction of a theater in Ostankino in 1790 with the help of peasant architects. But he fell in love with a serf girl, Paraskovia Zhemchugova, a gifted and popular actress in his theater. Count Sheremetyev married her against all customs of the times, infuriating Moscow high society. Misfortune seemed to await them: Paraskovia died after the birth of her son Dimitry. The Picture Gallery, Egyptian and Italian Pavilions and the famous Sheremetyev’s Theater are the most attractive monuments.
We can also offer upon your special request a gala dinner with a classical music concert in Ostankino Estate.
|Located about 50 km. northeast of Moscow (on the road to Serguiev Possad), Abramtsevo Estate was a thriving artists’ colony. It belonged to Serguie Aksakov, writer and government censor. Writers Nikolay Gogol and Ivan Turgenev spent time at Abramtsevo and both read their prose on the estate. Gogol, who lived upstairs in a garret of the main building, here wrote the second volume of “Dead Souls,” which he destroyed later at his Moscow home. In 1870 the estate was bought by Savva Mamontov, the railway baron and art connoisseur, who transformed it into an artists’ colony of Russian painters, writers and playwrights. Painters, like Nesterov, Polenov, Repin, Vasnetsov and Vrubel lived here permanently (their works are on display in Tretyakov Gallery). Classical composers, like Rachmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov, often came to the estate. Operatic basso singer Fyodor Shalyapin made his debut here. About 90 percent of Russian artistic life was said to centered on this estate at that time. We offer you an opportunity to get acquainted with the “cream” of Russian society life, traditions and heritage.|
|This estate, located on the banks of the Moskva river, is about 20 km. west of Moscow. In the 17th century the land belonged to Prince Cherkassky and was bought in 1731 by Golitsyn. In 1810 Arkhangelskoye was purchased by the art patron and collector Prince Nikolay Yussupov, who was also one of the wealthiest property owners in Russia. In 1812 Yussupov’s art collection of more than 500 paintings by European masters was brought to Arkhangelskoye, together with a collection of sculptures, antique furniture, tapestries and china. That collection can be seen today. After the Napoleonic invasion, in 1825, Yussupov turned the Palace into the museum that rivaled many European state art collections. The poet Pushkin visited Yussupov’s library several times and was impressed by its more than 16,000 volumes. The wooden serf theater, built in 1818 could seat 400 and it was one of the best theaters at that time. The last owner of the estate was the world and scandalously known Feliks Yussupov, the one who shot and drowned Rasputin.
We can also offer you a unique opportunity to visit the rare Filiks Yussupov art collection (upon request).