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The Arkhangelskoye estate was first mentioned in the 16th century as "Upolozye" because it belonged to Alexis Upolotskiy. Later it was bought by Feodor Sheremetyev, a famous Russian high ranking aristocrat.


The Arkhangelskoye estate was a summer residence for princess Golitsins, but the "golden age" of the manor came in early 19th century when Prince Nikolay Yusupov, patron of arts and the member of one of the richest nobilities in Russia, became the landowner. He invited the French architect Jacob Guerne to design the main palace in 1786-1790. The building had two wings, one of them was used as an art gallery and the other one as a library.


In 1790-s an Italian designer Giacomo Trombaro created a magnificent park called "Russian Versailles". It has impressive terraces with marble sculptures of antique gods, heroes and philosophers. In the western part of the park there is a small palace Caprice and a Tea house, in the eastern part Pink Fountain pavilion will surely eye - catching place for every visitor.


Nowadays Archangelskoye is divided into two parts. The first part has no entrance fee, It includes park, Gonsaga theatre and Apollo's grove. The second one has an admission fee and includes the Palace. Since 1998 every summer Arkhangelskoye is hosting an open air music festival 'Usadba Jazz' where there one can experience a fantastic combination of aristocratic tasteful space and ear teasing and tuneful jazz themes.

Chambers of Zaryadye is one of the first museums in Moscow, situated not far from Kremlin on the territory of the former boyars Romanovs estate. The progenitor of Russian tzar dynasty M.F.Romanov was born here. In 1856 one of Romanov posterity - Emperor Alexander II ordered to restore the old building and to found a museum in honor of his noble ancestors. The Museum was opened in 1859. In the course of centuries the exterior and designation of the chambers have changed several times and at present the chambers are rare monument of the Russian civil architecture of the 15th - 17th centuries.


The Museum in the chambers is the only museum in Russia, ancient Russian mode of life on the authentic monuments of the 16-17 centuries. All the premises are decorated as typical interiors of a rich Moscow house. In the cellars one can see the household premises and the repositories of valuables. The house is divided in two parts - men's and women's. There is dining room, the boyar study, library and a room for senior sons in the men's part. In the women't part one can see boyar woman's room and "svetlitsa" - a room for needlework.


Moscow, Chamber in Zaryadye
Moscow, Chamber in Zaryadye
Moscow, Chamber in Zaryadye
Moscow, Chamber in Zaryadye

For many centuries Izmailovsky Park has been a favourite relaxation spot for Muscovites.


Mention of the village of Izmailovo can be found in records dating as far back as the 14th century, when it would have stood at the edge of a dense forest stretching east for many miles. It probably took its name from the boyar Izmailov family, who owned the village at the time.


In the early 1600s, Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich decided to build a model economy at Izmailovo, and more than 700 peasant families were moved there in the course of just one summer. Parks and gardens were laid out, and exotic crops such as melons, watermelons, cotton and grapes were even grown in the orangeries. Rare animals and birds were kept in a menagerie.


Roughly 20 ponds were dug out along the courses of the Izmailovka and Pekhorka Rivers, which flow through the park. Watermills were built on the dams and fish were farmed in the ponds. In the 1660s, an artificial island, Silver Island, was created as the home of the Royal household.

Aleksei's grandson, Peter the Great, spent much of his childhood at Izmailovo, and first learnt to sail here. Thus began a life-long passion that would lead to the birth of Russia as a formidable maritime power and, in part, to the founding of St Petersburg.


Much of Izmailovsky Park has retained its original beauty. Apart from the glorious birch woods, the main attraction of the park is the beautiful Pokhorovoskiy Cathedral on Silver Island, which was completed in 1679. Although badly damaged during Napoleon's 1812 invasion, the cathedral was restored by the great Moscow architect Konstantin Ton in 1840. He also supervised the construction of the buildings, which now surround the cathedral, originally designed as a military hospital. Two more buildings from the original estate, the Ceremonial Gate and the Bridge Tower, lie in front of and behind the cathedral respectively.


A visit to the park can also be combined with some souvenir shopping at the Izmailovo Market.


Moscow, The Izmaylovsky Park
Moscow, The Izmaylovsky Park
Moscow, The Izmaylovsky Park
Moscow, The Izmaylovsky Park

Kuskovo is almost unique among Russian aristocratic country houses in that it has original interiors to match its glorious facades. Once a village to the south-east of Moscow, it was razed to the ground during the Polish invasion of 1611, and was used as a hunting reserve until Count Boris Sheremetev, one of Peter the Great's leading generals, decided to build a summer home here.


The park and palace that can be seen today were a labor of love for his son Petr, who took advantage of the nobility's new-found leisure to devote his life and his wealth to his two great passions: his home and the theatre. Serf architects and artisans were employed to create the estate, and the work was overseen by the celebrated Moscow professional Karl Blank. The ensemble comprises a palace, an adjoining church, and a formal baroque park filled with statues and follies. The result is a fascinating mixture of late baroque and early neoclassicism, with the two styles overlapping surprisingly harmoniously in their uniquely Russian interpretations.


The palace, a single-storey, salmon pink-and-white structure, is a fine and rare example of wooden neoclassicism. It was completed in 1775, and the rich interiors remain unchanged since 1779. They include a room hung exclusively with exquisite Flemish tapestries, an abundance of silk wallpaper and an impressive collection of 18th century European and Russian paintings.


Highlights of the park include the entertainingly pretty Italian, Dutch and Swiss Cottages, Blank's Hermitage and the old Orangery, which is home to the State Ceramics Museum, an extensive and absorbing collection of porcelain from the 18th century to the present day.


Petr Sheremetev's son Nikolai shared his father's love for the theater, but preferred to build his own estate at Ostankino. Further troubles beset Kuskovo after the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, which left the Sheremetevs financially incapable of maintaining the large formal parks. The garden at Kuskovo became overgrown, surrounding lands had to be sold, and the last Count Sheremetev was reduced to building a small wooden dacha next to the palace so that he could continue to live on the family estate. In 1919, the Bolshevik government nationalized the estate, and it has since been one of the favorite attractions for Muscovites in the summer months.


Moscow, The Kuskovo Park and Estate
Moscow, The Kuskovo Park and Estate
Moscow, The Kuskovo Park and Estate
Moscow, The Kuskovo Park and Estate

The architectural complex that the Muscovites through habit call Osterman's Estate was formed during the 18th-20th centuries. It is located on the site where the town estate used to be. As a reminder of the estate the three-storied palace with wings and passages survived until nowadays.


The architect creating the palace is unknown, but the specialists assume that the master might be the apprentice of architect M. Kazakov. The palace was badly damaged in the fire of 1812, and it was not restored for a long time. The last estate owner was A. Osterman-Tolstoy, the hero of the war of 1812 and the participant of foreign campaigns of the Russian army. In 1827 he sold the mansion, as he was going to leave Russia for good. In 1834 the building was given to Moscow seminary.In 1840 the mansion was restored after architect A. Shchedrin's design. He carefully preserved the original shape of the palace, but made it a little wider. In 1885 when the seminary needed extra premises, the mansion was added the two-storied building of diocesan dormitory, and the ensemble of the estate was not disturbed.


In 1918 Osterman's Estate was nationalized. After World War II it housed the Supreme Soviet Presidium and Council of Ministers of RSFSR. In 1949 the dormitory was overbuilt by design of architect V. Gelphreikh. The three-storied building perfectly completed the architectural ensemble. On June 21, 1981 the Russian Museum of Applied and Folk Art was opened on the territory of Osterman's Estate. The museum collections number over 65,000 items of the 14th-20th centuries such as folk crafts articles, applied art works, artistic manufacture examples and so forth.Osterman's Estate has been changed. For example, it does not feature the picturesque ponds any more, and the modern park differs from the original one, but still the estate remains an outstanding monument of Russian architecture.

Ostankino Estate located in the northern part of the Russian capital is one of the survived architectural monuments of the 18th century.First records of the estate date back to the middle of the 16th century when Ostankino was the place where the Shchelkalovis' estate with a small wooden church was located.


In 1620 tsar Mikhail Fyodorovitch presented Ostankino to boyar I. Cherkassky (representative of the titled or non-titled senior nobility and aristocracy). The family of Cherkassky owned the estate till 1743, and then it passed into the hands of the Sheremetyev family. The golden age of Ostankino Estate started at the end of the 18th century, when Count N. Sheremetyev, the wealthy patron of art, became its owner. Sheremetyev was very fond of theater. He decided to make Ostankino his summer residence and move the theater troupe from Kuskovo. To realize his idea, Sheremetyev ordered to put up the palace-theater in Ostankino. The classicism-styled palace was erected by serf architects A. Mironov and P. Argunov. And the palacle was designed by Brenna, Kamporezi, and Starov. The construction works lasted from 1792 till 1798.


The main facade of the palace was decorated with magnificent six-columned portico of Corinthian order. Another facade, facing the park, was adorned with ten-columned logia of Ionic order. The outside walls of the palace were decorated with bas-relieves by sculptors F. Gordeev and G. Zamaraev. The most attractive part of the palace was the theater hall that could be transformed into the dancing hall. Covered galleries connected the hall with Italian and Egyptian pavilions that were used for both solemn receptions and theater performances. The theater hall is still used for chamber concerts and old operas. Interiors of the palace are both elegant and simple. The majority of interior decorations are made of wood imitating marble, bronze, alabaster and other materials. The gilded elements are remarkable for their artistic perfection. The walls of Italian pavilion are covered with carved gilded panels. The ornamented parquet floor is made of rare and precious kinds of wood, such as rosewood, palm-tree, ebony, walnut, mahogany, Karelian birch, and so forth. The walls of the palace halls are covered with damask, satin and velvet. The painted plafonds on the ceilings of the palace halls make them look elegant and luxurious.


Ostankino Theater is the only theater in Russia where the 18th-century stage units, including the stage, auditorium, make-up rooms and engine-room equipment are preserved. The acoustics in Ostankino hall is the best in Moscow. The oldest monument preserved on the territory of Ostankino Estate is the Trinity Life Church with nine-tiered icon-stand put up at the end of the 17th century. The church with five cupolas is made of red bricks decorated with white carved stone and multicolored tiles.Count N. Sheremetyev died in 1801, and after his death the estate was abandoned.


After the October Revolution the estate was nationalized and turned into museum that was called "The Palace-Museum of Serfs' Creation Work". In 1992 the museum was renamed "Museum-Estate Ostankino". It boasts the collection of old Russian icons and wooden sculpture of the end of the 15th century-the beginning of the 20th century, the gathering of furniture of the end of the 14th century-the 19th century (including gilded furniture of the 18th century that was made especially for the palace), collections of paintings and graphics. The collection of lighting devices of the end of the 15th-the beginning of the 20th century deserves special attention. It boasts unique lamps and repetition work examples. Annually Ostankino Museum-Estate becomes the place of Sheremetyev Seasons festival. The goal of the festival is to present old opera masterpieces to modern public.

Tsaritsyno estate is located in the southern part of Moscow, in the park of the same name. Its history begins from 16th century. Since then the estate changed several owners and the one who left the most remarkable trace in its history was empress Catherine the Great.


Catherine bought the estate in 1775 and entrusted the greatest Russian architect Vasily Bazhenov with the task of building a country residence. Bazhenov started the work immediately. After a short time a great architectural complex in pseudo-Gothic style was drafted. The main palace (Bolshoy) was surrounded by numerous gates, bridges, arcs, pergolas, pavilions and other decorative elements. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, Catherine stopped to invest the building of the complex and eventually, in 1785, she ordered to tear down the main palace. There is no explanation still of that why she took such a weird decision.


Construction of the new palace was assigned to Matvey Kazakov, a student of Bazhenov. Kazakov tried to follow the style of his master, but the original look of the palace was changed a lot. In 1796, the construction was suspended by Catherine’s death. Unfortunately, since then the palace remained unfinished and abandoned for nearly two centuries. In the 1960s the park’s territory became a district of Moscow and gained the status of a protected historic zone.


In the 1980s authorities decided to restore the estate, and by the end of 1990s the whole complex was completed except the Bolshoi palace. Some decades had passed before the restoration of the palace was finished. In 2007, the Tsaritsyno Park and Estate was officially opened to the public.


Now the Tsaritsino park boasts not only historical architectural ensemble, but picturesque ponds, musical fountains, scenic landscapes and timeless atmosphere.

Opened to coincide with the state visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, this museum is housed in one of the oldest secular buildings in Moscow, the former home of the first foreign representation in the Russian capital. The Old English Court, built as a private home for a wealthy merchant in the Zaryadie region (famous as the centre of trade in medieval Moscow), was presented by Ivan the Terrible to a group of English merchants who arrived in Murmansk in 1553 from the court of Edward IV, under the command of Richard Chancellor. They had been sent to search for a northern passage to India, but took the opportunity to establish trade links with the Tsar, who welcomed them warmly, provided them with a headquarters and allowed them unlimited duty-free trade. Although good relations suffered when Elizabeth I repeatedly rejected Ivan's proposals of marriage - the third English envoy to the Tsar was kept under house arrest here - trade flourished between the two countries for almost a century, with the English bringing wool, metals and wine in return for furs, caviar, honey and other Russian produce. Russian timber was used to build the English fleet, and the Russian army was equipped with English muskets and ammunition.


In 1649, Tsar Aleksei I brought the alliance - which had seen an unprecedented number of foreigners journey to Russia to work as craftsmen, civil servants and explorers - to an abrupt end, expelling the English traders as a mark of his disgust at the execution of Charles I. The building became private property, and was the home of several prominent men, including the Miloslavsky family, Metropolitan Philaret of Nizhni Novgorod, and the merchant Solodovnikov. The house was remodeled several times, and was unrecognizable by the 20th Century, when it was split into apartments by the Soviet authorities. It was only thanks to the tireless labours of Pyotr Baranovsky, the Muscovite architect and restorer who almost single-handedly protected Moscow's medieval legacy in the Soviet Union, that the building was spared and painstakingly restored to its original form.


There was no record of the interior designs of the building, so restorers have based the present decor on Tudor interiors still extant in Britain, including those on display at Hampton Court Palace. The museum, part of the Museum of Moscow, contains two exhibitions entitled "Medieval Russia from the Eyes of a Foreigner" and "The History of Anglo-Russian Relations". The collection, mostly of coins and documents, was donated from a number of sources, including the British Library and the Marquis of Salisbury's private collection. However, it is the meticulously reconstructed interiors, especially that of the Formal Hall, with its elaborate brick fireplace, which will be of most interest to visitors. Concerts of early music are also held here regularly, as well as various performances and events for children on more or less relevant themes.

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