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The Moscow Farmsteads


Just opposite the Kremlin on the other side of the Moskva-river there is Zamoskvorechje a special world, in which spirit of patriarchal Moscow has been kept. People fall in love with these side-streets and lanes at once and for all. Yards of Zamoskvorechje breathe of warmth and comfort. In Zamoskvorechje not only merchants lived. From the middle of XIX century here not very noble members of gentry and then intellectuals began to settle. The first singer of Zamoskvorechje was Alexander Nikolaevitch Ostrovsky (Russian writer). In Golikovsky side-street the house, in which Ostrovsky was born and spent his childhood, has been kept. Zamoskvorechje was built up just by such houses.

Having crossed the threshold of A. N. Ostrovskys House-museum a man finds himself in the atmosphere of old Moscow. Small rooms with low ceilings are situated around a big stove this allowed to economize on heating. The furniture, which was presented to the museum by the play-writers offsprings, embroidered table-cloth, samovar, ancient engravings and pictures, hanged out on the walls impart the house home-like and very comfortable look.

In Pyatnitskaya in house 12 for some time retired artillery officer Lev Tolstoy (writer) had lived. Tolstoy liked playing billiards in English club and once he lost a thousand rubles. Strict rules demanded immediate pay. If Katkov hadnt been there, Tolstoy could have been expelled with disgrace from members of club.

In soviet time in Luvrashinsky side-street the house of Writers Union was built. They say that just it became a prototype of House of Mass literature, in which Bulgakovs Margarita committed mess.

Among modern tokens of Zamoskvorechje are street café. Names of Moscow streets often reflect professions of people, who formerly inhabited them. In Kadaksha coopers settled, in Tatarka natives of Golden Horde. All foreigners were called then germen. Even in Moscow, which before the fire of 1812 had been built up anyhow, Zamoskvorechje was famous for the fact that there was no straight street. It can be seen now in Bolshaya Polyanka. Its prospect is overridden by the belfry of church of Grigoriy Neokesariysky, like descending from cheap popular prints.

Near it people stand motionless from admiration, so smart is its multi-colored décor. White-stone fretwork decorates portals. A part of the temple and the second tire of the belfry are girdled with a frieze, laid with glossy tiles, made in the workshop of the famous master Stepan Polubes.

Estate Petrovskoe-Razumovskoe

The ancient estate was redeemed by the government and in 1865 in it Petrovskaya agricultural academy was founded, now in the estate its heiress Agricultural academy. In the place of the principle house of the estate in 1863-1865 architect N. L. Benua had been building an auditor corps, stylized in imitation of baroque architecture. Its park façade is especially smart and supple.

A regular part of the park is laid in 1760-s; a railed terrace of 1864 is beautiful; here cast-iron sculptures of the beginning of 18 century. In the western part of the park there is a grotto of the beginning of XIX century, a small monumental construction. Its three rectangular embrasures are decorated with heavy columns of Doric order. In the south-west corner of the park, nearer the upper part of the pond there was another grotto. But after murder of a student by terrorist Nechaev the grotto was filled up. This Nechaevs story served as a prototype to one of the principle plotline of Dostoevskys (writers) novel Demons.

Estate Izmailovo

The estate is situated in the island of Serebryano-Vinogradny pond. The estate since XVII century had belonged to the Romanovs; here there was a palace, where tsarina Natalia Kirillovna with her son Peter I lived. Extensive surrounding fields and forests formed a household part of the estate.

The huge five-domed temple, consecrated on October, 1 in 1669by patriarchy Ioakim, was built by the artel, headed by Kostroma master Ivan Kuznetchik. The bridge tower in 1671 protected and decorated the entry on the bridge. It didnt serve as a belfry. Only Western and Eastern gates of the palace have been kept. In 1839 massive buildings of Nicolaevsky military hospices for veterans of the war of 1812 were built on Pokrovsky cathedral from three sides.

Estate Kuzminka

The estate belonged to the Stroganovs, and from 1757 to 1917 to the Golitsins. At the beginning of 20 century here one of the best landscape parks in Europe with large ponds and numerous parks estate constructions. The principle construction of the estate church of Vlahernskaya Mother of God had been built, rebuilt and decorated from 1759 to the middle of 19 century; I. P. Zherebtsov, R. R. Kazakov, V. I. Bazhenov, E. S. Nazarov, M. D. Bikovsky worked at it. Behind the temple there is a small but monumental construction of Empire epoch church sacristy. To the front courtyard a bridge cross the ditch with a retaining wall, decorated with figures of lying lions leads. The gates with cast iron griffins and candelabrums are cast by model of Z. A. Kolombo. Horses yard is a pearl of Kuzminka, one of the best Moscow Empire constructions. In the middle of the square building side, facing on the pond there is a music pavilion, a place for orchestra. Into the huge arch a four-column is built, before the building two cast-iron mounted groups. Repetition of these sculptures is noted on Anichkovy bridge in Petersburg.

Estate Kuskovo

Kuskovo was a wonderful estate, tribal patrimony of earls Sheremetevs. Kuskovo is one of pearls of Russian culture of 18 century. Sprung up once as a Moscow estate of the richest landlord advocate serfdom of Russia, it turned into a museum. Carved and guilt furniture stands on the ancient parquet in the place where it was placed 200 and more years ago; pictures and gobelins of old masters are hanged out on the walls according to tastes and rules of ancient time; sculpture of 18 century decorates the same reception-rooms as in former time.

Architecture, paintings, sculpture and decorative art, connected with each other by lasting bonds of time, form complex ensembles in Kuskovo estate. In short the estate is an outstanding monument of Catherines time. The Sheremetevs were keen to spirits of the time and possessed such great fortune that could decorate their Moscow buildings by pictures, sculptures, works of artistic craft, reflecting all uncertain tastes of the epoch. The Sheremetevs, like many contemporaries, directed their tastes to the West.

However they all were broods of Russian life, and perhaps, not realizing it, took participation in forming originally Russian ensembles. Kuskovo has no direct analogy in the West and represents a phenomenon of Russian culture. In the first half of 16 century boyar Basil Sheremetev swapped one of his patrimony for Moscow village Kuskovo of that time. There wasnt many plough-lands in Kuskovo, waterlogged and wooded, but here wild boars, elks, numerous wild birds were found, and at that far time hunting served necessary addition to agriculture.

Sheremetev is an ancient kin. As it was an old custom, they constantly lived in Moscow or in the place of tsarist service, and they lived in patrimonies by raids, however the Manor-house in Kuskovo was erected of logs and covered with haulm.

Unfortunately, in 1611 during battles of Russian army with Poles, who had conquered Moscow, Kuskovo was burned down and peasants scattered. There was no sense in waiting for income from depopulated estate and Kuskov turned into a hunting ground. Then, in 30s-40s of 15 century, the estate consisted of several extensive, clearly swept yards with numerous buildings but with no tree. The manor-house, erected of logs, under board roof, resembled an izba, but unlike a peasants house it had a chimney.

The doors are low; it isnt difficult to touch the ceiling by hand. Because of fire danger people managed with so few things as it was possible therefore benches, on which they sat and sleep at night, formed the whole interior of rooms, intended for short raids.

Tsar Fedor Alexeevitch, who took up throne in 1674, under the influence of boyars group, who didnt like Boris Sheremetev, independent in his opinions, sent it as voevode in far Tobolsk. Kuskovo fell into decay again. Only a church, grey from bad weather, carried back.

Peter Vasiljevitch Sheremetev, who died under Peter I in 1709, became the landlord of Kuskovo. Finally decayed estate was passed by testament to his younger son, who sold it to his elder brother Boris in 1719. Boris, the commander, was very conflicting nature. Under Peter I with going out of Russia on the world arena tastes and requirements of Russian nobility. Perhaps, thats why Boris began building the mansion, which didnt yield to the Menshikovs one in design.

However Boris Petrovitch didnt finish his mansions. In 1719 Peter Sheremetev of 6 years old became the landlord of Kuskovo. In 1730 Kuskovo looked like formerly under Boris Petrovitch. One-storied mansion, plastered in imitation of stone (it was prohibited to build houses of stone everywhere except Petersburg), faced by its windows in stucco platbands to the frozen pond. Only the church has gone greyer for the last years, and its wooden cupola with a cross has sunk to one side.

Despite everything, in spring of 1767 B. P. Sheremetev started new reconstruction of the old mansion. However numerous reconstructions of former years led the manor-house in such state that new reconstructions became impossible. The building decayed and Sheremetev ordered to demolish it. His wifes death hampered laying new mansions, and then works in the House of retirement began. From that time building Kusovsky palace began.

The ensemble consists of the palace with a church and regular park. The palace, an extensive building, the façade of which faces the mirror of the pond, was erected in 1769-1775. The regular park, which was one of the biggest in Russia of XVIII century, sides with the palace a. The park was decorated by decorative sculptures, traditional for that time: protectors of beauty and art Venus and Apollo, figures, symbolizing countries of the word and numerous park constructions. In the park there are three theaters: Old, New and Green or Air, arranged in open air. Neatly pollarded shrubberies served as walls of its auditorium, trees as wings, an alley of secular trees led to the theater.

In 1812 when Moscow was occupied with Frenchmen, Kuskovo suffered very much. After proscription of Frenchmen in 1813-1815 in Kuskovo a repair was made, however original exterior of its buildings wasnt reconstructed both because of explicit costs, and because tastes changed. Later Kuskovo fell into decay.

In 1919 estate Kuskovo became the museum of regional. In 30-s original designs of XVIII century, however it took years of labor in order to understand them. In 1932 new history of Kuskovo museum began. On the territory of former the Sheremetevs estate the architectural and artistic reserve was combined with the museum of applied art, and proper A. V. Morozovs proper collection, numbering about 3000 chinaware of XVIII century, underlied the State museum of China.

Restoration and exposition works in Kuskovo were finished at the beginning of the Great Patriotic war; difference between outer and inner temperature has destroyed former durability. But in spite of all difficulties the museum life as usual.

In 1943 restoration works were continued. Works in restoration of silk upholstery of walls began. Searches of items, shifted from Kuskovo in other Sheremetevs palaces during family arrangements of the end of XIX century, have been continued till now. As before works similar to lost ones have been bought. So, Catherines woven portrait in hall of Kuskovo was perished, but the researches managed to find and buy for the museum the second copy, made by the same author Phirsov.


Country great princes, later tsars estate is famous since XIV century. Here Basil III, Ivan Grozniy, tsar Alexei Mikhailovitch. By one of versions, Peter I was born in Kolomenskoe, here he spent his childhood. In the estate oaks of 600-800 years old grow; like in XVII century, it is encircled with apple gardens. In Kolomenskoe in 1667-1671 tsar Alexei Mikhailovitch built a huge wooden palace, which was called by contemporaries the eight world wonder.

In the park in the middle of XX century contours of the palace were displayed by planting rows of acacia. Church of Ascension, 1532, is the most famous construction of the estate. It was built by Basil III in memory of the heirs birth. It is the earliest and wonderful hip temple of Russia. From the wide gallery of the temple Kurjanovskaya flood-lands of the Moskva-river and from the left, nearer the skyline, cupolas of the cathedral of Nicola-Perervinsky monastery are seen.

The palace was demolished under Catherine II, its model has been kept in the museum exposition of Kolomenskoe. The front gates of the estate with a chapel above them were erected in 1670-s; ring of the chimes will be accompanying during your visiting of Kolomenskoe. With the gates mandative chambers museum at present. On the high bank, a little classical outhouse of 1825 was kept. This is all what was kept from the emperors palace by architecture E. Turin. If you want to become absorbed in the past, come here. You are welcome here.

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