Estates

This suburban estate of industrialist Savva Mamontov has played a very important role in Russian culture. The estate on the bank of River Vorya fell into Mamontov's hands in 1870. Before that, the estate was owned by writer and public figure Sergey Aksakov, who loved to host guests, which included men of letters Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Tyutchev, Ivan Turgenev, and many other well-known figures. Mamontov had bought the estate from the writer's daughter, and began an active transformation of the land. After organizing their own life, Mamontov and his wife began to rebuild the lives of nearby peasants, and established a hospital and a school next to the estate. Mamontov was a patron and a friend of many Russian artists and architects.

Prominent Russian artists Ilya Repin, Vasily Polenov, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, and Mikhail Vrubel began to regularly visit Abramtsevo and stay here as guests. Elizaveta Mamontova had opened a woodworking and ceramic studios for the guests. The artists took active part in the development of the estate park. Architect Pavel Samarin, using the sketches by Polenov and Viktor Vasnetsov, had built the famous Church of the Holy Mandylion, and Vasnetsov also designed the wooden "Hut on Stilts" – both of these buildings are the essential examples of Russian Art Nouveau. Ceramic tiles produced in the studio under Vrubel's management can be found throughout the estate, and Vrubel's majolica was used to decorate the famous bench that was built by the artist on the riverbank.

The estate's creative life, which had played an essential role in shaping the "neo-Russian style," had continued until the revolution of 1917, when it was nationalized and turned into the museum.
Valery Sharifulin/TASS
This colossal estate, the pride of the Moscow Oblast (Moscow Region), is a must-see of any tourist program for visiting foreigners. The palace-and-park ensemble, established in the late 18th century by Nikolai Golitsyn, remained in the process of constant reconstruction until the very end of the 19th century. Each new owner would add something to the complex. After the estate was pillaged by the French in 1812 and survived a big fire of 1820, several architects, including Joseph Bové, were invited to restore it.

Whoever owned Arkhangelskoye at the time, the estate was never short of interesting guests. The hospitable Golitsyn and Yusupov families, as well as other notable owners, would host Alexander Pushkin, Nikolay Karamzin, Pyotr Vyazemsky, Nikolay Ogarev, Alexander Herzen, Alexandre Benois, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, and Igor Stravinsky, along with several generations of the Russian emperors — Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III, and Nicholas II.

After the revolution, the estate was turned into a history and art museum. In the 1930s, a military clinical sanatorium was organized here, and between 1945 and the 1990s, it housed the facilities of the CSKA sports club.

If you come to Arkhangelskoye, make sure to visit the Grand Palace, the Church of Archangel Michael (built in the 1660s, it is the estate's most ancient structure, hidden in the woods), the Yusupov family vault, also known as the Colonnade mausoleum, the Caprice Small Palace, Gonzaga theatre, and the Saint Gates.

A detailed map of the estate and relevant literature can be found at the estate ticket offices or at the nearby souvenir shops. Make sure to visit the estate's website before your trip to Arkhangelskoye to find out about upcoming exhibitions, concerts and festivals, which regularly take place here.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Here, the few remains of an elegant estate are spread around a beautiful park, so the walk should be quite exciting. Once upon a time, here stood a large country house, owned by Nikolai Volkonsky, who fought at Austerlitz and was captured by Napoleon. In preparation for the war with the French, a huge hot air balloon was built on the estate territory for the purposes of bombing the enemy forces. The project never got off the ground, and the estate was burned out during the 1812 Fire of Moscow. Soon after the war, the estate was restored along with many Moscow buildings, but in Soviet times it was destroyed once again. Today, the only reminder of the main house is the elegant entrance gate with a guard tower supposedly designed by either Matvey Kazakov or Vasily Bazhenov. To the right of the gates, in one of the park corners is the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, first mentioned in the documents in 1807. Further into the park one can find two restored buildings of the estate, which today house the park's management.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Remains of this little cozy estate are located near the Terletsky Park on the outskirts of Moscow. The lands here were by turns owned by the noblest of Russia's aristocratic families – Sheremetev, Golitsyn, and Stolypin. In the early 18th century, Princess Anastasia Golitsyna had built a small village church here, the Church of the Holy Image of the Saviour, which reminded her of another temple located at her father's estate. The church is still standing, and, unlike other estate buildings, is in good condition.

In the mid-19th century, the lands, along with remains of the manor and the church, were purchased by merchant Alexander Torletsky, a true European by nature and education, who was preoccupied with the refinement of Russian lands. Under Torletsky, a large oakery was planted here, and the ponds were cleared. The water in the five ponds became so clean and clear, that the owners of nearby estates flocked to Gireyevo for advice. In the center of all this abundance, Torletsky had built a modest house, but very little remains of it today. Nonetheless, the estate complex with its ponds and a park is a monument to the garden art of the 18th century, and is protected by the state.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This Empire-style estate was built on the high bank of Yauza River by architect Rodion Kazakov in the second half of the 18th century for the Stroganov family of merchants and industrialists, which owned the adjacent lands.

In the first half of the 19th century, the lands ended up in the hands of another family of Moscow barons, the Alexeyevs. The Alexeyev family had added a second floor to the house and somewhat upgraded it. Nobody has ever lived here year-round, the house was a true dacha, summer estate, and to this day it looks somewhat frivolously.

In the 19th century, the owners had planted a park around the house, but today the park is in a state of decay, and a part of it was actually cut down several years ago to make space for the new kindergarten building. The main house of the estate is home to the Moscow Institute of Television and Radio Broadcasting "Ostankino", but one can still take a look from the outside.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
The palace and the nearby park were designed in the early 1770s for Empress Catherine the Great by a trio of great architects: Antonio Rinaldi, Karl Blank and Giacomo Quarenghi. The palace took 25 years to complete: it was reconstructed several times, interiors and facades underwent several transformations, and the Empress herself never had a chance to enjoy it. After Catherine's death, her son, Emperor Paul I announced that he disliked this place altogether, and turned the palace, which was a part of his inheritance, into military barracks. In 1812, Napoleon's army completed the palace's destruction.

At the end of 1830s, another great architect, Joseph Bové, set out to renovate the palace. After his work was completed, the palace was turned over to the military. At first it housed Moscow's cadet corps, later – the Alexeyevsky Military School, and in the Soviet times it was given over to the Military Academy of Armoured Troops. The palace park is now called Lefortovsky Park, and it is a quiet place for solitude, with lots of footpaths and a beautiful grotto.
From the mid-18th century and for the next 100 years, the estate was home to the noble Trubetskoy family. In 1750, Ekaterina Trubetskaya had built an elegant Elizabethan Baroque-style church here, and 30 years later, Prince Dmitry Trubetskoy had commissioned the construction of the main Neoclassical mansion with an attic. Later, a system of ponds was also dug around the estate.

It is believed that Catherine the Great was a guest of this house on her way back to Saint Petersburg after the six-month trip to the Crimea. In the later years, the estate saw a lot of interesting guests. The parents of Leo Tolstoy, whose mother came from the Trubetskoy family, celebrated their wedding here, and the house was visited by poets Fyodor Tyutchev and Pyotr Vyazemsky.

After the revolution of 1917, the main house was turned over to the worker's cooperative, and later the estate became a state farm (with stables and a cattle yard). In the 1930s, the estate was given to the Agriculture School with gardens and farms, and in 1959, the Scientific Research Institute of Veterinary Virusology and Microbiology became its primary resident. Right now, the house is in critical condition and off limits to visitors, but you can still take a look from the outside.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This is the former family nest of the Romanov boyar family, built in the 16th century, during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. In the days of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, the estate was surrounded by water from the dammed river Serebryanka, and became popularly known as Izmaylovsky Island. The central building was the Monarchic court, and next to it stood the Temple of Protection of the Mother of God at Izmaylovo and the Church of Tsarevich Ioasaph, which was demolished in 1936.

Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich hunted in the local woods, and his wife Natalya Naryshkina had organized one of Russia's first home theatres here. Their son, future Emperor Peter the Great, after discovering his grandfather's English small boat in a barn, used it to establish the Russian fleet.

The estate's glass factory made dishware, while Izmaylovo greenhouses were used to grow foreign flowers and fruit. After the capital was moved to Petersburg, the palace stood in half-desolation until the early 19th century, and in 1812 it suffered further damage from Napoleon's army. After the island was reconstructed, its greater part was given over to Izmaylovo Nikolayevskaya military asylum designed by architects Mikhail Bykovsky and Konstantin Ton.

After the revolution of 1917, the island's grandeur had faded: the church was taken apart, the temple was plundered, and the splendid imperial estate was replaced with a workers' settlement. If you visit Izmaylovsky Island today, you can see the Temple of Protection, which was given back to the church and refurnished, a bridge tower, which houses a museum, and the 17th century fortress walls, the front and back gates of the Monarchic court, asylum buildings from the 19th century, and cast-iron arch and a fountain from the era of Tsar Nicholas I. The island hosts public and church celebrations, and during the organized tours of the state visitors can learn about pre-revolutionary life.
This is the estate of the Vorontsov and Dashkin families, located on a hill above River Bykovka. Both the estate manor, designed in the 19th century by the Swiss architect Bernard de Simone after the manner of English estates, and the adjacent park with rotondas and the famous pseudo-Gothic church, supposedly built by Vasily Bazhenov, remind the visitors of some Northern European estate, not a suburban Moscow one.

Ivan Dashkin, who owned the estate in the second half of the 19th century, was a prominent land-owner, and Bykovo was not his permanent place of residence. In Soviet times, the building housed a kindergarten for the children of Red Army officers, and later a tuberculosis clinic. Today the mansion is closed and off limits to the visitors. Despite this, Bykovo, with its park and church, is one of the region's most popular estates.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This is the family estate of Count Sheremetev family, and first information about this place dates back to the late 16th century. With years, the territory of the estate grew, the Sheremetev family got wealthier, and by the mid-18th century they had built a grand Neoclassical palace, annexes for the guests, summer pavilions for fresh-air entertainment, and a regular park with marble statues and cascade of ponds.

Construction was overseen by Sheremetev's serf architects Fyodor Argunov and Alexey Mironov. Kuskovo is a rarity in Russia, as it remained in the same hands for 300 years, all the way to the revolution of 1917. The Soviet authorities also took care of the Sheremetevs' wealth. In 1919, while other estates were used for the opening of sanatoriums and labs, and their contents disappeared without a trace, a museum was opened in Kuskovo, and it continues to operate to this day.
This estate in northern Moscow had belonged in the 17th century to the military governor Gavrila Pushkin, the ancestor of the great poet Alexander Pushkin. Its next owner was a courtier Alexander Glebov, and at the turn of the 19th century, the estate was passed to the family of Count von Benckendorff. Each new owner would add something to Vinogrado, and then would pass it on as legacy.

In the times of the Pushkin family, the estate acquired its Long ponds that were dug out for fish cultivation. Under Glebov, the estate got its main house and church in the Neoclassical style, and the elegant regular park was planted around the house. The park was regularly visited by the great historian Nikolay Karamzin, and poets Gavrila Derzhavin and Ivan Krylov. In the mid-19th century, the house had a large library with valuable books, including some autographs by Pushkin. Later, the von Benckendorff family had sold the house with all of its belongings to merchant Mikhail Buchumov, who had used the area to build a summer cottage settlement.

The remaining buildings of the estate had appeared in Vinogradovo not long before the revolution of 1917. The owners, Emma Banza and Robert German, had built a beautiful Neoclassical wooden house and a small imitation Baroque structure with a gazebo, which was nicknamed the "German's house." Today Vinogradovo is home to the children's cardiology sanatorium, and since it still looks pretty much like it did a hundred years ago, the estate and its park are often filmed for the movies.
This was the suburban estate of Governor-General Fyodor Rostopchin, and the Russian nobleman had ruthlessly torched it himself in September of 1812, as the French rolled into Moscow. It is believed that this has long been a location for noble estates. Back in the 16th century, it was home to the Volynsky noble family, and later – to their descendants, the Vorontsov family. Alexander Pushkin's godfather, Count Artemy Vorontsov had commissioned the great architect Nikolay Lvov to build a three-storey palace with eight-column portico, but soon found himself bankrupt and was forced to sell the house to Rostopchin.

After the 1812 Fire of Moscow, the house was restored, and its next owners, the Sheremetev family, had changed it significantly, making the palace at Voronovo one of the most spectacular sururban estates, even though the new owners only lived here in the summer. The estate church was one of the few in Russia to continue its services in Soviet times, and its interior decoration has survived to this day practically unchanged. Today Voronovo estate is home to the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This well-preserved early 19th century city estate had belonged to a well-born Moscow bachelor Nikolay Durasov. Durasov was rich and had a propensity to hedonism, and so he had built a singularly beautiful Neoclassical palace above a pond, and used it to throw great parties for his friends, who were also rich and leisured. The Russian memoir writer Andrei Dmitriev once wrote about Durasov: "He lived in his Lyublino like a despot, always had sterlet in the fish nurseries and pineapples in the greenhouses. He was, before the era of the French, which had changed everything, an indispensable figurehead of society with its needs and wants."

To this day, the palace attracts a lot of tourists and tour visitors. It is believed that the building is one of the numerous replicas of the famous Villa La Rotonda at Vicenza, the best-known work of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. Nobody knows for sure the name of the Durasov palace architect. In addition to the palace itself, which stood in the centre of the estate, there was a serf theatre, greenhouses with exotic plants, and an enviable stable yard. Afther Durasov's death, his relatives sold the house to some uncaring people who destroyed the wonderful greenhouses.

In the early 20th century, summer houses were built on the shores of the estate pond, but soon they were also demolished. In Soviet times, the estate was home to a school, a police station, some residential buildings, and even the Institute of Ocean Science. Today there is a museum, which illustrates the life of a rich and fun-loving Moscow nobleman in the early 19th century.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This grand estate at Vorobyovy Gory had belonged to a number of owners, such as the Governor-General of Moscow Vasily Dolgorukov-Krymsky, the statesman and patron of the arts Nikolay Yusupov, and the nobleman Matvey Dmitriev-Mamonov, in whose honour it was finally called. The lands of the estate had always belonged either to the Tsar's family or to its confidants, and this history is visible in the exteriors of the Mamonov Dacha.

The building's contemporary look dates back to the 1820s, when it was owned by Yusupov. They say that architect Joseph Bové was responsible for the exteriors of estate buildings, but no solid proof of that has been found. The estate's last owner Matvey Dmitriev-Mamonov spent 30 years here under house arrest after he had refused to swear fealty to Nicholas I in 1825.

In Soviet times, the estate had seen a lot of tenants, such as the Central Museum of Ethnography (adjacent park was used for exhibiting yourts and other dwellings of the many nations that made up the USSR), the Institute of Chemical Physics, and the Institute of Physics Problems. The scientists reside here to this day, and the only way to get inside the building is with a tour group. Details are available by phone from the management of the Gorky Park.
This estate at Pakhra River was established in the 18th century by General Mikhail Krechetnikov. Krechetnikov was childless, and after his death, the estate with the two-storey house with an attic and a park was given to Maria Bakhmetyeva, a favourite of Count Alexey Orlov-Chesmensky.

After Bakhmetyeva, the house was occupied by her nephew Sergei Sheremetev. In the mid-19th century, he had erected new buildings to house the family library and picture gallery.

In 1918, the Sheremetev family had abandoned the estate, and Mikhailovskoye was nationalized. It first housed the museum of the nobleman way of life, then a sanatorium for the members of the Society of Former Political Convicts, and later still, the sanatorium of the Soviet Ministry of Coal Production. Today the estate is in the state of decay, and only picturesque ruins remain of the house.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Once upon a time, this was the suburban Moscow estate of the noble Panin family. One of the estate's earliest owners, Count Nikita Panin, began the construction of imitation Gothic mansion, but left for the Smolensk Province without completing it.

In the early 19th century, the house passed into the hands of industrialist Dmitry Grachev, who had refashioned the estate into a factory. The factory produced woolen cloth and cotton chintz, the estate grew, and a man by the name of Vasily Iokish was hired to manage it. Years later, he bought the estate from Grachev, and built himself a new house, which was similar in style to the other local buildings.

Interestingly enough, the production of woolen cloth had continued here even after the revolution of 1917, but this time it was managed by the state, not by the Grachev family. There are brick buildings and annexes on the territory of estate, and five beautiful ponds, named Golovinskiye and Mikhalkovskiye.
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This notable mansion stands on Petrovka Ulitsa (Petrovka Street). It was built in 1793 by the great Russian architect Matvey Kazakov for Mikhail Gubin, a prominent industrialist from the Urals. The massive three-storey building, a stellar example of Moscow Neoclassical style, had suffered from the fires of 1812 along with the greater majority of city buildings, but it was carefully restored soon after the war.

After the restoration, Gubin's heirs rented the house out to different educational institutions. A beautiful garden was planted around the estate, and a long pond was dug.

In 1920, the Institute of Physical Therapy and Orthopedics had moved in here, and later the building was occupied by various hospital departments. The interior decorations had decayed, but in the late 20th century the building underwent a full restoration, and today some of the original interiors and ceiling paintings are visible once again. The mansion is now home to the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and is open to the visitors.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This Neoclassical palace was built in 1790s-1800s, and belonged to Count Alexei Musin-Pushkin. It was rumored that the magnificent three-storey house on the bank of Chechora River, the tributary of Yauza River, was built by architect Matvey Kazakov.

The house's owner was an educated man and a patron of the arts, and the estate housed a large library and collection of paintings, both of which did not survive the 1812 Fire of Moscow.

After Musin-Pushkin's death, the house fell into the hands of municipal authorities, and Moscow's 2nd Grammar School was opened here. After the revolution of 1917, the Soviet authorities decided to expand the mansion and added another floor, which had a negative effect on the overall look of the building. At first, it housed a military hospital, and later a number of educational institutions. Today it is home to the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering.
One of the grandest suburban Moscow estates is now located within the city limits, in New Moscow. From the late 18th century to the late 19th century, the estate was owned by the princely family of Vyazemsky, and after that it passed into the hands of Count Sheremetev family.

The large stately Neoclassical house was built in 1807 on the shore of the pond. Andrey Vyazemsky had invited his son-in-law Nikolay Karamzin to settle at Ostafyevo. In April 1807, after his father's death, the estate passed on to Pyotr Vyazemsky, who often hosted such guests as Alexander Pushkin, Vasily Zhukovsky, Konstantin Batyushkov, Denis Davydov, Alexander Griboyedov, Nikolai Gogol, and Adam Mickiewicz.

By the end of the 19th century, the Vyazemsky family knew very well that their estate is an important historical place, and the rooms of Pushkin and Karamzin were kept exactly as the famous guests had seen them. Count Sergei Sheremetev, who became the estate's next owner, also took care of the house's cultural heritage, and even installed several monuments to the members of the Vyazemsky family, as well as to Pushkin and Zhukovsky, around the house.

This idyll came to an abrupt end with the revolution of 1917. The estate was nationalized, the Soviet authorities had opened a museum, which was headed by the great-grandson of poet Pyotr Vyazemsky, Pavel Sheremetev. Later, there was a Young Pioneers' camp, and a sanatorium for Soviet bureaucrats, and in the 1980s, the estate was once again given a status of the museum.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
The magnificent Neo-Gothic palace at Leningradsky Prospect was designed by the great Russian architect Matvey Kazakov. The palace was built at the end of the 18th century on orders from Empress Catherine the Great in honour of the victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. It was assumed that the noble persons of distinction, who were traveling from Petersburg to Moscow, would want to rest here after the arduous road, and to change their clothes before continuing into the city.

Catherine herself had only stopped here once, in 1787, seven years after construction was completed. Legend says that on that night the Empress had sent her guards and retinue fleeing, announcing that the people would guard her. This led to an awful stampede and almost ended tragically. The beautiful park with mighty trees had appeared around the palace a century later, at the end of the 19th century. Napoleon resided here, watching Moscow burn, and they say that the fire was so strong, that some of his hair was singed. Napoleon's stay in the Petroff Palace was passingly mentioned in Alexander Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin.

Today the palace is managed by Moscow municipal authorities and houses a restaurant, a sauna, a swimming pool, and a small hotel. One of the palace's halls hosts regular concerts of classical music. To have a close look at the building, you can sign up for a tour organized by the Museum of Moscow. Detailed information about the tours is available at the official website.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This magnificent estate in northern Moscow had at different times belonged to the boyar families of Shuysky and Naryshkin, and later – to Count Kirill Razumovsky, who completed construction of the expressive palace-and-park ensemble in the 18th century. Later, the estate fell into the hands of Prince Yuri Dolgorukov, and then was bought by Prince Gorchakov. Years later, the lands with the mansion and the park were purchased by the prominent Moscow pharmacist Pavel von Schultz.

The new owner bequeathed the lands "for the foundation of the Institute of Agriculture, a farm and other agricultural establishments," and in 1865, Petrovskaya Agriculture and Forestry Academy was opened here. Today it is called Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy. Architect Nicholas Benois, who designed Peterhof, was commissioned to design a complex of buildings for the students of the Academy.
This estate on the Likova River bank, which was built in 1810 by Count Alexei Musin-Pushkin and his enterprising wife Ekaterina, is one of the best-preserved Russian noble estates.

The two-storey wooden house with Ionic porticos and a gazebo, and the linden-tree park attracted a lot of guests. Numerous relatives and guests of Musin-Pushkin's wife came from the neighbouring estates of Yasenevo and Ostafyevo. The guests were entertained with the performances of the serf theater, along with lots of dancing and charades. Their son, Decembrist Vladimir Musin-Pushkin, would invite his friends Alexander Pushkin and Yevgeny Baratynsky to the estate.

In 1856, Musin-Pushkin went bankrupt and was forced to sell his family estate. Following that, the estate was never kept by any one owner for long. In 1920, after the revolution, Valuyevo was nationalized and became home to the sanatorium of the Glavmosstroy construction company. The sanatorium can be found here to this day, and thanks to this fact, the estate is in mint condition.

The Soviet-time War and Peace movie was one of the many films to have been shot here.
This is the estate of the noble Naryshkin family located on the territory of contemporary Filyovsky Park. The estate belonged to the Naryshkin family since 1690. The existing main house of the estate was built in the second half of the 19th century in the Neoclassical style.

Embellished with elegant wall piers, the house was surrounded with replicas of ancient Greek and Roman statues, and looked both stately and austere. For 175 years, while the Naryshkins resided here, Kuntsevo would regularly host important guests, from Catherine the Great and the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm II, who came to Russia to celebrate the birth of his grandson, the future Emperor Alexander II, to Alexander II himself, who came here with his wife.

In 1865, the estate was passed from the Naryshkin family to the industrialist and patron of the arts Kozma Soldatenkov, whose presence here also attracted interesting guests, such as the writer Leo Tolstoy, painters Alexei Savrasov and Mikhail Vrubel, and composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The Soviet authorities took care of the Naryshkin legacy, and the house was guarded closely.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This estate is located in northern Moscow. The majestic two-storey house was built in the early 18th century for the future Governor of Moscow Kirill Naryshkin. It was also then that the Temple of the Life-Giving Trinity and a malthouse had appeared nearby, but Naryshkin did not use any of these for long. In 1710, after the Battle of Poltava, Naryshkin had left for Saint Petersburg, where he was appointed the city's first governor, and he took all of his people with him. The freed land was used by Naryshkin to settle the prisoner Swedes and some workers.

This estate has deep ties with Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov. In 1825, Serednikovo Estate, which had its share of owners, was purchased by Major-General Dmitry Stolypin, Lermontov's grand-uncle. It was here that the young Lermontov first fell in love, and here that he wrote many of his early poems.

In 1855, the estate was owned by Arkady Stolypin, and another young man who proved to be very important to Russia, the future statesman Pyotr Stolypin, had spent many of his school vacations here. In 1869, the estate was purchased by merchant Ivan Firsanov. His daughter Vera was often visited by opera singer Feodor Chaliapin, composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, artist Valentin Serov, and architect Konstantin Yuon, who even purchased a part of Firsanova's estate to build his studio here.

After the revolution of 1917, the estate was nationalized and was moved between different ministries and government agencies. For a while it even housed a sanatorium for nervous diseases and a sanatorium for people with tuberculosis. Today the estate is overseen by the Lermontov Legacy foundation. The Neoclassical house with a gazebo, the stables and the manege, the annexes and the Temple of Saint Alexey, along with the strikingly beautiful park are often filmed for the period dramas.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This estate dates its history back to the first half of the 17th century. It acquired its contemporary look at the end of the 19th century, after it was purchased by Prince Pyotr Trubetskoy. He had rebuilt the old mansion in Neoclassical style and planted a larch-tree alley. Walking around the estate, it is easy to imagine yourself far away from the city, as you are surrounded by the austere Neoclassical mansion, an alley of larch-trees, some dreamy ponds, lots of birch-trees and the quiet Temple of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, which dates back to the early 18th century.

After the revolution of 1917, the Trubetskoy family had left Russia, and in the early 1920s their estate was given to the commission tasked with improving the living conditions of Soviet scientists. Since 1937, the Uzkoye Estate has been under supervision of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and to this day it houses the Academy's sanatorium, which is why the building is closed to the visitors.

The estate is famous for the fact that the great Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov, who was a regular guest of the Trubetskoy family, died here. The great physicist Lev Landau had skied down the local hills, and the great mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov swam in the local ponds.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
One of Moscow's best known buildings was commissioned at the very end of the 18th century by retired Major Ivan Baryshnikov. It was built by the famous architect Matvey Kazakov, and miraculously enough the palace survived the 1812 Fire of Moscow, even though it could not escape the pillaging by Napoleon's soldiers. The owner had to put a lot of time, money and effort to restore the building to its original look.

In the 1820s, the estate was passed to Baryshnikov's son-in-law, Colonel Stepan Begichev, who, together with his wife, had turned the mansion into the center of Moscow's fashionable life. Among its regular guests were such men of letters as Vladimir Odoyevsky, Denis Davydov, and Wilhelm Küchelbecker, and there were constant balls and celebrations. The mansion's owner was a close friend of Alexander Griboyedov, who had lived here while working on his Woe from Wit comedy.

In the second half of the 19th century, the building ended up in the hands of the government, and a hospital for the poor working class was opened here. In the 20th century, the hospital's place was taken up by the Institute of Sanitary Education of the People's Commissariat for Health. At the end of last century, the building was given to the editorial offices of the Arguments and Facts newspaper.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This estate stands in the center of Moscow, and was supposedly built by Rodion Kazakov, a student of the great Russian architect Matvey Kazakov. The estate consists of the main house, two annexes, a church, and outbuildings. The house was adjoined by a well-kept garden, which stood behind a wrought-iron fence, one of Moscow's finest. The estate belonged to the industrialist Ivan Batashev, the owner of factories in Tula and Lipetsk. In September 1812, Napoleon's marshal Joachim Murat had stopped at the estate for a couple of days, but soon after that Moscow was swept by fire, which left a heavy mark on the estate's interiors.

After the restoration, the palace was given to Batashev's granddaughter Darya, who was the wife of Dmitry Shepelev, Lieutenant-General of the Imperial army. The family was known for its hospitality, and dinner parties, the talk of Moscow, were regularly organized here. In 1825, all of the house's tenants moved out to make room for William George Spencer Cavendish, Prince of Devonshire, who came to Russia for the coronation of Nicholas I. After that, the estate was owned by the Golitsyn family, and in the late 19th century it ended up in the ownership of Moscow municipal authorities, which organized the Yauza Hospital for the Labourers here.

After the revolution of 1917, the hospital was renamed into Santrud Clinic. It was in this hospital that penicillin was used for the first time in Soviet Union during World War II. Today the estate is home to the City Clinical Hospital No. 23.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This large and beautiful palace at Ulitsa Bolshaya Ordynka (Bolshaya Ordynka Street) has had a number of appearances in film and on postcards. The house was built in the late 18th century. It was originally owned by a wealthy merchant by the name of Dolgov, and in the late 19th century it was bought by Nikolay Zhemochkin, who traded leather. Rumours had it that the house was built by the famous architect Vasily Bazhenov, who was married to Dolgov's daughter, but no solid evidence of this has been found, and researchers of Bazhenov's work say that the house looks nothing like his other buildings.

After the 1812 Fires of Moscow, the palace had to be restored and reconstructed, and that construction was overseen by another prominent architect Joseph Bové, who headed the commission on restoration of burned-out Moscow.

At the end of the 19th century, the estate was once again reconstructed, but the general public disliked the result. In 1875, a girls' high school had moved into the building, and almost a century later it became a home to the Institute of Latin America of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This grand Empire-style house with two annexes was first reconstructed after the 1812 Fire of Moscow. Throughout the 19th century, it had seen a succession of owners, each of whom would reconstruct it further to his or her liking. The building occupies the place of two houses, and this is reflected in its address, Ulitsa Goncharnaya (Goncharnaya Street), 14-16.

Merchant Pyotr Moloshnikov, one of the house's owners, had left a cipher with his initials PM on the building's frontispiece. The house’s last owner Maria Klapovskaya had left nothing except for her name.

In Soviet times, the estate was home to the House of Scientific Atheism, and after the break up of the Soviet Union it was given to the Center of Cultural Heritage. The estate is open to visitors only twice a year, on April 18 (Day of Monument Conservation) and May 18 (Museum Day), when many of Moscow's palaces and estates are opened for the general public.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This city manor was built by Cornetcy Pavel Okhotnikov in 1820. The Neoclassical house with its portico, columns and a frontispiece with base reliefs was a favourite with Moscow residents, who considered the estate an embellishment of the Ulitsa Prechistenka (Prechistenka Street). Artist Eugene Lanceray, who created the stage sets for the production of Griboyedov's Woe from Wit comedy at the Maly Theatre, had used the manor's interiors for inspiration.

At the end of the 19th century, the estate was home to the famous Polivanov Grammar School. Poet Valery Bryusov, who studied here, wrote in his memoirs, "Although there were many more aristocratic names on the rosters of Polivanov's school, I have never heard anyone boast of his ancestry."

Two years before the revolution of 1917, the estate ended up in the hands of the well-known patron of the arts Vera Firsanova, the owner of Serednikovo Estate. Firsanova commissioned the building's reconstruction, transformed the interiors and changed some of the elements of the facade. Unfortunately, she did not have long to enjoy her new home – right after the revolution, Vera Firsanova, who gifted the city with Sanduny bathhouse and Petrovsky Passage shopping center, was forced to move to a single room in the communal flat, which used to belong to her. The building was given to the Academy of Arts, and later it became the residence of the Children's Art School No. 1, one of the city's best, and the Children's Muradeli School of Music.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This grand mansion stands in the center of Moscow, at the corner of Ulitsa Prechistenka (Prechistenka Street) and Pereulok Khrushchevsky (Khrushchevsky Lane). The Neoclassical building was commissioned by the retired Ensign Alexander Khrushchev, and construction was completed in 1816. The owner entrusted the construction to architects Afanasy Grigoryev and Domenico Gilardi, who actively worked on the restoration of Moscow palaces and estates after the 1812 Fire of Moscow. The family of Khrushchev was a part of Moscow's fashionable society, and they often organized receptions and balls, attended by prominent Muscovites. Historians say that poet Alexander Pushkin was most likely among the house's visitors.

In the second half of the 19th century, the city estate had passed into the hands of the Junior Captain Dmitry Seleznev, who knew very well what kind of treasure he had acquired, and took great care of the estate's interiors – the paintings, the floors, the marble walls, the fireplaces, and the furniture.

The estate was so elegant that after the revolution of 1917, when the building was nationalized, the Soviet authorities decided not to open some boring government office here. Instead, it was first made into Museum of Toys, then the building was given to the Literature Museum, and later it became the Museum of Alexander Pushkin, and remains as such to this day. The building often houses celebrations dedicated to the Russian estate life and nobility.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This elegant palace can be found in southern Moscow. Like many other Moscow palaces, it was envisioned and designed on orders from Empress Catherine the Great. Originally, the palace was supposed to be built by the court architect Vasily Bazhenov, but at the start of construction, the architect and the Empress had a disagreement, and the project was seized by another court architect Matvey Kazakov. Kazakov also failed to carry out the Empress' idea, and the never-ending construction project had gradually turned into picturesque ruins. The residents of neighbouring villages said that there were ghosts here, and disliked the place.

In 2005-07, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov commissioned reconstruction of the palace, and the building, which failed two great Russian architects, was completed. The remake originally drew the ire of Moscow residents, who believed that the new project had no relation neither to Bazhenov, nor to Kazakov. But they relented later, and today this palace-and-park complex is one of the most popular recreation spots in the southern part of the city.

Today the palace is home to the archeological museum, which exhibits everything that was found on the site during reconstruction. The palace is surrounded by a large park with ponds and forest zones, so it is worth a whole day's visit. You can study the landscapes and architecture, take a rest in the museum halls, or hunt butterflies on the green.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
Once upon a time this estate was located outside Moscow, and today it is a part of the city district of Cheryomushki. In the first half of the 18th century, the former village of Cheryomushki had belonged to Prince Fyodor Golitsyn. He was an important man at the court of Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great. So important was he, in fact, that once, the Empress even visited Golitsyn at Cheryomushki. This was written up in the court books: "[The Empress] wished to go to the village of Cheromoshi, to the major-general Prince Golitsyn, and was kindly disposed to dine there, getting back to the palace after the midnight."

After Golitsyn, the estate was owned by different industrialists who dreamt of building factories here. In the late 18th century, the land was given to the major-general Sergey Menshikov, the grandson of Alexander Menshikov, a close associate of Peter the Great. Under Menshikov, a Neoclassical palace was built at Cheryomushki, and a large park was laid out. Although the estate was beautiful, the owner had little interest in it, and visited the place rarely. There were rarely any guests at the house, which is why the contemporaries left no recollections of this place. In 1880, the house sold to the merchant Vasily Yakunchikov.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the estate underwent a top-to-buttom reconstruction overseen by architect Ivan Zholtovsky, who later became a prominent architect of the Stalin Empire style. Soon after the revolution of 1917, the house was given to the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics, which remains there to this day.
Alexander Zelikov / TASS
This is one of Moscow's few estates that had managed to remain in the hands of one family for 250 years. The Streshnev family had been close to the court once, and Eudoxia Streshneva was the mother of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich. The family had lived here happily for a long time. The owners organized menageries, laid out parks, constructed and reconstructed new houses. At the end of the 19th century, the estate's last owner Yevgeniya Shakhovskaya-Glebova-Streshneva undertook a top-to-bottom renovation of the estate. She envisioned it becoming something of a Medieval castle and commissioned architects Alexander Rezanov and Konstantin Tersky to bring her ideas to life. The architects came up with a strange design: huge towers painted to look like bricks were added to the wooden house, and annexes in pseudo-Russian style were built around the main building. The owner had divided the magnificent park, which surrounded the house, into three zones and sold entrance tickets. Those who wanted to swim in the ponds, fish, go mushroom hunting or simply walk through the woods could buy a special ticket, a different one for each zone. In the late 19th century, the area around the estate became a fashionable summer resort.

In Soviet times, the estate housed a sanatorium, and Russian revolutionary Inessa Armand underwent treatment here. Leader of the Russian revolution Vladimir Lenin paid visits to Armand during her stay at Pokrovskoye-Streshnevo. In recent years, the estate has been restored and put on the architectural landmark watch list. There are beavers and beaver-rats in local ponds, and you can take a tour through the historical buildings.
The first mention of the village, where this estate is located, dates back to the 17th century. The village's first owners was the boyar family of Morozov. The owner's wife, Feodosia Morozova, was made famous by the Boyarina Morozova painting by the prominent Russian painter Vasily Surikov. Morozov family has owned the place for almost all of the 17th century. After that, the estate belonged to the Gruszecki family of Polish nobility. Lieutenant-General Vasily Gruszecki had designed the layout of Alexandrovo estate, and put it on the map of notable places.

In 1779, the Dormitory Church was erected, the main house was built, and a linden-tree park with cascade of ponds was planted. During the war with Napoleon, the French army had pillaged Alexandrovo and its church, destroying many of the buildings. The estate had experienced another renaissance in the late 19th century, when it fell into the hands of merchant Ilya Shchapov. He had left Moscow for the village, where he married his housekeeper. Following the wedding, Shchapov had built a two-storey Russian style house, which was supposedly the first-ever design of the architect Fyodor Shekhtel, as well as a Sunday school for boys, a lace-making workshop, and a school of agriculture. The lace-making workshop was built next to the deep ravine, because lace production requires humidity and specific temperatures.

On his deathbed, Shchapov bequeathed the estate to the Ministry of State Property, so that the government could open a school of agriculture there. The school was opened, but not for long, as the new Soviet authorities had decided to correct the philanthropist's dream. During the Soviet times, the estate housed various organizations, which did have some connection with agriculture.
This stout estate in northern Moscow was built in the second half of the 18th century and reconstructed in the mid-19th century. The estate stands on the shore of the well-kept Altufyevsky pond, and in its center is the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, one of the very few in Moscow to be kept open all throughout the 20th century. The only time the church had closed its doors was in 1941, as the German troops were approaching Moscow, but after the advancing army was repelled, the church had resumed its service.

The main estate house was commissioned by its owner Nikolai Zherebtsov, who was both a man of letters and a government official. The house was designed in the pseudo-Russian style, and decorated with a large attic and a gazebo. If you go to Altufyevo, make sure to also visit the old-time brewery, which was established in the late 18th century, but later reconstructed. The estate is surrounded by a large park, which no longer receives a regular upkeep, but is beautiful nonetheless.
This is a small estate in north-western Moscow, located near the junction of Skhodnya and Bratovka rivers, in a picturesque area full of ravines. The mansion was built in the early 19th century by Ivan Rimsky-Korsakov, a royal minion of Catherine the Great. After the owner's death, the house passed on from one descendant to another until the revolution of 1917. After that, the beautiful estate hidden in the English landscape garden was given to a day-nursery, but just two years later, in 1919, a museum of gentry life was opened here, and in the 1920s, the estate was turned into a sanatorium.

In the 1930s, the estate-and-park ensemble was reconstructed in accordance with new needs. Throughout the Soviet era, it was occupied by various in-house sanatoriums – first of the Revolutionary Military Council, then of the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route, and later still it became the sanatorium for theatre stage workers. Today the only original buildings on the estate grounds are the two-storey Neoclassical house, a rotunda with columns, and a guest annex.
Nikolai Galkin / TASS
The historic manor at Bulvar Petrvosky (Petrvosky Boulevard) was built in the 1780s for Rostislav Tatishchev, the grandson of the famous Russian historian, and the residential buildings on both sides of the house used to be its annexes. The original manor building was the creation of the great architect and the patriarch of Moscow Neoclassical style Matvey Kazakov. Legend has it that Tatishchev received Emperor Paul I here, in the hall furnished with mirrors, which seemed like an amazing wonder back then.

From the Tatishchev family the manor was passed to the Vyazemsky family, but its most famous owners were the eccentric Catoire family, merchants from France, who sold tea, wines, and silks. In the 1860s, they bought the house and commissioned its reconstruction from architect Alexander Kaminsky, a prominent representative of the Moscow Eclecticism style. Between 1897 and 1904, the building housed the editorial offices of the Courier newspaper, which united left-wing men of letters. In the course of its short existence, the Courier published Maxim Gorky, Anton Chekhov, Ivan Bunin, and many other well-known writers. Leonid Andreyev, who served as the paper's court reporter, woke up famous one day, after the Courier published his short story "Bargamot and Garaska."