Arkhangelskoye

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.