Lyublino

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.