Tsaritsyno

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.