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Home> Destinations> Europe> Moscow> See> Parks and Gardens

Historic Parks

Updated: 2014-07-29 / (moscow.info)

[Photo from moscow.info]

Kuzminsky Park and Estate

Located in the south-east of Moscow, right next to the Ring Road, this once glorious nobleman's estate has certainly seen better days. However, there's still a certain desolate romance to the ruins and half ruins in the grounds, and the park also plays host to some interesting events on occasion.

From 1820 to 1917 this suburban Moscow estate was owned by the Princes Golitsyn. The estate was laid out at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, with various beautiful neoclassical buildings and a landscaped park.

The current Kuzminka Park occupies some 375 hectares, most of which is taken up by the estate. Some of the most important architects of the day were involved in the laying-out of the park, which is still a popular relaxation spot for Muscovites and visitors to the city, who enjoy its natural beauty as well as the various entertainments it offers.

The palace burned down in 1916, and only one wing survived. Next door is the Egyptian House (also known as the Egyptian Pavilion), designed by A.N. Voronikhina to reflect the influence of the monumental architecture of ancient Egypt - although it doesn't deviate much from the dominant Neoclassicism of the rest of the park. The Bath-House, gates, and iron fence with its lions also survived. Originally the Kuzminskaya estate had a large number of objects made out of iron, which were forged in a factory which also belonged to the Golitsyns.

The estate's Triumphal Gates are an exact copy of the iron palace gates at Pavlovsk, just outside St. Petersburg, as designed by Carlo Rossi. One of the park's finest features is the beautifully preserved Stable Yard with a pavilion decorated with sculptures of horses by Pyotr Klodt - again copies of the same architect's famous horses which adorn the Anichkov Bridge in St. Petersburg. In the center of the yard is a sculpture of Apollo and the muses.

Also of interest is the wooden Musical Pavilion, built by Domenico Giliardi to create as perfect an acoustic as possible so sound would carry throughout the park.

The park has also preserved two stone caves and two bridges from the 18th and early 19th centuries, as well as the Church of the Vlakhernskaya Icon of the Mother of God. The Church was built between 1759 and 1774, with funding from Prince M.M. Golitsyn. It was originally planned in baroque style, but ended up being classical. The church was reconsecrated in 1992.

Not far from the church is an annex of the Museum of the History of Moscow, opened for the capital's 850th anniversary.

Getting there: The main entrance to Kuzminsky Park is a 10-minute walk from Kuzminka Metro Station. The best way to get to the estate gates is by bus no. 29 or B from Ryazansky Prospekt Metro; it's about a 10-minute ride.

Opening hours for the Egyptian Pavilion:

  Daily from 11:00 to 17:00, closed on Tuesdays.


Uzkoe Park and Estate

This attractive and well-preserved park and estate are located in the farther suburbs of south-west Moscow - a long haul from the centre. Uzkoe was one of several properties bought by M.F. Streshnev, a relative of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich, following the end of Russia's wars with Poland in the early 17th century. After passing through several other owners' hands, Uzkoe was bought in 1890 by the Trubetskoy family, who built a new manor house here. It became a favorite meeting place for intellectuals and writers during the Silver Age of Russian literature. In Soviet times it was transformed into a sanatorium for the Academy of Sciences, and, bizarrely, rumour has it that part of Hitler's private library - seized after the fall of Berlin - was stored here in secret before being destroyed or dispersed in the mid-nineties. Almost all the buildings of the Trubetskoi estate have survived to this day with little alteration, making it one of the few aristocratic estates in Russia that can still give a realistic impression of how the Russian noble families lived. The Uzkoe Park is divided into two parts: the formal gardens and a landscaped park. Both were created at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. Features of interest include a natural spring, one of the very few in Moscow which provide drinkable water.

Getting there: by bus from Belyaevo Metro Station.


Lyublino Park

Lyublino Park is located in the south-east of Moscow, next door to Kusminsky Park. The two share a common water system and an oak forest.

The park's main historical attraction is the estate of N.A. Durasov, built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The manor house, theater and theater school, orangery and stables have survived to the present day.

Durasov had his house built in the shape of an English cross, to commemorate his acceptance of the cross of Saint Anne, First Class. He had a taste for the comfortable life, and during his lifetime Lyublino was home to a number of diversions, such as a holiday home for children of the nobility and a richly decorated theater to stage productions by peasant actors and musicians.

In 1917 a railway workers' club was established in the recently vacated manor house, and in 1937 a leisure park was opened to the public on the estate. The park took up 7 hectares, and the large lake was extremely popular. The park is home to the Green Theater, a veranda for dancing, an amusement arcade, funfair rides and other entertainments. Some of the interiors of the manor house have also survived.

Getting there: Volzhskaya Metro Station is located right next door to Lyublino.

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