Situated in Kuzminki Park, which is immediately east of Lyublinsky Park, is the Kuzminki Estate which is also known as the Vlakhernskoe-Kuzminki Estate. The origins of the Kuzminki Estate go back to 1702 when the Kuzminskaya Mill was acquired by the Stroganov dynasty. In 1757 the estate passed to the Golitsyns as part of Anna Stroganova's dowry when she married Prince Mikhail Golitsyn. It is during the time of Mikhail Golitysn that the land was first developed as an estate and a system of ponds was created. However it was Mikhail and Anna's son Sergey Golitsyn who was responsible for the formation of the estate in its present form and it was under Sergey Golitsyn that the Estate was visited by members of the imperial family.
In 1916 the Estate House, which was being used as a military hospital, burned to the ground along with many pieces of antique furniture, paintings and engravings and In 1917 the estate was nationalised and subsequently used by a veterinary research institute. In 1999 the estate was reorganised at the Museum of Estate Culture, a branch of the Museum of Moscow Museum Association and in 2001 the veterinary institute vacated the territory. Although it is possible to walk from Kuzminki or Volzhsky metro stations, the best option is to get bus No. 29 or minibus No. 429M to the last stop which is 'Park Kuzminki'. There is free admission to the museum on the third Sunday of the month.
Our Lady of Blachernae Church
Today the first sight that greets you as you walk towards the estate is the Our Lady of Blachernae Church. The first church to stand here was built out of wood in the early 18th century to house a copy of the Our Lady of Blachernae Icon which was given to the Stroganovs by Tsar Alexis. The construction of the current classical-style stone version of the church was started by the Golitsyns in 1759 but was only completely finished in 1787 after the architect Rodion Kazakov took over the project. In 1929 the church was closed and its copy of the icon was transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery. The church was only returned to the Orthodox Church and restored in the 1990s. Opposite to the church is an obelisk in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the estate and behind this is a small stone banya.
Vladimir Lenin Monument
Past the church is what appears to be the main estate house. However this grand building was in fact built in the 1930s by the veterinary institute on the site of the old estate house, which was destroyed by fire in 1916. Standing in front of the buildings is a Vladimir Lenin Monument. Lenin visited the estate in 1894 when he was living nearby.
The Museum of Estate Culture's main exhibits are located in two building on the estate. The first of these is the Servants Wing which is located to the east of the main building. The building holds two permanent exhibitions on the Golitsyn dynasty and one on 19th century home education. In addition to these two permanent exhibitions, the wing also holds various temporary exhibitions.
To the west of the main house is a small house on a dam in between the upper and lower ponds. Beyond this is a reconstruction of a grand semi-circular bird house which was destroyed in 1812 during Napoleon's invasion of Moscow. The museum's second exhibition hall is located south of this in the Riding Court complex, which is the most famous historical sight in the estate. The court and pavilion were first built in 1805 but reconstructed in 1823 by the Swiss architect Domenico Gilardi. The centre of the complex has two large statues of men with horses rearing up on their hind legs. Inside are three permanent exhibits: one on the Riding Court itself, one on 19th transport systems in Russian and one on 19th century horse-drawn carriages. Various temporary exhibits are also held here from time to time.
|Metro||Kuzminki, Volzhsky, Ryazansky Prospekt|
|Clock||10:00 - 18:00 (Thursdays 13:00 - 21:00 in summer). Closed on Mondays and the last Friday of the month.|