►Moscow ►Day trips from Moscow ►Day trip to Abramtsevo
Among the beautiful forests of the Moscow Region, next to the River Vorya, is the Abramtsevo Estate (Абрамцево) which became a meeting point for some of the most outstanding members of the Russian cultural intelligentsia. At different times the estate was visited by Russian writers including Nikolai Gogol, Lev Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev. But more famously the estate became associated with the painters who worked here - Vasily Polenov, Viktor Vasnetsov, Ilya Repin, Valentin Serov, and Mikhail Vrubel.
|Distances||60km from Moscow|
|Total travel time||Just over 2½ hours return by train and 30 minutes walk there and back from the station|
|Accessibility for foreigners rating||4/5 - not the simplest place to find from the station, plus all museum exhibits are in Russian.|
Getting There and Back
The Abramtsevo Estate is located in 60km from Moscow and is connected with Moscow by railway. You need to walk quite a bit from the railway station to get the estate but the forest path is quite pretty.
Suburban trains (elektrichki) to Abramtsevo leave from Yaroslavsky Railway Station - Ярославский Вокзал (Komsomolskaya Metro Station - станция Метро Комсомольская) - several times an hour. Almost all trains heading to Sergiev Posad and Aleksandrov stop in Abramtsevo. It takes approximately 1¼ hours to get there. After arriving in Abramtsevo from Moscow you need to cross the railway and walk along the path which leads to the Abramtsevo Estate. There are no signs or directions.
Orientation and Main Sights
The only sight located here is the Abramtsevo Estate itself which was first mentioned in the 16th century, but only really gained fame in the 19th century when it passed to the ownership of author Sergey Aksakov. During this time the estate was visited by many of the biggest names in Russian literature, including Nikolai Gogol, Lev Tolstoy, Feodor Tyutchev and Ivan Turgenev. After Aksakov's death in 1859, the estate was purchased by Savva Mamontov, a great patron of the arts. At the invitation of Mamontov artists came to Abramtsevo and founded a community here with carpentry and ceramic workshops. Such artists include Valentin Serov (who painted his famous work ‘The Girl with Peaches’ here
- in fact a portrait of Mamontov's daughter), Vasily Polenov, Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov, Ilya Repin, Isaak Levitan, Konstantin Korovin and Mikhail Vrubel.
The main part of the estate is the single-storey Estate House which dates from the end of the 18th century. Inside you can see exhibitions on the Aksakov family and on Mamotov's Artistic Community.
To the right of the Estate House is the estate's Kitchen which dates from 1870. It is now used to display pieces of applied art.
Just behind the Estate House and the Kitchen is the Workshop which was built in 1873. It is a wooden building designed by architect Viktor Gartman and decorated with decorative carvings. Inside you can see some of the ceramic work created at the estate. Highlights include the work of Vrubel including a fireplace, vases and sculptures from the operas Sadko and Snegorochka.
To the left of the Estate house is the pretty fairy-tale style Banya-Teremok which was built between 1877 and 1878 and designed by architect Ivan Ropeta (Ivan Petrov). Today the building displays items made at the community's carpentry workshop.
Opposite to the Banya-Teremok is an Exhibition Centre which was opened in 1971 in what was originally built as a sanatorium in 1938.
The centre displays 20th century Russian art, much of it by the various artists who visited the estate.
The Hut on Chicken Legs which is located in the west of the estate was built in 1883 and designed by Viktor Vasnetsov. Vasnetsov was inspired by Russian fairy tales where the witch Baba-Yaga is said to live in such a house.
One of the main symbols of the estate is the Saviour Church which was built between 1881 and 1882. It was designed by Viktor Vasnetsov and Vasily Polenov, who, along with Ilya Repin and Savva Mamontov and their families, even helped with the construction.
The church was decorated on the inside and out by Polenov. Polenov even got married in the church. The iconostasis features icons painted by Repin, Polenov and Vasnetsov among others and the church also features an oven by Vrubel. Savva Mamontov and members of his family are buried outside the church. Worship is occasionally held here.
Finally, in the south of the estate is Polenov's Dacha which was built in 1882. The wooden building originally served as a workshop for Polenov and today it holds various exhibitions.
At the entrance of the estate is the former Servant's House which now serves as the estate's gift shop. Gifts include replicas of some of the ceramic items created at the workshop, as well as the more standard souvenirs. More souvenir stalls are located outside the estate.