There are not as many estates around Moscow as there are around St Petersburg, but one of the few there is - the Arkhangelskoe Estate - is a real gem. It is a popular day trip from Moscow due to having one of the biggest collections of park sculptures in the world. Although it is not an imperial palace, like St Petersburg's palaces, it nevertheless has still an interesting history thanks to its connection with one of the Russian Empire's richest families - the Yusupov family, whose most colourful member was Feliks Yusupov - Rasputin's killer.
The place is a great spot to spend a summer day walking among beautiful sculptures and buildings surrounded by forest away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. In summer there are often musical festivals here and one of the biggest International Jazz Festivals in Russia - the Usadba Jazz (Усадьба Джаз) - is held here in mid-June.
10km from Moscow
|Total travel time||Around an hour by bus (Tushinskaya metro to Arkhangelskoe return)|
|Accessibility for foreigners rating||5/5 - popular route, close and signs in English|
Getting There and Back
The Arkhangelskoe estate is located to the north-west from Moscow in the Moscow Region not far from Krasnogorsk and is quite easy to get to, although the only way to get there is a bus.
By bus or marshrutka
The easiest way is to get a bus or minibus from Tushinskaya metro station. There are three buses you can take:
Buses No. 541 and No. 549 leave from the bus stop which is located next to Tushinskaya metro station. To get to Tushinskaya Bus Station you need to take the exit which is closer to the first wagon if coming from the centre. You need to get off the bus at the Arkhangelskoe (Архангельское) bus stop - you should see the entrance. Just before the Arkhangelskoe stop you should notice the Military Equipment Museum - so be ready to get off shortly after.
Bus No. 151 also leaves from Tushinskaya metro station but this bus stops at the nearby Sanatorium (Санаторий) bus stop.
Orientation and Main Sights
All sights here are located on the Arkhangelskoe Estate, which is now run as the Akhangelskoe State Museum-Estate. The estate was held by various noble families - including the Sheremetev, Cherkassky and Golitsyn families - before it was purchased by Prince Nikolai Yusupov in 1810.
It remained in the hands of the Yusupovs until it was nationalised and turned into a museum in 1919. The best time to visit this place is summer as there are lots of sculptures at the estate which are covered with boxes during the winter. The sculptures are unveiled in May and covered up in October. Entrance to the territory of the estate is not free and there are several types of tickets available, depending on how much of it you want to see. It is probably worth getting at least a ticket to look around the grounds and the Grand Palace. For this you would need around three hours to see it all without rushing.
The main sight in the estate is the Grand Palace which was built in the 1780s on the order of Prince Nikolai Golitsyn, but later added to and reconstructed by the Yusupovs.
One such new addition was the distinctive belvedere. You can get a ticket to visit the Grand Palace which has two floors.
The ground floor has been restored to how it looked when the Yusupovs lived here and it is as magnificent as you would expect for one of the richest families in Russia at the time.
The second floor is used to hold various exhibitions.
In front of the Grand Palace are the Upper and Lower Terraces and the sculpted park known as the Large Parterre.
Dotted all around are many beautiful statues,
predominantly of figures from classical mythology, but there is also a bust of Pushkin (who visited the estate)
and a monument-chapel dedicated to Catherine the Great (who also visited).
From the Large Parterre you can walk down to the River Moskva to enjoy the pretty views.
In the eastern part of the park are more sights worth seeing. The Colonnade Burial Tomb was built between 1909 and 1916 and was originally intended to hold the body of Prince Nikolai Yusupov (the brother of Feliks) who died in a duel in 1908, although it never was used for this purpose. Like its name suggests it incorporates a large colonnade.
Past the Colonnade Burial Tomb is the quaint Larder-over-the-Ravine which now holds temporary exhibitions of the museum-estate.
Just next door are the Holy Gates of Archangel Michael's Church.
At the end of the path from the gates are the walls of the church and then the church itself. The church is the oldest surviving building on the estate dating from the mid-17th century. Its most striking feature are the decorative rows of kokoshniks underneath the central dome which was typical for the time. Today the church remains open for worship.
The only restaurant here is located on the east of the Arkhangelskoe estate - Usadba. An average bill is about RUB 1,000-1,500.
There is also a restaurant in the neighboring Vadim Zadorozhny Military Equipment Museum. An average bill here is about RUB 800-1,500.
Souvenirs are sold in the Grand Palace and next to the Yusupov family tomb.
About 1km from Arkhangelskoe's main entrance is another interesting museum - the Vadim Zadorozhny Military Equipment Museum.