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>> Tsaritsino



The antique hacienda park and museum Tsaritsino is located in the southwest of Moscow. It’s famous for its history and architectural monuments and is also notable for its beauty. The story is that in the XI-XIII centuries the “viatichi”, descendants of one of the Slavic reputable clan, lived on this land, which later became Russian homeland. The first mention about Tsritsino appears in cadastre of the sixteenth century. At that time the village was owned by the Czarina Irina, wife of Czar of Russia Feodor I and sister of Boris Godunov. In the seventeenth century the village Bogorodskoye was a property of boyars Streshnev and later Golitsyn. Around the boyar palace, whose generation at that time were rural nobles, direct vassals of the Tsar developed important economic activities as agriculture, horticulture, cattle-breeding and fishing. Bogorodskoye became famous for the fishing in ponds in sweet water and mills that produced flour. Later peasants developed horse-breeding and manufactured beer. In 1712 Bogorodskoye was named “The Black Pottery” and Peter the First gave it to Sergio Kantemir, the heir of the throne of Moldavia. Finally, in 1755 Catherine II of Russia bought it and since then the town and its environs have been called Zarskoe Selo (village of Tsarina). Catherine II ordered construction of the palace, which was designed by Russian architect Vasily Bazhenov, a member of the Academies of Arts in Rome, Bologna, Florence, and Russia. This construction had to symbolize the mentality of this period, Russian’s victory over Turkey (1774). The tsarina wanted that the Palace to be built in Mauritanian-Gothic style. Bazhenov used both forms characteristic of ancient Russian architecture, interpreting it with almost genial elegance. Bazhenov combined the architecture with the environment and nature. Contemporaries consider Zaricino a true wonder. All construction was built of stone with elaborately carved elements. The construction was almost complete when Catherine II and Prince Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin, the favorite of the queen came to examine it. She didn’t like the Palace and ordered to destroy it. Even today, architects and art critics can’t explain irrational desire of Catherina II. Historians suppose that Bazhenov was in disgrace because of this friendship with the Freemasons who surrounded Paul the heir of the throne. In 1786 a new palace was built by architect Mikhail Kazakov. The construction lasted until 1973 and remained unfinished by the economic difficulties that had been caused by the second war with Turkey (1787-1892). Since then, the construction of Tsaritsino has been incomplete. Over the time, the park became a popular walking place for Russians, who were attracted by something mysterious and romantic about the place, adorned with numerous pavilions and beautiful ruins, both real and replicated. In 1918, the estate Tsaritsino passed under the State protection and in 1927 it was inaugurated as the museum.




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