As you leave Moscow, the fast-paced modern capital fades from view and the slower-paced, old-fashioned countryside unfolds around you. The subtly changing landscape of the Moscow region is crossed by winding rivers and dotted with peasant villages – the classic provincial Russia, immortalised by artists and writers over the centuries. Moscow Region was formed in 1929 and includes more than 70 cities/towns and also very beautiful historical estates, villages, the most interesting of them will be mentioned in this article.
KOLOMNA is one of the best-known and most popular ancient cities in the Moscow Region, located about 100 km far from Moscow. Kolomna was founded in 1177 and is famous for its Kremlin. The Kremlin, built from 1525 to 1532, ranks second in its beauty and area after the Moscow Kremlin. The mighty Kremlin of Kolomna is incredibly well preserved to the present day and gives the tourists here an unforgettable travel through time. Such architectural monuments of the past as Assumption Cathedral, Brussensky Convent, the Bell Tower, Church of the Resurrection, Holy Trinity Novogolutvinsky Convent can be found on the Kremlin compound.
Kolomna also has a lot to offer for food lovers. It`s famous for its Honey Wine, Kalatch and Pastille (Marshmallow) Museums, where you can participate in cooking process, buy and taste products, cooked according to the ancient Russian recipe of the 18th Century. Tasting can be accompanied with theatrical costumed performances, which make an unforgettable impression on the tourists.
DMITROV is a very small, ancient city located 65 km north of Moscow. In the past, Dmitrov was a major Russian political centre and formed the Moscow’s northern line of defence. The major treasure of the town are the well-preserved Kremlin and some 70 churches and monasteries, many of them dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
The most interesting sight in Dmitrov is Dmitrov’s Museum of History and Arts, also known as Dmitrov Kremlin Museum Reserve, a major exhibition space, one of the most exciting museums in the Moscow Region, comprising the Istoricheskaya Square, the Kremlin and a dozen historical churches and buildings, making it a great place to explore. Among other interesting sights of the town are: the Assumption Cathedral, the Boris and Gleb Monastery, Kazan Church, the red-brick Entry Church and others. The city is very popular among both tourists and pilgrims.
THE ARKHANGELSKOE MEMORIAL ESTATE, called “Versailles near Moscow”, is unique example of Russian cultural heritage about 25 km far from Moscow. It is the former estate of Russia’s wealthiest aristocratic families of the 18-19th centuries, such as Sheremetevs, the Golitsyns, and the Yusupovs. The park in Arkhangelskoe is known as one of the best in the country. The Palace and estate in general feature unparalleled interiors, collections of artwork, and a famous formal garden designed in the French style, with regular walkways, well-groomed bosquets and the finest specimens of garden sculpture. The ‘colonnade’ of the Yusupovs’ family vault, St. Michael’s Church and the Tea House are among the jewels of Russian architecture.
BOLSHIE VYAZYOMY ESTATE is part of the A. S. Pushkin Open-Air Museum, 54 km from Moscow. It is truly one of the most enchanting places associated with the Russian author Alexander Pushkin. From 1804 to 1810, Pushkin spent every summer in the village of Zakharovo, 5 km from the estate, and these places were echoed in many of his literary works, including his novel in verse, Eugene Onegin.
The lovely series of palaces and gardens of the Estate dating to the 17th and 18th centuries stands on the bank of the Vyazyomka River. All the buildings are worth visiting, but the cathedral, the bell-gable and the mansions with their two annexes are the most popular sights. The rooms in the mansion are lavishly decorated with pieces of furniture and household items (late 19th – early 20th centuries). The Estate offers tour guides (in Russian) and audio guides (in Russian and English).