Kuskovo Estate - A Remarkable Establishment

The Kuskovo Estate is one of Moscow’s many must-see attractions. Built in the 18th century, the estate is an excellent example of a Muscovite country residence. The estate was built shortly after 1715 when Tsar Peter the Great decided to award the village of Kuskovo to his Russian general Boris Sheremetev for his bravery, courage and excellence at the battle of Poltava. The Sheremetyevs were already wealthy – in fact they were one of the richest and most influencial families in Russia at the time. They decided to build a summer residence at Kuskovo and the Kuskovo Estate was used extensively by many generations of the family.

The stunning estate covers an area that is more than 300 hectares in size. It features three different parks in French regular style, English landscape and Zaprudny. There is also a system of ponds and channels and a number of Russian and Italian sculptures in the gardens. The entire estate is centered on a beautiful palace that was the primary residence for the family. There are a number of smaller buildings and architectural follies which are dotted around the estate. The buildings were designed and built by French and Russian architects and took more than 40 years to complete. At its height, the estate also featured a rather impressive zoo that covered some 230 acres of land, but this gradually fell into disrepair and was abandoned. Many of the gardens and buildings found today were created under the oversight of Boris’ son, Pyotr, who decided to devote himself to the estate after inheriting 200 000 serfs from his father and receiving two rather talented serf architects as part of his wife’s dowry. His passion for beautiful landscaping and architecture is still evident today.

The main palace is truly amazing. Made entirely of wood it has survived all these years despite war and periods of low maintenance. Painted in salmon-pink and white, it was completed between 1769 and 1777. It was damaged by the French during the Napoleonic Wars, but was restored soon afterwards. The beautiful estate is an eccentric mixture of Russian, Greek, Roman and French architecture, landscaping and décor and after it was restored the Sheremetev family used it mainly for private receptions, celebrations and festivities which sometimes included firework displays. Today the estate serves as a fabulous tourist attraction with several buildings housing interesting displays. The estate is also used to host classical music concerts and festivities including Independence Day which is organized by the US Embassy, and Bastille Day which is arranged by the French Embassy. These celebrations often include music, fashion shows, period costumes, games and air displays. The Kuskovo Estate is open from Wednesday to Sunday and is easy to find.


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