Created between 1750 and 1780, Kuskovo is nowadays the only French park in Moscow, a formal Garden à la Française. Italian and Dutch Houses, European and Soviet porcelain, its own Hermitage and the unique Grotto make Kuskovo a distinct local gem and a highlight of any Moscow tour.
Here are 11 fun facts about Kuskovo Park and Estate in Moscow.
- Kuskovo is a unique Russian aristocratic country estate, famous for having luxurious interiors which match with its fantastic facades. Kuskovo style is a mix of late baroque and early neoclassicism which creates harmonious look of the estate.
- The idea to build Kuskovo belongs to Petr Sheremetyev, a son of Boris Sheremetiev wo was one of Peter the Great’s generals. Petr made the Kuskovo estate the most adorable summer houses, equal to residence of the Czars.
- Sheremetyev had an outstanding theatre in Kuskovo with 120 professional actors who were highly educated and knew several foreign languages. He spent millions of rubles for the theater, inviting vocal teachers from Italy, choreographers from France; buying the most outstanding decorations and costumes for actors. Maddox, an English entrepreneur and co-founder of the Petrovsky Theatre, predecessor of the Bolshoy Theatre, used to say that when Sheremetyev have the performance in his estate nobody goes to the Petrovsky Theatre.
- Twenty-six rooms of the palace were designed for entertaining guests. The Palace could host up to 25 000 guests outdoors. The scale of such events was really grand, and our Moscow guides will give you more numbers, if you’re interested.
- Ekaterina the Great (1729-1796) visited this theatre many times, the park even has the monument to the famous Empress.
- The ensemble comprises a palace, a church, baroque park (French regular park, Versailles type) with many marble statues, showing the power of a human over the nature. A Russian poet Ivan Dolgoruky wrote lyrics about the park, saying that everybody who has a chance to visit this park would easily forget all the sadness and worries would fade away.
- The main highlights of the park are Dutch, Italian and Swiss Cottages and the Orangerie, which is home to the most precious collection of Western porcelain in Eastern Europe, and which became the State Museum of Ceramics in the mid-20th.
- Italian and Swiss houses, as well as the Dutch House (which was built in honor of Peter the Great and his passion about Holland), had beautiful and organized gardens in a front part, which form a splendid addition to the whole Kuskovo image, making the estate even more beautiful and fairy talish.
- The grotto is a local pride. It’s one of the few 18th-century grottos still preserved in its original decoration. Here we collected a complete list of other 47 local gems and attractions in Moscow.
- Sheremetyev was in love with an actress in his private theatre and had a marvelous voice – Parasha Zhemchugova. Later they got married and she became an absolute landlady of this marvelous estate.
- If all the above is not enough to make you venture a trip to Kuskovo, then come here simply to find a local Hermitage inside of the park, which was a unique place for royal privacy, this Hermitage was even equipped with a lift used for a transporting a small table served with food from the first floor to the second one, to avoid servants in the Hermitage and keep the place totally private.
If you wish to visit the Palace alone, the entrance fee is just 200 rubles. To have an ultimate experience and to visit all the museums: the Palace, Hermitage, the Dutch House, Italian House, Orangery with “Russian Porcelain” Exhibition and French Park would cost you about 800-900 rubles.
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