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Moscow's Tsaritsyno Palace

In 1786-1796, Matvey Kazakov built the Tsaritsyno Palace for the Empress Catherine the Great.

Today the Palace is called The State Museum Reserve Park Tsaritsyno, located in Moscow, near
to the Tsaritsino metro station.

In the early 17th century where the Tsaritsyno Palace now stands was once known as the Black Dirt wasteland. Lukian Strehnev was the founder of the Black Dirt estate. Around 1658 the village Black Dirt appeared.

During the early 1670’s Strehnev was involved in milling, gardening, farming, fishing and husbandry. After the death of Lukian Strehnev the land was given to his son Semen Streshnev who in 1673 returned the land back to the tsar and the village of Black Dirt was moved to the Kisilevo village.

In 1682 the tsars Ivan Alexeevich granted the Black Dirt land to Ivan Streshnev, who was a cousin
to Semen Streshnev. In 1683 Ivan gave the estate to his grandson Alexei Vasilievich Golicin and to princess Evodokia Ivanovna, whose maiden name was Streshneva.
Alexei Vasilievich Golicin was the oldest son of price Vasiliy Golicin (1643-1714) and Evdokia
During 1683-89, Golicin built an estate for his family by the shore of the Gorodenka River and near
the Stebelevskaya wasteland. The church Our Lady Life-Giving Spring was also built out of wood at this time.
The Black Dirt wasteland became a town and was named Bogorodskoye and became the center for economic growth.  When Peter the Great came to power in 1689 he abolished the Golicin’s royal title and confiscated the Golicin Estates. Bogorodskoye became part of the royal village of Kolomenskoye and Bogorodskoye was rename bake to Black Dirt.  In 1712 Peter the Great gave Black Dirt to prince Dmitry Kantemir (1673-1723), who was the former ruler of Moldova.
Dmitry Kantemir lived in a renovated house that the Golicin family had built on Black Dirt. In 1722 Dmitry replaced the Golicin wooden church and had it built out of stone and kept the same name
Our Lady Life-Giving Spring. After the death of Dmitry the estate went to his son prince Konstantin Kantemir who died in 1747 and left the estate to his brothers Matvey and Sergey.

Our Lady Life- Giving Spring (1759-65)

Matvey Kantermair built a green house at Black Dirt and cultivated various fruit trees. He once again rebuilt the church Our Lady Life- Giving Spring (1759-1765) out of stone and added a side chapel, which was named St. Demetrius. In 1771 Sergey became the sole owner of Black Dirt.

In 1775 Architect Vasily Bazhenov started designing a new imperial residence and construction work at the Tsaritsyno estate began in May of 1776.

The Grand Palace (1786-1796)

The architect of The Grand Palace was Matvey Kazakov. His assistants mainly carried out the construction process.

Originally there were two designs for The Grand Palace and the smaller design was chosen.The style of architecture is Classical with Gothic decorations.


The Bread House (1784-85)
The architect Vasily Bazhenov built it the massive two stories Bread House. The Bread House,
also known as the Kitchens or the Kitchen Building.

The Small (Semi-Circular) Palace (1776-78)

Architect Vasily Bazhenov built the Small Palace. It is one of the three palaces that the architect designed for Catherine the Great.

A French man by the named Lekenue in 1804 turned the Small Palace into a coffee house.

In 1989-96 the Small Palace was restored after being abandoned for over a hundred years. It is now a museum and is opened to visitors.
The Opera House (1776-78

Architect Vasily Bazhenov built “The Palace In The Meadow, Alongside The Garden”, which is
now called The Opera House. This building was used for court celebrations and ceremonies.

The Figure (Grapevine) Gate (1777-78)

AArchitect Vasily Bazhenov built The Figure (Grapevine) Gate. It is located near the Opera House at the end of the alley. The Gateway leads to the park.

The Figure Bridge (1776-78)

Architect Vasily Bazhenov built The Figure Bridge. In 1985 the bridge was in ruins. It was
restored completely by 1992 and is opened to the public.

The Landscape Of The Tsaritsyno Park

Francis Reed designed the English landscape of the park in 1784. At the end of the 18th through the mid 19th century the estate had greenhouses, gardens, ponds and a park. Today, approximately 42 hectares of the estate are well preserved.
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