Tsaritsyno, a Modern Palace in Moscow

Published: August 12, 2014

Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve/Царицыно
Дольская Улица., 1, Москва
Park open daylight hours, Museum as follows:
Open Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 5:30 pm
Open Saturday 11:00 am – 7:30 pm
Open Sunday 11:00 am – 6:30
Closed Mondays
80 rubles with Student ID

Tsaritsyno is a beautiful palace and nature reserve just out of town to the Southeast of Moscow. It is easy to get to; there are two metro stops that touch the park. And there are plenty of interesting features to see, besides the natural beauty of the grounds.

The Empress Catherine the Great commissioned a palace to be built there, but didn’t like the original building and had it torn down. The palace was not completed until it was completely renovated in 2007. So, though you can easily see the style and beauty of the palace reflects the 18th century, it is essentially a modern palace made into a public space.

Statue of Architects
Statue of the Architects

As a museum-reserve, it definitely serves the public. There is an impressive array of events and community programs at Tsaritsyno, like opera and orchestral performances, zumba classes, and programs for children. You’ll see a yoga pavilion and advertisements for community events. There are even gymnastic bars and volleyball courts. Tsaritsyno itself houses a couple of museum-type collections of art and objects. There are also creative excursions, where you can see a dramatic tour or solve a mystery in the palace.

The palace itself is really beautiful and seems perfectly fit for the 18th century. Construction began on it under orders from Catherine the Great, but it was left unfinished by Paul I, Catherine’s successor after her death. The palace sat empty and abandoned for nearly two centuries before the Russian state stepped in to complete and restore the structure in 2005-2007.

There are interesting features scattered around the grounds, too, like an opera house, an orangerie, buildings and gates that were attached to the earliest estates, and even a grouping of ancient burial mounds dating to the 11th century.

By far the greatest feature is the park itself. The lake at Tsaritsyno is a beautiful, tranquil area where swans can be seen, and visitors can walk the perimeter. There are ponds that feed into each other leading up to the palace. It’s a huge area, but easily walk-able, especially if you spread it out over a couple of hours. There are all kinds of trees, in some areas forming a canopy over the walkways. The whole area has the feel of a forest, but with modern walking paths. It’s the perfect place for a picnic, and there are benches throughout in case you get too tired from all that walking.

It’s also a unique place for tourists in Moscow, as it definitely has a St Petersburg feel. There is a large fountain display and royal carriage for pictures. If you haven’t seen the palaces of St Petersburg, or if you are missing that city, Tsaritsyno is a lovely reminder, with the architecture and estate style of the 1700’s.

Getting there:
There are two metro stations to choose from. The Metro station Tsaritsyno is an obvious choice, but if you go to “Orokhevo” (Dark Green line) you exit right to a rear gate, and in that way, enter through the woods and see all the scenery first, instead of a busy street. One of the bonuses of this trip is you’ll get to see the part of the metro that passes above ground and over the Moscow River between Kolomenskaya and Avtozavodskaya, which is a great view.

About the author

Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker is a University of Utah student working on an undergraduate in Business Operations with a minor in Russian Language. After The School of Russian and Asian Studies' Russian as Second Language program in 2014, she will complete her degree and begin work on her career goal of increasing commercial trade between Russia and the Americas. She is seen here being chased by a bear near Pavlovsk.

Program attended: Challenge Grants: Funding for Study Abroad

View all posts by: Sarah Parker

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