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Ostankino Park and Estate

Ostankino Park in Moscow This late 18th Century park, which lies somewhat incongruously between the Ostankino TV center and the Soviet kitsch of the vast VVTs exhibition grounds, was once part of the estates of the Princes Cherkassky, but came to the Sheremetev family in 1743 through the marriage of Varavara Cherkasskaya to Count Petr Sheremetev.

Their son Nikolai moved the family seat here from Kuskovo in 1790, along with the famous Sheremetev serf theater, for which he built an impressive new stage, one of the highlights of the park, still used to this day for classical music concerts.

Also on display is the grandiose neoclassical palace, made entirely of wood. The glorious interiors house many fine collections, some of which were the property of the two families, and some of which found their way here after the estate was taken into State control in 1918. They include a large collection of European gilt furniture, rare Chinese ceramics, and a vast collection of fans.

In the park there are a number of copies of classical statues, as well as Egyptian and Italian pavilions, and the beautiful Church of the Trinity, which dates from the 1680's and is the only building that remains from the Cherkassky's tenure here.

While Ostankino feels less organic and less cherished than Kuskovo (Nikolai Sheremetev was forced to move to St. Petersburg shortly after the project was completed to take up duties as a senator), there is nonetheless plenty to be seen here. And the sight of this emblem of cultured gentility dwarfed by the monolithic modern buildings on either side is both striking and surreal.

Getting there: 10 minutes walk from VDNKh Metro Station.

Opening hours: The palace is open from May to September, daily from 10:00 to 17:00, except during heavy rain.

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