The Izmailovo museum reserveRussian: Muzey-zapovednik Izmaylovo or Музей-заповедник Измайлово is located on the historic site of the Tsar’s CourtRussian: Gosudarev dvor or Государев двор, a vast architectural ensemble originally built during the reign of the first tsars of the Romanov dynastyrulers of Russia from 1613 until the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Most of it has survived relatively unscathed until the present day. Today, you can see the stately Pokrovsky CathedralRussian: Pokrovskiy sobor or Покровский собор, the unique Mostovaya TowerRussian: Mostovaya bashnya or Мостовая башня, the Front and Back GatesRussian: Perednie i Zadnie v'ezdnyie vorota or Передние и Задние въездные ворота, a chain of ponds, and administrative premises dating back to the 17-19th centuries. Nowadays, the exhibition entitled ‘Izmailovo: a 17th-Century Family Estate of the Tsar’ stands as the cornerstone of the museum, which also regularly hosts temporary exhibitions. In close proximity to the museum are the Izmailovo KremlinRussian: Izmaylovskiy Kreml or Измайловский Кремль, an archaized entertainment complex, and the famous Izmailovo VernissageRussian: Izmaylovskiy vernisazh or Измайловский вернисаж.
AT THE ORIGINS
The first owner of this locality was boyara member of the highest rank of the feudal society in Russia Nikita Romanov, brother of Ivan the Terribleruled from 1533 to 1584’s wife Anastasia Romanova. The estate changed hands for a long time moving from one representative of the dynasty to another. Thriving and decaying in different periods, it witnessed pompous celebrations, the tsars’ hunting excursions, and the visits of important guests.
Izmailovo is rightfully considered to be the cradle of the Russian fleet because it was here that young Peter the Greatruled from 1682 to 1725 discovered a small boat once brought by English merchants to the Romanovs; and later, having launched it, developed a life-long passion for seafaring and shipbuilding. To commemorate this event, a monument to Peter the Great by Lev Kerbel was erected in Izmailovo. The boat is now glorified as ‘the Grandfather of the Russian Fleet’ and is now still in St. Petersburg, where it was brought by Peter the Great personally.
During the reign of Tsar Alexisthe tsar of Russia from 1645 until 1676, Izmailovo looked more like European botanical gardens because mulberry trees, vines, water melons, melons, date trees, almond trees, cotton, peppers, cornel trees, Hungarian pears, and many more were grown here. The Tsar, who was passionate about gardening, created a nursery as his favoured place to relax, far from the maddening crowds. On his orders, the local rivers were dammed, creating a beautiful island where the Tsar’s Court was built. A lot of workmen from different countries including gardeners, glass blowers, builders, and craftsmen were commissioned for the project.
The stately Pokrovsky Cathedral built in 1671 – 1679 under the supervision of apprentice Ivan Kuznechik became the focal point of the ensemble. The monarch loved to pray there. The cathedral is decorated with gigantic panels made up of traditional Russian ceramic tiles and is now seen as the symbol of Izmailovo.
Next to the cathedral, there used to be a vast palace which was the seat of the Tsar’s government, the Boyar Dumathe royal council or the upper strata of the ruling elite in Russia of 15th-17th centuries – in Peter the Great’s time, the Senate sat there. Along the perimeter, the palace was surrounded by cellars and iced cellars, living chambers and watchtowers. One of these watchtowers, Mostovaya Tower, is still preserved. Squat and mighty, this barbican protected the palace on the side of the dam. Nowadays, the tower functions as a museum.
The museum exhibits unique objects which take you back to life in Izmailovo, when it was the Tsar’s family estate. Among the exhibits, you can see portraits of the Romanov dynasty tsars, 17-18thcentury furniture and tableware, the interior of peasant dwellings, and household objects.
The unique maps, drawings, and detailed descriptions kept in the museum offer an opportunity to track the transformation of a small village into the ensemble which became the Tsar’s favourite place. Of special interest is the architecture of the buildings – it is virtually an encyclopedia of different architectural styles. You will be able to see the almshouse buildings designed by architect Konstantin Thon in the 19th century and the cast-iron gate serving as the main entrance to the island, as well as the genuinely antique cathedral and barbican tower. Tourist groups can climb the tower to admire the view of the whole island or take part in fancy dress tours.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com