Located in Solnechnogorsky DistrictRussian: Solnechnogorskiy rayon or Солнечногорский район (Moscow RegionRussian: Moskovskaya oblast or Московская область), the estate of SerednikovoRussian: Середниково is a large architectural and landscape ensemble dating back to the late 18th century. It is also associated with Russian author, Mikhail Lermontov. The estate is a fine sample of Russian classical architecture. An added bonus on your tour around the estate will be a visit to Piligrim Porto Cinema TownRussian: Kinogorod or Киногород, a tiny artificial town made from open-air stage sets created in 2010 for shooting Notes of Secret Office Forwarder, a Russian TV series.
Initially, this area was called Goretov StanRussian: Горетов Стан, derived from the nearby GoretovkaRussian: Горетовка River. Close to the river was a patch of wasteland known as Serednyaya PustoshRussian: Середняя пустошь, hence the name of the settlement, Serednikovo. This place is first mentioned in 16th-century documents, with the first stone church built here in honour of Metropolitan Alexius in the late 17th century.
Construction works at the estate lasted between 1775 and 1796, when this area was in the ownership of Senator Vsevolozhsky. In 1825, the estate of Serednikovo was purchased by Major General Dmitry Stolypin, brother of Mikhail Lermontov’s grandmother, Elizaveta Arsenyeva. Lermontov stayed here every summer between 1829 and 1832, made his first attempts at writing poetry and translating here and read huge amounts of literature. This is also where the notable Russian statesman Pyotr StolypinHis tenure was marked by efforts to counter revolutionary groups and by the implementation of noteworthy agrarian reforms spent his childhood, after his father bought the estate in 1855.
The estate had a few other noble owners and, in 1869, was purchased by merchant Firsanov in 1869. He bequeathed the estate to his daughter Vera, a lifelong art lover. Among visitors to the estate were Chaliapina Russian opera singer, Rachmaninoff, Yuon, Serovfamous Russian painters and many other outstanding personalities from the art world. It was Vera Firsanova who funded the construction of a nearby railway station that still bears her name, FirsanovkaRussian: Фирсановка. She also honoured the memory of Mikhail Lermontov by having Viktor Shtemberg paint the estate’s oval room based on Lermontov’s poem The Demon. An obelisk was also erected in the park to celebrate the centenary of Lermontov.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Communist Party officials turned the estate into a health resort and did not care much about its glorious past. Finally, the estate came under the control of the Lermontov’s LegacyRussian: Lermontovskoe nasledie or Лермонтовское наследие Association.
Estate of Serednikovo today
The estate of Serednikovo is a brilliant example of Russian classicism. It consists of a main house, four outbuildings, a cattle yard, a stable, a coach house, a riding hall, a greenhouse and other buildings. A vast landscape park is an important part of the ensemble, with its small bridges, ponds and alleys. Interestingly, the Church of Saint AlexiusRussian: Khram Svyatitelya Aleksiya or Храм Святителя Алексия has remained open ever since it was built.
Visitors are offered guided tours (scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays, but you can book a private tour in advance), stroll around the old park and take pictures. Those preferring outdoor activities will enjoy the interactive programme ‘Messieurs HussarsRussian: Gospoda gusary or Господа гусары’, quests and games (paintball, strike ball, and laser tag). The Serednikovo Equestrian CentreRussian: konno-sportivnyi klub «Serednikovo» or конно-спортивный клуб «Середниково» offers horse rides to both experienced riders and beginners (accompanied by an instructor). The Serednikovo Administration Office welcomes newlyweds to the estate’s premises, promising them an unforgettable wedding reception.
Many films and historic TV series were filmed at this charming estate. The stage sets left here after the shooting of a TV series became the Cinema Town located 300 metres away from the estate’s main house. Here, you can stroll among 18th-century Russian town buildings constructed of lightweight materials, take a look at a prison or a tavern, walk up a scaffold or get on the deck of a real sailing ship. Additionally, the Cinema Town is a venue for a range of social events and photography sessions.
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