One of my favorite obsessions is finding unobvious, or hidden landmarks all over the world. Moscow is densely packed with various places with a very long history worth visiting. One of its most interesting is Izmaylovskiy Island which features the remainings of Tzar’s Estate. While it’s not a well-known place, it definitely belongs in the must-visit category.
As usual, before I talk about the park in depth, have a look at this video about Izmaylovskiy Island which I made with Together app.
The island is of artificial origin and was built in the middle of the 17th century. Tzar Alexey Mikhaylovich decided to build a picturesque estate and wanted to join two ponds (the Silver pond and Grapes pond). As a result, the island itself centers on a Tzar estate, surrounded by the Silver Grapes Pond. The island is connected to main territory via three bridges; don’t miss the chance to discover all three of them.
During your walk around the island shore, you may notice breathtaking views of Izmaylovskiy Hotel buildings and Izmaylovskiy Kremlin. These views make for a great start to your next trip there: do you see the eyes above the Kremlin?
Not many things survived since the initial construction of Tzar Estate, just the forefront and backward gates, Saint Christ Mother Cathedral and the Bridge Tower. On top of the gate towers, you may notice signs with 1682 engraved.
The estate was located between forefront and backward gates. There was a tall wooden palace, churches and other buildings. Alexey Mikhaylovich used to spend his summers here.
Unfortunately, the wooden palace hasn’t survived the time: Tzar Estate was plundered by Napoleon in 1812. In 1837, Russian Tzar Nicholas the First decided to found a church residency (residentials) for invalids and veterans of the War of 1812. Instead of demolished walls, new buildings were constructed and formed a closed rectangle with an inner square. The gates remained the same.
After the Revolution in 1918, the church residency was closed and its buildings were used as military barracks. A little bit later they became commune flats, so the name “town of Bauman” emerged. Nowadays, there are mainly museums.
Outside the inner square, there is a very old, but still functioning, cathedral, which is surrounded by relatively new (around the 19th century) residential buildings for war invalids.
Local guides, interestingly, usually wear native russian fashion – You may have spotted one in the introductory video.
There is a monument of Peter the first, who spent a lot of time here (he is the son of Tzar Alexey Mikhailovich). He used to sail his English boat through the ponds.
Another important landmark here is the Bridge Tower built in the 17th century. There was a central entrance into the estate with a white brick bridge back then. Boyar Duma was held at the second floor of the tower and soldiers lived on the first floor.
During my recent visit here, we met a squirrel. The one person who this made exceptionally happy was my three year old daughter. She fed the squirrel with some nuts. The nature is pretty beautiful here.
For your convenience, I’ve attached the map of the island. The nearest Metro Mass transit station Partizanskaya is in the bottom left corner and there is a bridge at the south-eastern part of the island. So, it won’t take long to get to this hidden gem meaning you have no excuse!