Here were list places that require at least one overnight stay from Moscow to visit. Traveling in this area give visitors a chance to see a different, slower, poorer and more rural world than they see in Moscow. Some of these places can be reached easily by trains. Other require a bus trip or train and bus trip. Some places such as Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, and Plyos can be reached boat. If you are pressed for time and money is not an object, you might want to consider an organized tour arranged through travel agency.

E105 is part of the International E-road network and one of the main roads in Europe. Begins in Kirkenes, Norway and follows the M18, M10 and M2 in Russia and the M18 in the Ukraine, ending in Yalta, Ukraine. Some cities on its route include Kirkenes, Murmansk, Kandalaksha, Saint Petersburg, Novgorod, Tver, Moscow, Kharikiv, Simferopol and Yalta. The road may be closed due to heavy snows or rains. Long delays may occur at the border crossing. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the road is closed to vehicles with a foreign registration

Pereslavl-Zakessky (160 kilometers north of Moscow) is a pleasant town with 45,000 people. It doesn't have as many famous sights as the main Golden Ring towns but it lies in an area where many Russians have dachas. Located on the shore of Lake Pleschcheevo, it is where Alexander Nevsky was born and Peter the Great learned to sail. The Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is open one of the oldest standing buildings in Russia. Other sights include the Church of Petr the Metropolitan, the Goritsky Monastery, the Botil Museum and several other monasteries and churches. The lake and Truzbeh River are filled with sailors and rowers.

Museum of Cosmonautics History

Tsiolkovsky State Museum of Cosmonautics History (in Kaluga, 120 kilometers southwest of Moscow) is huge Museum dedicated to the history of space exploration. Created with the direct participation of the great Soviet rocket scientist S. P. Korolev and the first man in space Yuri Yu. Gagarin, this museum is named after Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a school master and rocket science pioneer who lived most of his life in Kaluga.

The first space museum in the world and the largest in Russia, the Museum of Cosmonautics History opened in 1967 and is a major center of scientific research and education. Since 1982 it has served as the head space museum in Russia and acted as the manager and coordinator of all other space exploration museums in the country. In 1993 the museum was listed among the major cultural and educational institutions of special importance.

The unique exhibits at the museum show the history of Russian cosmonautics — from the first satellite vehicles to cutting-edge long-term orbital stations. Only a small portion of the museum's permanent collection, consisting of over 60,000 units, is on display. The scientific legacy of Tsiolkovsky, the founder of theoretical cosmonautics, is presented in detail. The exhibits containing items that have been in space are of special value. Among these are astronautic descent vehicles used by Soviet cosmonauts; gloves of the emergency-rescue space suit worn by cosmonaut A. P. Aleksandrov in open space; and the authentic automatic return capsule Raduga (Rainbow).

A perfect copy of the Vostok spacecraft on which Yury Gagarin made the first flight to the space is situated in the center of the hall. The museum exhibits also include a perfect copy of the world's first satellite vehicle, authentic moon soil, the space suits of the first cosmonauts with an ejector seat, space food, and other elements of the life support systems.

The museum is listed among federally significant cultural and historical buildings. The planetarium dome give the building a big bulge. The building is painted silver and gray: the combination of gray concrete, white stone, aluminum, and glass makes the building bright and unusually light-weight. Audio guides in Russian, English, German, and French are available. At the museum one can take a picture wearing a space suit. Official Page of Kaluga's Tourist Information Center: / visit-kaluga.ru

Carrier Rocket Vostok rises from a high bank Yachenskogo reservoir and is the main exhibit of the outdoor part of the Museum of the History of Cosmonautics. The Vostok is an original three-stage rocket. It is 38 meters high and weighs 144 tons and is equipped with an engine capable of generating 20 million horsepower. The Vostok was used in the Soviet space program from 1958 to 1991. The rocket in Kaluga was an emergency rocket for Gagarin's flight that stood on the launch pad at Baikonur in April 1961 and was ready in case of Gagarin had problem is space. It was never flown.

Getting to Kaluga In Kaluga there is an international airport. Despite the relatively short distance between Moscow and Kaluga, there is a direct air service between the two cities. From Moscow, Kaluga can also be reached by train, bus, car. By Train: Travel time by train from Moscow to Kaluga takes 2 hours 35 minutes. The cost of a seat in the corporate Express will be about 700 rubles. By Bus: The cost of a trip by bus is also 700 rubles, but the journey time is as much as three hours. By Car: The journey time by private car from Moscow is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. The path runs along the Federal highway. By Plane: Direct flights between Moscow and Kaluga are operated by RusLine. The flight time is 50 minutes, and the ticket price, depending on the selected fare, from 600 rubles. In addition to Moscow, you can fly to Kaluga from Sochi, St. Petersburg, Kazan and a number of other cities.


Nikola-Lenivets (30 kilometers northwest of Kaluga and 130 kilometers southwest of Moscow) is a unique Russian park, containing strange and impressive landscape installations and land-art sculptures by the leading sculptures and designers of the Russian and international art scene.

Russia, and Kaluga oblast in particular, is covered with partially abandoned and desolate villages. Nikolai Polissky, a gifted artist from Moscow, settled down in one such place in 1994. At that time, the only attractions in the village were the ruins of a church, the natural setting, and the very peculiar name Nikola-Lenivets (Lenivets means “lazybones”). In the early 2000s, Nikolai began to “populate” the nearby forests and meadows with unusual structures and art installations. These objects were created from natural materials: wood, snow, vines, pine cones. The structures were not built haphazardly, but carefully blended in with the landscape. Nikolai's work attracted the attention of many other artists. Beginning in 2006, the Arkhstoyanie International Festival of Landscape Objects has been held in Nikola-Lenivets every year and objects from this populate the landscape park. .

The park's 600 hectares include three villages: Zvizzhi, Koltsovo, and Nikola-Lenivets. A portion of the land belongs to the Ugra National Park and is considered a nature sanctuary. There are 31 land-art objects on the map of Nikola-Lenivets. The most famous of them are: Mayak (Lighthouse), Rotunda, Nikolino Ukho (Nikola's Ear), Vselenskiy razum (Universal mind), Bobur (Bеаubourg), and Pozolochenniy Telets (Golden Calf).

Every weekend in Nikola-Lenivets, you can take part in yoga classes, movie screenings, sightseeing tours, and bike rides. The weekend schedule also includes various workshops, events and conferences. Accommodation in Nikola-Lenivets includes guest houses (Klever, Pizhma, Zveroboi), an art hostel (Art Kazarma, indoors or outdoors), fully equipped camping or eco-camping (in Zvizzhanka). You can also bring your own tent and pitch it in any authorized area.

Etnomir Tourist Complex

Etnomir Tourist Complex (80 kilometers southwest of Moscow and 60 kilometers north of Kaluga) is Russia’s the largest ethnographic park, welcoming more than half a million people a year. Opened in 2008 and covering 90 hectares, Etnomir is an educational, cultural and tourist center that contains copies of traditional buildings of Russia’s many ethnic groups. In the long term, the project will include 52 ethnic palaces, each representing an ethnic minority with an ethnic hotel, workshops, a museum, a restaurant of national cuisines, and other buildings that that show the ethnic group’s traditional way of living. In each ethnic palace, members of the ethnic group will introduce visitors to their culture, everyday life, festivals, crafts, folklore, architecture, history, cuisine, and traditional medicines.

Ethnologists and anthropologists from different countries are participating in the creation of the ethno-palaces. The was project was slated to be completed by 2020. Apart from sightseeing tours, workshops and games prepared by every ethnic palace, visitors to Etnomir can enjoy sport and exercise areas, climbing walls, adventure park, rides on four-wheelers, Segways, golf carts, dog sleds, and many other things. Etnomir offers special programs for workdays and weekends, as well as festivals and national holiday programs.

One person posted on Trip Advisor in May, 2019: “We were here for few days in may with all our kids. It is great place to enjoy environment together. Many attractions and events, places to see , many activities. Very important for kids to see history of Russia. Two big disadvantages: 1)extremely bad quality of dining in each restaurants, especially "Chaihana"; 2) expensive prices for low quality hotels, especially Himalaya Apart Hotel dirty rooms, bad conditions of bathroom, beds etc.”

Rachmaninoff Museum-Estate

The Museum-Estate of Sergei Rachmaninoff Ivanovka (near Tambov, 400 kilometers south of Moscow) is located at Ivanovka estate and is the only museum in the world, related to the life and work of the great Russian composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff . The long period of the composer's life, from 1890 to 1917, was associated with the Estate. Many Rachmaninoff's creative ideas emerged and began to take shape here. Currently Ivanovka hosts conferences , festivals, contests, concerts , assemblies. The Estate house, the concert hall, the outbuilding, the music room, the garden lodge and yard lodge are open to the public.

One person posted on Trip Advisor in December 2018: “I really had no idea what to expect when I planned my visit to the Rachmaninoff Estate in Ivanovka. I wanted to visit the place that played such an important part of his creative composing genius. I also wanted to get out into the Russian countryside, away from the big city of Moscow and experience that facet of Russian culture. I have never been treated so well as I was at the Estate. The staff was friendly and accommodating beyond any expectation. The lodging facility was awesome! The meals were awesome! The personal attention I received in regards to showing me around the Estate and sharing the history of Sergei Rachmaninoff and the family and of the Estate itself was amazing. The assistance with my transportation went above and beyond any reasonable requirement.

“Then there were the concerts! I was fortunate to visit for a concert by a very talented trio of young musicians, (violin, piano and cello) who performed Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff beautifully. I was even given a private piano concert on another day by another very talented artist, on the piano, performing all Rachmaninoff. Aleksander and Daria were the very best of hosts and I would go back if just to see them again!. I visited in Winter, and it was oh so cold and snowy, but the facilities were so well maintained and equipped that I was always comfortable. I must return in the late Spring or early Summer if possible. The place was beautiful covered in snow, but I want to go back when the 300 lilac bushes are blooming and I can stroll on the Red Way, or in the gardens, or by the lake. Once I had discovered Rachmaninoff, I had to put a visit to the Estate at Ivanovka on my bucket list. I flew into Moscow, took the train to Tambov and went by car to Ivanovka. I must return and I urge you to visit the Estate for a wonderfully unique life experience. Thank you Aleksander, Daria, Maxima and Sasha and the rest of the staff, too!”


Tula (190 kilometers south of Moscow) is drab city of 550,000 with little to see other than a samovar museum and a weapons museum with an unusual weapon. It is best known for being near Leo Tolstoy's estate in Yasnaya Polyana. Tula Oblast is famous for its weapons craftsmen and its gingerbread. Sights in Tula Oblast including Yasnaya Polyana; the Vasily Polenov House; and Kulikovo Field, the site of one of the greatest battles in the history of Russia, No trip the area is completer without tasting Belyovskaya Pastila and drinking tea from the famous Tula samovar.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Tula's gun and iron-making industry was founded. The state-owned Tula armaments plant was founded in 1712 on the orders of Peter the Great, and was from the very beginning equipped to meet the latest European standards, making the Tula brand truly competitive internationally. Records show that in 1720 alone, 22,000 guns were produced in Tula, an impressive number for the time. By the middle of the 17th century this was the leading gun-making town in Russia, and the major supplier to the state.

Tula Circus is one of the oldest in Russia. Established in 1870 and housed in its own building, it has consistently been voted one of the ten best circuses in the country. Here programs are prepared for the Moscow circuses and for foreign tours programs. Shows like “Prometheus”, “Circus on Ice” and “Circus on Water” got their start in Tula. The Tula Manege (the circus building) is equipped so that the stage can be transformed into a pool or ice rink for water and ice performances. The circus usually runs from September to April. Each season there are four or five new programs. The circus has its own orchestra, ballet, children's circus and training for future artists and circus performers train their skills to supplement the troupe.

Tula State Museum of Arms was founded in 1873 at the Tula Arms Plant and contains a .collection that depict the evolution of firearms and weapons from the 14th century to the present. The collection dates back to 1775, when Catherine the Great ordered the creation of a Chamber of rare and exemplary weapons in Tula. The unique collection features modern hunting, sports and fighting weapons and is one of the largest weapons collections in the world.

The weapon’s museum is located in two builduings: a new building in the shape of a heroic helmet on the Upa river embankment (permanent exhibition) and an older building — the former Cathedral of the Epiphany — inside the Tula Kremlin (temporary exhibits). The museum houses arms of the Russian army from the 18th-20th centuries, as well as rifles and guns of west European and eastern gunsmiths. Rifles manufactured to commemorate visits to the factory by the tsar and his family are considered masterpieces. Among modern specimens are special-purpose weapons The museum's permanent exhibition combines traditional museum displays with modern multimedia technologies, including holographic weapons. The museum also offers master-classes from Tula gunsmiths and performances by the Nesokrushimye theater of military history and has an air-gun firing range.

Getting There: By train: Railways connect Tula with all regions of Russia. The cost of a seat in a sitting car one way from Moscow — from 500 rubles. The journey time of 2-3 hours. Also around the Tula region runs a night train. The circular route from Moscow to Moscow connected Aleksin, Tula, Donskoy, Uzlovaya, Novomoskovsk and many other cities of the region. Ticket prices are affordable-from 630 rubles for a full circle. By Bus: From the bus station in Moscow to the bus station in Tula can be reached in 3 hours by bus. The price of a one-way ticket for an adult is 500 rubles.

Tula Kremlin Museum

Tula Kremlin (in Tula) is a prominent example of the 16th-century Russian fortification. It was built on the Muravsky Trail, the primary theater of Crimea Tatar raid operations. It stood sentry on the Southern borders of Russia for centuries, forming the backbone of the legendary Great Abatis Line. Tula Kremlin dates back to 1507, when the Great Prince Vasily III ordered groundbreaking of a masonry wall, which became the Tula Fortress. After 13 years of work it was completed in 1520.

Tula Kremlin never once surrendered. In 1552 the army of Crimean Khan Devlet Giray was routed at the Kremlin. This victory was instrumental in the success of the final Kazan war which was won by the Tsar Ivan the Terrible later that year. In 1607 the rebel leader Ivan Bolotnikov held Tula for over four months while resisting the forces of the Tsar Vasili Shuisky.

Located on a low, swampy bank of the Upa River, the Tula Kremlin has a rectangular plan and occupies an area of six hectares with a perimeter exceeding one kilometer.. Modern Tula Kremlin is a unique compound featuring walls that haven't been significantly altered since 16th century and an ensemble of buildings includes two cathedrals: the Holy Dormition cathedral, built in 18th century, and the Epiphany cathedral, dating back to 19th century. Other buildings on the site include the 19th-century shopping arcade and the first power station launched in the city of Tula in 1901. The Holy Dormition cathedral, constructed in 1762-64, is the crown jewel of the Kremlin. It is uniquely adorned with monumental paintings by iconographers of Yaroslavl, created in 1765-66, and the seven-tier gilded carved iconostasis which was constructed in the 2nd half of 18th century.

The museum of Tula Kremlin was opened in 1988. Visitors may walk over the walls and towers of the Kremlin, getting a wonderful panorama of the city. Shopping arcade of the Tula Kremlin was built by Moscow merchant Stepanov in 1895 -1897. At that time people shopped for furniture, items, fish, pastries and occasionally overseas fruit. Today in the restored malls visitors can try the gastronomic Tula brands, participate in exciting workshops, buy souvenirs. The mall has a tourist information center for the Tula region, with map diagram and information on museums, routes, hotels and catering facilities.

Yasnaya Polyana: Tolstoy's Estate

Tolstoy's Estate (200 kilometers south of Moscow, 116 kilometers south of Tula) is the family estate where Tolstoy spent much of his life. Known in Russian as Yasnaya Polyana, it contains the house where Tolstoy and his family lived, a literary museum in a wing of the house devoted to his writing career, the servant's quarters, and an unmarked grave where Tolstoy was buried.

Tolstoy was born here and lived with family here in a white house set among white birch trees for most of his life. The mansion was originally just a wing of a mansion used by his parents. Tolstoy inherited the estate in 1847 when he was 19. Seven years after that he sold the main houses which was carted off in 36 pieces to a nearby village and later demolished. Among the objects on display are peasant boots that Tolstoy made himself, a samovar he used when drinking tea with his wife and family, and a 22,000 volume library with books in 35 languages, including copies of the Talmud, Koran and Bible. Altogether collections of the museum contain over 50,000 items.

You can visit the study where Tolstoy wrote “War and Peace” (1863-69) and “Anna Karenina” (1873-77). On his desk are pictures of his family, a paperweight from the glassworks of Bryansk and a little bronze doll from "Aunt Toilet." Below the desk is the famous 17-inch high chair that the far-sighed writer sat on so he wouldn't have to bend over when he read.

The first mentions of Yasnaya Polyana date from 1652. From the middle of the 18th century, the manor belonged to the writer's maternal ancestors, the Volkonsky princes. In the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, a unique manor landscape was created here, including parks, gardens, ponds, an abundant orangery, and an architectural ensemble consisting of the large manor-house and two wings.

Tolstoy’s grave is located in the Stary Zakaz forest on the edge of a ravine. Tolstoy himself picked out the spot and marked a green stick that — according to a story from Tolstoy’s brother Nikolai — Tolstoy believed recorded the secret to universal happiness. The buildings in the estate are all in good condition. The manor did not suffer any damage during the Civil war and the peasants of Yasnaya Polyana protected the place during times of upheaval. In 1921, eleven years after the writer's death, a museum was inaugurated in Yasnaya Polyana thanks largely to the efforts of Tolstoy’s youngest daughter Alexandra Lvovna, Tolstoy's ancestors has continued to take an active role in running the estate and museum ever since. In 1941, when Yasnaya Polyana was threatened by Nazi occupation, the granddaughter of the writer, Sofya Andreevna Tolstaya-Esenina, then the manager of the museum, organized the evacuation of most of the exhibits to Tomsk.

Visiting and Getting to Yasnaya Polyana

About 500,000 people a year visit Tolstoy’s estate every year. The unmarked grave is favorite stop for wedding parties. Due to disputes between for the former Soviet officials who ran the museums and the Tolstoy family, sometimes not all the museums are open. The officials want to develop the site with tacky tourist stuff, which the Tolstoy family scoffs at. It is also possible to visit Nikolskoye-Vyazemskoye, the ancestral estate of Tolstoy’s ancestors on his father’s side. It is situated to the south of Yasnaya Polyana, in Chern district on the Black River.

Entrance to Yasnaya Polyana is 100 rubles (about US$1.60) per person. You can walk from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Tours are conducted until 3:30pm. From May to September, the museum offers bicycle tours of six an 10 kilometers and well as hikes and horseback riding. Tolstoy was a big fan of bikes, learning to ride when he was 67 years old and sometimes rode 16 kilometer distance between Yasnaya Polyana and Tula. The tour costs from 400 to 1200 rubles (depending on the selected mileage), you can sign up by phoning +7 (953) 438-03-07.

Getting to Yasnaya Polyana: By car it is necessary to travel on the Federal highway “Crimea” (M2) in the direction of Shchekino. After the sign “ Museum-estate “Yasnaya Polyana” at the traffic lights turn right. After 1 kilometers on the left you will see a Parking lot (coordinates 54.069687, 37.523141). Yasnaya Polyana is 15 kilometers from the center of Tula. By Bus: Buses number 114 and 117 (from the stop “bus Station” in Tula) or taxis number 114, 117, 280 (route Tula-Shchekino). Get to the stop “School” and walk about 10 minutes to the entrance to the Museum. The average fare is 35-45 rubles.

By Train: Beginning in 2002, train service directly from Moscow’s Kursky vokzal Station to Kozlova Zaseka anda re-creation of the wooden station house that Tolstoy himself used was opened. The station is about four kilometers from the estate. The cars on the train feature Tolstoy-themes, artwork and displays. The 1st Class cars are decorated like a 19th-century Russian mansion and show excerpts of Soviet film versions of Tolstoy’s works. The third-class compartments are clean and have some displays.

The train is called the Yasnaya Polyana (or trains No. 145 and 146) and the route is called the Moskva-Shchyokino. The trains leave Moscow at 9:00am on Saturday and Sunday and arrive at Lozlova Zaseka at noon. Buses take visitors to the estate. The train returning to Moscow departs at 4:30pam. A roundtrip 1st class ticket is about US$20.

Bogoroditsk: Palace of Catherine the Great’s Illegitimate Son

The Bogoroditsky Palace Museum (70 kilometers from Tula) is located on the former estate of the Counts Bobrinsky. The estate was built by Catherine the Great for her illegitimate son Aleksey Bobrinsky.The museum's permanent exhibitions display artwork from the estate's ensemble, including the architect I. Starov, the landscape designer A. Bolotov, and the owners of Bogoroditsk estate, the Counts Bobrinsky. The main suite on the second floor demonstrates interior decorations from the turn of the 18th century. This collection of ornamental art is perfectly complemented by sculptures, paintings, refined curtains, and houseplants.

The palace building was designed by I. Starov in the Early Classical style. The building is not only a part of the estate's palaces and gardens, but is also the center of Bogoroditsk: the town's five main streets fan out from the palace. The layout of the town and the landscape park was developed by Russian polymath A. Bolotov, who was the estate manager in 1776-1796 at the behest of Catherine II.

The complex includes an entrance tower, which serves as a parade entrance, and the Holy Kazan Cathedral. The architectural ensemble is complemented by a pond that reflects the park and palace facade. The Fan-shaped layout of the streets of Bogoroditsky is another distinctive feature of the town. The Museum is open from Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 to 18:00, on Friday and Saturday from November 1 to February 28 from 10:00 to 19:00, from March 1 to October 31 from 10:00 to 20:00. Weekends are Monday and the last Thursday of the month. Tel. +7 (48761) 2-25-32.

Kulikovo Field: Site of Pivotal Battle Against the Golden Horde in 1380

Kulikovo Field State Military, Historical, and Natural Museum Preserve (300 kilometers south of Moscow) was the site of the Battle of Kulikovo fought between the armies of the Golden Horde (Mongols) under the command of Mamai, and a united force of Russian principalities under the united command of Prince Dmitry of Moscow. The battle took place on September 8, 1380, at the Kulikovo Field near the Don River and was won by Dmitry, who became known as Donskoy, 'of the Don' after the battle. Although the victory did not end the Mongol domination over Russia, it is widely regarded by Russian historians as the turning point when Mongol influence began to wane and Muscovite power to rise. This process eventually led to Muscovite independence and formation of the modern Russian state.

Kulikovo Field is a unique collection of memorial, architectural, archaeological, and natural monuments. Known as the first battlefield in Russian history, it is situated between the Don Nepryadva to Krasivaya Mecha rivers The oldest memorial of the Kulikovo battle is located on Red Hill in the village of Ivanovka. It is also here the Sergius of Radonezh memorial church was built in honor of the spiritual leader of the battle, as well as one of the first Russian military monuments, the column in the honor of the faithful prince Dmitry Donskoy.

In 1996, a museum and memorial complex was established in Monastyrshino village on the burial ground of Russian soldiers who died in the Kulikovo battle. The Alley of Memory and Alley of Unity remind us of this great event, as does the natural historical landmark Zelenaya Dubrava, the location of the Zasadny (ambush) regiment that struck the decisive blow in the course of the battle.

On Kulikovo field you will be able to try on the armor of warriors, shoot a bow and crossbow, touch all the exhibits and go through an exciting combat quest. Young guests of the complex are welcome in the children's Museum “One in the field is not a warrior”. And to the confluence of the Don and Nepryadva Rivers you can ride in a britzka or sleigh.

Approaching the Kulikovo field from the northeast, it is impossible to miss ancient Epifan, formerly a flourishing city and center of a large district. Its history is inseparable from that of the rest of Russia: for more than 100 years, the Streltsy and Cossacks in Epifan deflected the attacks by the Crimean Khans and protected Tula and Moscow. In modern times, the Museum of Everyday Merchant Life can be found in the Baybakov manor in Epifan. Amateur historians can see an ancient house and trade shop with a basement, as well as participate in interactive programs.

Getting There: Kulikovo Field is located in the Kurkinsky and Kimovsky districts of Tula region. Memorials and museums are located at a considerable distance from each other. When making a route, you can navigate to the coordinates of the Museum (53.670887, 38.6425552). On the site of the complex there is an interactive map with all the sights:https://www.kulpole.ru/interaktivnaya-karta. By Car: The road from Moscow will take about 4.5 hours (280 kilometers), from Tula — 2 hours (130 kilometers). By Bus: From Tula by bus from the bus station to Kimovsk (reference bus station in Tula: +7 (4872) 33-25-45, in Kimovsk: +7 (48735) 5-71-51). Forth either route Kimovsk-Kurkino, either Kimovsk-Dankov from bus station in Kimovsk (the building on street corner Bessolova and 2 th Lugovoy).


Palekh (340 kilometers northeast of Moscow, 60 kilometers east of Ivanovo and 160 kilometers northeast of Vladimir) is a village near the Volga River regarded as the home of the best icon painters in Russia. Icons, lacquer boxes and miniatures from Palekh can sell for thousands of dollars. They are so famous in fact that art markets in Europe and the United States have been flooded with fake Palekh art. Most of the visitors come to the town as part of arranged tours.

Modern Palekh is a quiet artisan town with about 5,000 residents, one in eight of whom is an artist. Part of the Golden Ring of Russia, the town is well today for its lacquer miniatures. The style is instantly recognizable: it is always paintings on a black varnished surface in red, yellow, green, and, gold.

The Palekh style began to form in the 17th century and flourished through iconography. Local artists were invited to royal workshops. Palekh icon painting reached its peak in 18th and beginning of 19th century. Palekh icon making was complex and often carried out by a single artist or small group of artists. The process was not divided into smaller operations as was the case with mass-produced icon making.

The Palekh icon painters were not monks, but peasants. A close link with people's way of life — their work, holidays, customs festivals and folklore — was expressed in the lyrical lines, elegant of silhouettes, fluidity of the images and harmony of coloration found in their art. Palekh families such as Parilovs, Salautins, Korovaykovs, Kaurtsevs, Khokhlovs and Butorins worked in tsarist-era icon workshops. Each of them had a recognizable style while adhering to the canon established by the Church and its own specific congenial style.

After the October Revolution, artists were forced to look for new ways to realize their creative potential, especially after 1924, when the biblical themes were banned. In 1918 they was created Palekh art decorative gang which was specialized in painting on wood and molded paper. Palekh artists began painting boxes and creating miniatures, bringing worldwide fame to town of these creations. In 1924, “The Guild of Old Painting” comprising former masters of icon painting was organized in Palekh.

The father of Palekh lacquer miniatures was a former house painter named Ivan Golikov (1883-1937). Craftsmen developed a way to transferring traditional Old Russian icon painting technique with tempera to the new material (paper mache). Later the guild was renamed to the Association of Palekh artists, and after the war formed Palekh artistic production workshops of the Art Fund of the USSR. Today, the folk art of the Palekh land is primarily represented in wonderful works of the Palekh miniature lacquer painting and revived icon painting.

Palekh Sights

The Cathedral of the Raising of the Cross contains lovely 14th to 19th-century icons and frescos and has been transformed from a museum into a working church since the break up of the Soviet Union. A good collection of icons and frescoes can also be seen in the National Museum of Palekh Art. Icons and boxes are sold at local shops.

The State Museum of Palekh Art (website /muzei-paleh.ru) includes the Museum of Lacquer Miniature and Graphic Art, the Museum of Iconography, as well as house-museums of the masters I. Golikov, N. Zinoviev, N. Dydykin, and P. Korin. An entrance ticket to all these is 200 rubles for an adult; 100 rubles for students, schoolchildren, and pensioners.

The museum contains the best works of Palekh. The initial collection of old Russian painting was created by the department of pre-revolutionary Palekh Art in the 1930s and included Palekh icons from the 17th-20th centuries as well as objects of folk arts and crafts (copper and silver salaries, copper casting, spinning wheel, textiles, wood carving). In 2014 a unique collection of 14th-20th century icons was placed the new exposition and exhibition center of the museum.

House-Museum Golikova was opened in 1968. Ivan Golikov (1887-1937) is one of the founders Palekh lacquer miniatures and this house-museum is in his house, which was built in 1928 and is preserved in its original form. The museum exposition consists of the memorial room, where personal belongings of the artist, as well as the historical part, which tells about the creation of the Artel of ancient painting in Palekh and photographs of old Palekh. House II Golikova has a collection of Palekh lacquer miniatures and Palekh boxes and shows how they are made.

House-Museum of P.D, Corina opened in 1974. Corina was famed artist who won Lenin and State Prizes. All the things in the museum genuine. The house was built in the late 1860s-early 1870s and is one of the oldest wooden structures in Palekh.. The museum has a unique collection of icons, graphics icon painting and Western prints, There are works by Corina and his father and brothers. Among the prized works are "A Branch of Mountain Ash", "Palekh Is Based" and "Landscape with Pines".

Art workshop "Palekh Style" in a picturesque corner of Palekh near the center of the village gives the opportunity to get acquainted with the secrets of painting and art Russian lacquer. Guests can watch the process of creating or writing lacquer miniature icons. At the end of the tour you can buy ready-made work in the Art Salon at the studio and make a beautiful souvenir photo in the museum.

Center of Russian folk art is housed in two old mansions. The Center has 16 studios, including "Toy", "Clay toy," Painting on wood "," Art bark "," patchwork "," Beading "," Art Straws "," carving "," Lace " "Hand weaving". Everyone is welcome to meet with craftsmen in the studios and workshops, where under the guidance of professionals, children and adults can take craft classes.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation (official Russia tourism website russiatourism.ru ), Russian government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Yomiuri Shimbun and various books and other publications.

Updated in September 2020

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