The noble nest: Arkhangelskoye estate, Moscow’s Versailles

Back in the 19th century, this unique place was described as Moscow’s Versailles. But if Versailles is imbued with a certain artificiality, Arkhangelskoye's huge parterre and the open spaces are all entirely natural.

Archangelskoe’s heyday came at the beginning of the 19th century under Prince Nikolai Yusupov Sr. He needed it not for profit or even as a residence, but as a place to show off his unique collection of art treasures: paintings, sculptures, pieces of decorative and applied art.

Yusupov’s collections enriched both the Hermitage and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. But even when many masterpieces of painting and sculpture were moved to those museums in the 1930s, Arkhangelskoe still retained a great many items. Estates were owned by the rich in Russia, and the Yusupovs were the richest in Russia, wealthier even than the Tsar’s family.

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