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Muromtsevo: Gothic Ruin next to Golden Ring
April 8, 2010 01:47

Country-seat of Muromtsevo is situated almost on the way between Vladimir and Moscow. You have a chance to get there if you take the wrong way in the trip from Vladimir to Suzdal. Suzdal lays in 40 km from Vladimir northwards, the little town of Sudogda, which is not mentioned in the traveller’s guides lays in 40 km as well, but to the south-east. The town is notable because of the outstanding beautiful Muromtsevo country estate, built in the Gothic style in the late 19th century, then turned into a forest research institute, which did not exist long, and then it was little by little ruined, and that must be also in the Gothic style. It is not very easy to reach and it is really ruined. The people fond of architecture and romantically-minded persons, welcome! But please, be careful.

Good beginning

This history began as a fulfillment of a dream in 1884. The dream belonged to Count Vladimir Semenovich Khrapovitsky, colonel of the hussars, and a big lumberjack. He was a person with outstanding taste and comparable capital. The putting into practice of his dreams belonged to the architect, working in that eclectic style, which is usually faulted for its unideaed eclecticism. The architect was actually very talented, some of the best; his name was Petr Samoylovich Boytsov. Broadly speaking, the dream was a series of palaces and gardens unheard-of. Boytsov was found of the medieval castles and he developed this theme in the main house, looking like Hogwarts, and in the hunting lodge, superintendent’s house, straw-hat theatre, stable yard, stockyard, coach-house, wooden music pavilion and boatshed, quay for boats and water tower. He carried out these works in 1884-1889. Besides him, the other people were involved in the landscaping; they were some of the best as well. The paths in the park, which included a French (regular), Italian (with cascades) and Endligh (landscape) parts were provided with electrical torches. Yes, the main house was also provided with electricity, water pipe, sewage facilities and telephone.


Khrapovitsky’s business was perking, and in 1895, and a railroad spur was laid there. All the buildings were constructed by Boytsov. In 1899 he built a church in the Neo Russian style. After that the partnership of the patron and the artist finished. Another architect added a wing to the main house, in a more cold style, striking a discordant note (or maybe romantic asymmetry) into the building’s composition, but nevertheless it came in handy.

Gothic ending
But everything comes to its end. Khrapovitsky had to emigrate, and the marvelous country estate began to rust. The beginning of the new period was not very gloom. On the September, 11, 1921, a forest research institute was founded in the building of the main house. I suppose it was exciting to study in this Hogwarts-looking castle. The institute was not unfortunately very popular, and soon it was turned into a technical school, and then (in 1979) it moved to the new building. The Soviet art historians did not like eclectic style, so nobody remembered that it was a monument of architecture. So the fate of Muromtsevo was determined. It began ruining. And it is still unfortunately ruining. They say, the real masterpiece gets old and ruins also aesthetically. Last time some attention was paid to the complex, and something like conservation was even begun. Hopefully, it is not too late. If you try to get onto the building you may see the teenagers from Sudogda town. They hang there all the time with all the consequences that come with it.

Getting around
From Vladimir you can take the bus going to Sudogda, Murom, Melenki, Krasnaya Gorbatka, and get to the bus station of Sudogda. There are about 30 trips every day. From the bus station you will walk 3 kilometers to the Muromtsevo estate (towards Pioneer Sovkhoz).

From Moscow you get there through Vladimir, which is reachable by train from Kusrky and Yaroslavsky railway stations. There is another, direct way, to Sudogda by bus, following to Murom and Melenki from the Shchelkovo bus station. There are 2 – 3 trips a day.

If you prefer more classical excursions, we can offer you some.

Yulia Buzykina


Tags: Golden Ring Muromtsevo    

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