Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Visiting the French Gardens at Kuskovo

My sister and I have been making the rounds of all the manors around Moscow for the past couple of years. This year we decided to visit Kuskovo, a little green paradise in eastern Moscow. One of its main attractions is the only French formal garden left in Moscow.

The French garden at Kuskovo
A formal French garden is characterized by symmetry and order; it's nature brought under human control. This type of garden was particularly popular in the 17th century. In the 18th century the English landscape garden emerged which is all about the picturesque and creating the illusion of wild, untamed nature.              

French garden on the left, all order. English garden on the right, all wilderness. Source
Well, you get the picture.

Kuskovo was the summer estate of the very wealthy and powerful Sheremetev family. They owned large chunks of land around Moscow (their name may be familiar to you from the Sheremetyevo Airport, where they owned a village and its inhabitants), owned a large number of people and were patrons of the arts and theater. I very much recommend reading about them - TV shows like the White Queen will look pretty tame in comparison to their lives.

Kuskovo manor and church, view from the pond 
Apart from the palace, which is just a very large manor house beautifully decorated, the park has a grotto, a hermitage, the Dutch house, the Italian house, the Swiss house, the menageries for the waterfowl, the remnants of a summer theater, and two orangeries.  

The Grotto
The Italian house
The orangery 
The hermitage
After a tour of the park, it is essential to take a little rest in the shade with a good book.

Barely visible roof of the Swiss house

The Dutch house in the background
There was also an English landscape garden, wild and romantic.
And some semi-wild cats everywhere.

After getting enough fresh air and sunshine, we decided to take a turn around the manor house.

The dinning room

The tiled oven in the reception room, typical of Russian interior design of this period  
The reception room

The dancing room
While we were there, we got to see the French Elegance exhibition. Different rooms of the manor housed a collection of dresses and outfits, recreations of the the French 18th century fashions.

My favorite gown was in the dinning room.
 More outfits from the dinning room.

A beautiful formal gown from the reception room.

I found this replica of the famous Madame de Pompadour dress delightful.

Some less formal fashions and wigs from the dressing room.

And finally, in the last room of the manor house there was a small exhibition of shell art from the grotto. The grotto is undergoing some restoration work, so they moved some of the pieces from there into the main house. I did not know that you can make such beautiful art with shells. Now I do!

Well, that's all from the beautiful Kuskovo. Until next time!

Outfit notes:
Dress - originally Lindex, thrifted
Wrap - KappAhl
Belt - thrifted
Bag - borrowed from Mom
Hat - farmers market in Porvoo
Shoes - Keds from Shooz

All images by my sister Maria K. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...