Took a long walk in Tsaritsyno Park yesterday, the estate that once belonged to Tsaritsa Irina, the sister of Tsar Boris Godunov. It was the first place in Moscow where anywhere I looked, no tall high rises or ugly shacks disrupted the landscape of snow, beautiful red brick buildings and black denuded trees.
The history of the place starts sometime in the 16th century. In the 18th century Catherine the Great bought the estate, and so it became Tsaritsyno, literally meaning, it belonged to a tsarytsa. After Catherine's death it was largely abandoned and only recently restored. They did a beautiful job. If you ever go to Moscow, I suggest you visit this place, to feel centuries of Russia preserved in there, in the air itself, without the disruptions of traffic or noise or street dirt or scurrying people, though I hear it's usually packed. We were there in the twilight hours, and it was mostly deserted. Save for ducks. We fed them a whole load of bread.