Central Federal District
Time: Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).
Federal district: Central Federal District.
Main cities: Dubna, Protvino, Zhukovsky, Krasnoarmeysk, Dmitrov, Belozersk, Sergiev Posad, Chernogolovka, Khimki, Reutov, Fryazino, Kaliningrad, Pushino.
Land and Resources: Moscow oblast borders Tver Oblast (N), Yaroslavl Oblast (at one point NE), Vladimir Oblast (E), Ryazan Oblast (SE), Tula Oblast (S), Kaluga Oblast (SW), and Smolensk Oblast (W). Moscovskaya Oblast is situated in the basin of the rivers Volga, Oka, Klyazma, Moskva. It is bigger than Denmark, Switzerland or Belgium. Forest covers 42% of the land.
Climate: The climate is temperate continental with warm summers and relatively cold winters. Average January temperature is −10 °C, average July temperature is +17 °C.
Transportation: Moscovskaya Oblast is the region of the advanced transport infrastructure. There are 4 civil airports and aerodromes of the Russian Air Forces connected with all countries of the world. The region is crossed by 11 main railway lines. All they are connected with the Moscow circular railway. There are the following waterways there: the channel "Moscow - Volga", the navigable rivers Moskva and Oka. Efficiency of motor transportation is high due to three ring motorways - round Moscow and within the radius of 50 and 80 km from the capital.
Moscovskaya Oblast is rich in monuments of architecture, history and culture of the All-Russian and world value. They are connected with names of many well-known Russian artists, composers, poets, writers, actors, commanders, public figures and politicians.
Being made in the region, products of glass, porcelain, faience, textiles, goods of the traditional Russian national crafts are widely known in Russia and abroad.
The Moscow Oblast can offer a lot to see as it is closely connected with Russian capital in historical and economic senses. Monasteries and churches, as well as estates of aristocracy, have preserved the brightest artistic and cultural achievements of Russia. Old towns of the Moscow Oblast have always been in the center of tourism and warm hospitality has become a good tradition here.
Maybe the most delightful moment in traveling around the Moscow Oblast is that it has a lot of hotels and wonderful recreational areas equipped with everything needed for having a great time. These suburban hotels are gradually becoming more and more popular among the Muscovites as holiday destinations, where they can play sports, enjoy leisure activities and spa treatments, whose array depends only on the level and price of the chosen hotel.
However, if you are interested in culture as well as in a good rest, you can easily combine one with another, as most of the local recreation centers are situated close to museum-estates, or monasteries, or some other famous buildings and sites. Their special atmosphere has preserved Russian cultural heritage for several centuries. Among the ones definitely worth paying a visit are the estates of Kuskovo, Arkhangelskoye, and Abramtsevo.
Kuskovo and Arkhangelskoye were the centers of aristocratic life and western lifestyle, while places like Abramtsevo have a different atmosphere and show the Russian life of the period at a different angle.
However, one of the most enchanting features of the Moscow Oblast is its traditional arts and crafts. If you are planning to travel around the region be sure not to miss a chance to visit at least some of its small artisan towns and villages. Gifted handicraftsmen will be glad to demonstrate their works to the guests. And the most pleasant thing about such trips is that every visitor will have a chance to find a unique souvenir at a reasonable price. Among the world-famous crafts that you are likely to witness in the Moscow Oblast the most distinctive are Gzhel porcelain, Fedoskino lacquered boxes, Zhostovo trays, and
Museum-Reserve Kolomenskoe: High above the steep banks of Moscow River, in picturesque nature`s lap you will find the old Kolomenskoe reserve, a unique historic place where the relics of the Russian people have been collected and preserved for centuries. This land, full of legends and stories, once a summer residence of Russian tsars and noble princes, became an enormous architectural and artistic museum-reserve in 1923. According to chronicles, it was here where the troops of the great warrior and defender of the Russian land Dmitry Donskoy stopped after the Kulikov Battle in 1380 and the troops of Peter the Great found rest after the Poltave Battle in 1709. Many other important events in the history of the Russian state also took place in the vast expanses of Kolomenskoe. Kolomenskoe keeps unique archeological monuments, in particular the Dyakovo settlement that gave name to the Dyakov archeological culture.
The world famous Church of Ascension, the first brick domed shrine in Russia, built by Basil the Third in 1532 in honor of the birth if his son Ivan (to become Ivan the Terrible) and protected by UNESCO since 1993 overlooks the Moscow River. Here you will also see the rare monuments of Old Russian wooden architecture brought from various places in the 1920s-50s. Some of them house expositions displaying artistic museum collections.
In the special atmosphere of this island of nature, beautiful, free and relaxing, you can lie in the green grass of lawns and hills, observe the wide opening scenery of Moscow, walk in the vast apple garden or admire the mighty 600-800 year-old oaks. In the Honey Museum you can taste a variety of honeys in the setting recalling Old Rus. You might be lucky to see some music concerts and spectacles, traditional open-air merrymakings and take a ship excursion on the Moscow River.
Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno: In the vast park of Tsaritsyno you might feel as if in a Gothic story; here one can easily picture noble ladies and princes in fanciful dresses straddling amidst the red and white brick pseudo-Gothic palaces, grottos and bridges. You will surely feel special observing the Russia largest architectural ensemble of the 18th century built as a summer residence for Catherine the Second and walking in the rich forests of Tsaritsyno with spacious glades and lakes. It might be interesting to see permanent expositions titled `Twenty Years of Life in Tsaritsyno or The Secret of Catherine the Second` and `Tsaritsyno as Moscow Coliseum`. You can also visit temporary art exhibitions held in some of the palaces and listen to classical music concert in the Opera House of Tsaritsyno.
The State Museum of Ceramics and Kuskovo 18th Century Estate: a unique monument of art culture of the 18th century located in Moscow. A luxurious summer residence of the dukes Sheremetyevs was famous for its large-scale theatrical activities and princely balls. Kuskovo still keeps over twenty unique architectural monuments, including the Palace, the Grotto, and the Big Stone Greenhouse. You will enjoy a walk in the French regular park with marble sculptures, ponds and original pavilions, kept till date.
Traditions of the Kuskovo Estate hospitality are being revived nowadays: the museum initiates various theatrical programs, garden parties and open-air merrymakings. In summer the dance hall of the palace hosts concerts and music festivals with Russian and foreign performers.
The brilliancy of architectural monuments, authentic interiors, parks and a unique collection of ceramics and glass will leave unforgettable impressions and envelop you in the atmosphere of the old-world Russian estate.
New Jerusalem Museum-Reserve: Here you will find the legendary Zion, the brook Cedron and the Gethsemane Garden with the holy Spring of Siloam. This unique phenomenon of Russian culture was founded by Nikon (1605 - 1681), the famous patriarch whose reforms drove the Old Believers from the Orthodox Church. He decided to prove that Russia deserved to be the centre of the Christian world by building the Holy City on the picturesque Istra River. The Holy City was to become the image of the Holy Land - "Russian Palestine", with the exact copy of the Holy Sepulchre. The site was designed as a grandiose New Jerusalem Monastery founded in 1656, 50km west of central Moscow.
"New Jerusalem" is one of the oldest state museums in Russia. It preserves wonderful archaeological and ethnographical collections, exhibitions of Russian and foreign pieces of art and crafts, as well as icon painting, embroidery, manuscripts, mouldings, clothing, artifacts, etc. However, the main attraction of the complex is the New Jerusalem Monastery.
In World War II, the retreating Germans blew the Monastery to pieces. The Resurrection Cathedral completely ruined, as well as towers and walls of the monastery. But it`s gradually being reconstructed. The main task of the Orthodox Church now is to create new exhibitions and to restore library and scientific funds of the ensemble.
At present, the Museum is located in a two-storeyed building of the monastery`s Refectory. The territory of the Museum of the also makes part of the complex. In the Gethsemane Garden just outside the monastery`s wall you will find an open-air museum of Wooden Architecture with surprisingly Russian exhibits: the Epiphany Church, built in 1697, an 18th century house and inn, a 19th century peasant`s home, granaries and a windmill, all rare monuments of Russian folk wooden architecture from the Moscow region.
In 1995, after a 75-year break, monastic traditions were finally restored in the monastery. So, the New Jerusalem complex now houses the New Jerusalem Museum of History, Architecture and Art and the New Jerusalem Monastery of Resurrection.
The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum: There are places in Russia with such an expressive and original image that once visited they stay in your memory forever enticing you to visit them again. One of such places is the old and picturesque town Sergiev Posad in Moscow region. Here one can most tangibly feel the epochs interrelating; a Russian can touch upon one`s national historic and spiritual origin, while a foreigner can get insight into the mystery of Russian perception of life. The town of artists, wood carvers and toy makers sprang from settlements surrounding the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, one of the oldest and most revered Russian monasteries and the historic center of Russian Orthodoxy.
The History and Art Museum-Reserve in Sergiev Posad is a major treasury of Russian art. The main peculiarity of the Museum is its location within the walls of the ancient Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery (Lavra), founded in the first half of the 1340s by the son of Rostov Boyar Sergius of Radonezh which later became one of the richest Russian monasteries. The world-famous architectural ensemble of the Monastery includes more than fifty edifices constructed by Moscow, Pskov, Yaroslavl craftsmen. It is an inseparable part of the Museum complex. In 1993 it was inscribed on the UNESCO List of the World Cultural Heritage.
Encarta World Atlas