Architectural and Park Ensemble "Tsar's Country Estate Izmaylovo"

Date of Submission: 21/04/2011
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO
State, Province or Region:
Moscow city
Coordinates: N55 47 31.88 E37 45 40.31
Ref.: 5622
Word File

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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


Architectural and Park Ensemble 'Tsar's Country Estate Tzmaylovo' is a unique example of cultural landscape comprising the natural and historical-architectural complex of monuments of the 16th-i 9th centuries, associated with major events in Russian history.

The small village lzmaylovo was founded on the bank of the Serebryanka River at the turn of the 16th century. It belonged to the noble family of the lzmaylovs. In the middle of the 16th century the ancestral village larnaylovo was the part of Vasiltsev settlement (Stan) owned by boyar Nikita Zakharyin-Juriev, the grandfather of tsar Mikhail Fiodorovich Romanov. In 1654 lsrnaylovo Estate became a fief of Tsar Alexsey Mikhaylovich. In the beginning he was attracted by the forests encompassing the territory. It was a nice place hunting ground. But in 1663 he decided to establish a new type of economic estate there.

The old village with the wooden buildings of boyars and a tabernacular wooden church constructed in 1620s was turned into an island. In 1667 by the order of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich the bed of Serebryanka River was dammed in such a wsay that the two ponds - Vinogradniy and Serebrianly - were turned into a water ring with an island in the middle via stone and earthen weirs. The island accommodated the palace ensemble. The ensemble was rectangular ri a top view with an inner yard enclosed inside it and the wooden tsar's palace in the center.

The economic development of lzmaylovo began in 1654 when Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich started to relocate the peasants from other regions of Russia to lzrnaylovo. A lot of skillful serfs were resettled from Pskov, Belgorod, Smolensk, Astrakhan and Kiev to farm the land and build chambers and churches.

The re'ocation was conditioned by a dedsion to create a model agricultural center in lzrnaylovo. The idea was to enable the cultivation southern horticultures there. Therefore, advanced types of husbandry were introduced. Some of them were more advanced than the European ones.

Several attempts were made to cultivate exotic plants - silk trees, almonds, roses. Gardens and orchards were equipped with irrigation systems and further mechanization was picking upspeed. Observation towers were built on the fields of the estate along with dams and watermills on Serebryanka.

The compositional axis of the entire lzmaylovo ensemble is the valley of Serebryanka River. Both riverbanks were allotted for horticultural and househord purposes. The ponds with their natural banks added to the picturesque view. Linden-trees were planted to farm beautiful alleys on the island along with birch groves and larch-tree alleys. The estate forest featured several gardens and a menagerie.

The main entrance to the island from Vladimirskaya road leads through the stone bridge over the Serebryanno-Vinogradniy pond. From the insular side the bridge ended in a three-storeyed barbican Mostovaya (Bridge) Tower. The archers were always on guard on each storey of the tower. The circje of the ponds, the Mostovaya Tower and the wooden watch-tower at the Vislaya dam connected with Stromynskaya road reliably protected the Tsars' residence.

The Mostovaya Tower has been preserved to our days. It bears some resemblance with the towers of Moscow Kremlin. Two square top view chetveriks, the top one smaller than the lower one, are toped up by the wide octagon (vosmerik) The lower tier has wide arch passages. Inspite of serving for fortification purposes the tower is richly decorated: the windows of the second tier are framed with the gay lintels, the passage way (gulbishche) and the small chetverik are decorated with the panels of the many-coloured tiles with images of birds of paradise. The tent octagon (vosmerik) that roofs the tower served as the belfry of the stone Intercession Cathedral standing near by. It was constructed by the team of master-masons guided by Gregory and Fiodor Medvedev who were from the villages near Kostroma and Yaroslavi. The builders who came from the banks of the Volga-river were guided by the

Moscow apprentice stone layer, archer Ivan Kuznetchik. The famous ceramists from Byelorussia Ignat Maksimov and Stephen lvanov (alias "Polubes" translated as "semidemon") decorated the top of the Cathedral with multicolored tiles. The cornice, the central zakomars and the drums were decorated with the rich frieze, Its pattern has several names: peacocks tail", "the eye of the peacock" or 'the burdock". The ornamental pattern reminds the eye-like tracery on the end of the peacock's tail or the opening bud of the burdock.

In 1839 the Intercession Cathedral considerably changed its appearance: two high porches on The northern and southern façade were dismant)ed. The three-storeyed buildings were constructed and attached to the façade and the altar of the cathedral. They were the buildings of Nicolas' almshouse for the military. In the 1920s rich inner decoration of the cathedral was lost. The revival of the Cathedral started after it had been given over to Russian Orthodox Church in the 1990s. Scientific reconstruction of the unique traditional five-row iconostasis is approaching its accomplishment now. The sacred icon of Holy Lady of Jerusalem was returned to the church. This icon saved lzmaylovo from plague in 1771.

In 1676 The construction of Tsar's Yard in the Estate lzmaylovo began. The inner yard has rectangular form, Its area is 290 x 220 sq. meters. It is located in the center of the island. The stone one-storeyed Colonels' Chambers arid Strelets' Chambers, sheds for horses, larders, icehouses, bread chambers and kitchens were built along its perimeter. In 1676-1681 the wooden palace was constructed in the south-western part of the Tsar's Yard. It was johed by a passage with the stone home church. It is quite obviously that the architectural image of the palace was evoked by the famous tsar's palace in Kolomenskoye.

lzmaylovo witnessed the childhood and youth of Emperor Peter I. In May of 1688, sixteen-year old Peter found an old English boat in the barn on the premises of lzmaylovo linen manufactory Later he referred to this finding as being the fruit-bearing seed of Russian fleet. Peter ordered to refer to lzmaylovo as the cradle of Russian f/eet and to the little boat as the grandfather of Russian fleet.

ri 1700 the lamaylovo palace suffered from the fire and was dismantled. In 1702 the new palace was built. It was roofed with the tower and a double headed eagle on top of it. It Was constructed in the architectural style typical for the first years of Pete?s reign. In 1767 the palace was dismantled along with the stone bridge over Serebryany pond. The Front Gate and the Rear Gate constructed in 1682 have been preserved to our days.

In 1837 Nicholas I decided to turn former lzmaylovo Yard to the site of future almshouse for the veterans of Napoleonic Wars and assigned architect K.Thon to manage the rehabilitaffon project. Thou initially planned to retain and repair the buildings of the old Yard perimeter and add two-storey residential wings to The cathedral. However, The plans changed and the perimeter buildings were demolished, with the exception of front and rear gates and church of Saint Joasaph. Thon rebuilt parts of the perimeter with single-stocey "hstoricai style" buildngs;some parts were simply replaced with a fence.

The central contemporary entrance to the Island is decorated with the Triumph single-span arch of the 19th century made of cast iron. In front of the Intercession Cathedral the cast iron fountain of the same period is situated. In 1998 the monument to Peter the Great by sculptor LKerbel was erected on the island. After the revolution of 1917 the alrnshouses were closed and transformed into ordinary housing under the name of Baumans Gorodok. When these residents were resettled to new homes After World War II, the almshouses were occupied in part by the State Historical Museum, in part by the Electrotechhical Institute. The Cathedral was closed in 1920 and transformed into an archive. It survived the fire in 1935. The Church of Sacnt Joasaph was demolished in 1936-1937. The ponds in lzmaylovo, drained in 1760s, were filled with water again in 193Gs their present configuration is quite similar to the 17th century, except for a lesser number of dams.

Now the lzmaylovo Island became a part of Moscow State United Museum-Reserve and this fact opens wide perspectives for using the unique complex as a museum.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

Architectural and Park Ensemble Tsars Country Estate lzmaylovo is a unique historical complex of cultural heritage of the 17th-l9th centuries. Built according to a predetermined plan, the property represents one of the best examples of outstanding estate ensembles of this time.

The architectural ensemble of the Estate is a picturesque composition of various structures standing out against the background of the park's greenery and mirror-like waters of the pond. The combination of austere composition of Tsar's Yard, the stately Intersession Cathedral, the barbican Mostovaya Tower located on the artificially created island of Serebryanno-Vinogradnyi Pond, and well preserved ancient park forms a unique cultural landscape in perfect consonance with the infrastructure of modern mega-city.

Criteila met

(ii) Throughout its history the ensemble of lzmaylovo Estate has undergone several functional changes conditioned by historic changes of social values that reflected in both architecture and natural landscape of The Estate. Emerged as a fief mansion, in the 17th century lzmaylovo became tsa?s country residence. At this time the majestic tsar's Yard and the Intercession Cathedral were constructed; the natural andscape was transformed. The 17th century was an era of transition from the Middle Ages to the New Times conjugated with exploration and experiments in all spheres of social life. The estate became the center of experimental farming, where new technology arid horticultures were introduced. The Serebr'yanka river-bed was transformed by dams arid the Estate zmaylovo became an island encircled with a ring of ponds.

The influence of Pskov's and Novgorod's architectural schools and Yaroslavl and Kostroma masters can be traced in architecture and landscape design of the lzmaylovo Estate. It is known that two notable gateways, the Front Gate and the Rear Gate, to the Tsar's Yard built by the architect Terentiy Makarov in 1682 served as a model for the gates of the Novode'Achy Convent and the Donskoy and Petrovsky Monasteries. This fact is an example of the important interchange of human values on developments in Russian architecture as determined by the criterion (ii).

In the 19th century, with the development of public charities Izmaylovo was transformed into an almshouse for soldiers and officers. The plan of Tsar's Yard was preserved but dilapidated buildings were substituted by the new ones and buildings of military almshouse were attached to the Intercession Cathedral.

In soviet times a so-called working borough occupied the premises of the former almshouse. The working borough was a form of socialist dormitory when several families lived in one apartment. One of such apartments with its wel'-preserved interior is now a part of museum exhibit in lamaylovo.

At present the Estate lzmaylovo is a branch of the Moscow State United Art Historical-Architectural arid Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.  Thus the above mentioned dearly proves that the history and the development of

Architectural and Park Ensemble Tsar's Country Estate lzmaylovo exhibits an important developments in architecture and landscape design.

(iv) Tsar's Country Estate lzmaylovo, situated on artificially created Izmaylovo Island, is an outstanding example of culturar landscape that illustrates a significant stage of Russian cultural development. Created in the middle of the 16th century, the property was one of the first cultural landscapes in Russian history. It is one of the outstanding examples of cultural landscape representing the harmonious interaction between man and nature to produce a

landscape of exceptional scenic quality as early as the l6th century.


Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The boundaries of the nominated property comprise lzmaylovo Island encircled by Serebryanno-Vinogcadnyi Pond with contiguous territoty. The historical core of Tsar's Country Estate including 14 architectural monuments of the l7th-l9th centuries is situated on the island. Four constructioi,s have been well preserved from the time of Tsar Alexsey Mikhaylovitch:Mostovaya Tower, the intercession Cathedral and two entrance gateways to the Tsaes Yard -the Front Gate and the Rear Gate. As it was pointed out in the Description1the Intercession Cathedral changed considerably its appearance in 1839 due to three extentions. They violated partly the authenticity of the construction as the monument of the 17th century. However, buildings of the military almshouse - the northern building, the southern building (both for soldiers) and the eastern building (for officers) are well preserved as architectural monuments of the 19th century.

In spite of sortie losses and rearrangements of architectural objects, the Architectural and Park Ensemble Tsars Country Estate lzmaylovo has kept its authenticity and integrity as a cultural landscape.

Comparison with other similar properties

The Architectural and Park Ensemble Tsar's Country Estate lzmaylovo could be compared with such properties already inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as Mir Castle Complex (Belarus, C625) and Architectural, Residential and Cultural Complex of the Radzivill Family at Nesvizh (Belarus, C1196). Both these properties and the lzmaylovo were country residences of the rulers of the 17th century where outstanding monuments of architecture of the epoch are combined with picturesque natural landscapes, the beauty of which was enhanced by actions of human beings.

At the same time complex lzrnaylovo has a special attractive feature: it has preserved its natural environment in spite of the fact that the complex is situated now within the city limits of one of the biggest megalopolises of the world. It shows that there is a room on the List forthe nominated property.

This Tentative List submission format is prepared by the Russian National World Heritage Committee in close collaboration with the MOSCOW State United Art Historical-Architectural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve.

The Architectural and Park Ensemble Tsar's Country Estate lzmaylovo is submitted as the cultural landscape and corresponds to the criteria met by the above mentioned similar properties included in the List (except for criterion (vi) in C1196). We propose to include this property in the Tentative List and in case of the UNESCOs approval we will present the complete Format for the nomination in the near future.