MOSCOW DAY TRIPS: Russian Nature in All Its Glory at POLENOVO

Polenovo 20Nothing compares to the beauty of Russian countryside, with its white birch groves, tall red pines, rainbow-colored flower meadows and sparkle of the Golden Autumn. No wonder, then, that odes to Russian Nature have been sung by many a writer, poet and artist.

And nothing encapsulates the classic Russian countryside quite like the Oka River valley in the Tula Region, about 150 kilometers south of Moscow. That is the spot that Vasily Polenov, one of the most famous and prolific Russian painters, chose for his country home and studio in the late 19th century.

Today the lovely estate – now called Polenovo, after the artist – is a museum. Think of it as a scaled down Russian Giverny (French home of Claude Monet, of the “Water Lilies” fame): beautiful countryside, perpetually blooming garden and a rustic house. You can visit the artist’s studio (which Polenov called “the Abbey”), see a collection of his original works and those by his famous peers and students (guided tours only), try your hand at traditional Russian crafts or check out many of the estate’s beautifully-preserved farm facilities.

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Polenovo 1 Polenovo 7 Polenovo 8But really, the best feature of the Polenovo estate is the Russian Nature around it. After all, that’s what brought Vasily Polenov here in the first place. If you want to see why a whole wing of the world-famous Tretyakov gallery is devoted to Russian landscape paintings, well, there’s no better place. I will let the photos do the talking.Polenovo

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Polenovo 18 Polenovo 19 Polenovo 20 A few words about logistics: Polenovo is a bit of a pain to get to without a car; on weekends there are about 8 trains per day, going to Tarusskaya Station (Pro tip: get the ‘long distance’ rail ticket at the window, not the suburban rail one from the machine. R400 each way). From Tarusskaya get a cab to the estate, it’s about a 10 minute ride (R500 will definitely get you there; if you’re good at haggling, R300 will do the trick); get the driver’s mobile number and call for a pick-up when you’re done. Bring your lunch with you, and pick up whatever else you might need at one of the two grocery stores by the Tarusskaya railway station; there is only one restaurant at Polenovo, the menu is limited and the service is not good. And don’t forget your bathing suit: you will ABSOLUTELY want to take a dip in the Oka!

Read more about Polenov and Polenovo here.

10 thoughts on “MOSCOW DAY TRIPS: Russian Nature in All Its Glory at POLENOVO


      Perhaps you should – we have epic parties AND epic landscapes. But really, that trip just made me fall in love with Russia all over again!

  2. Really lovely pictures here. You have a great camera. I wouldn’t have thought of Moscow as being so country-side like. I know that Moscow is more than the tourist attractions so I’m happy that you’re educating us in some form LOL!

    • The camera was on automatic, and I didnt even use any filters on anything – trust me, this was even more stunning in real life. Makes me want to sing odes to my country!

  3. So so pretty! Looks like you had perfect weather, that sky looks beautiful. You’re really making me want to visit Russia! 😛 (btw, would you be interested in a guest post about Russia? I’ll contact you for details on fb)

    • Yes, yes, and totally yes! FB away.
      (PS – I cannot believe I am missing John’s visit! He will be in Moscow exactly when I will be like, 40 km from Dusseldorf!)

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