Tsaritsyno’s Encyclopedia

This is an unprecedented project for Moscow: encyclopedia dedicated to a separate area of the city.

Tsaritsyno, an outstanding monument of Russian culture, with a rich and varied history, permanently generates interest in a wide range of readers. Researching of Tsaritsyno began in the second half of the 19th century. Many historians, writers and critics wrote about it in magazines and guidebooks, as well as journalists — in newspapers. However, along with the worthy and interesting studies were published works with inaccuracies, errors and misconceptions. The dramatic story of the unfinished residence of Catherine always excited the imagination of contemporaries and descendants, and gave rise to many myths and legends.

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Encyclopedia “Tsaritsyno” — fundamental work based on rigorous scientific facts, should provide both professionals and all interested readers with accurate and verified information, free from myths. The encyclopedia contains basic information about administrative situation, geography, nature and history of the area, as well as architectural and park ensemble of the residence of Catherine II and modern existence of Tsaritsyno. All articles are arranged alphabetically. The chronological framework of the events and facts, described in the Encyclopedia, covered the period from the objects of Fatyanovo archaeological culture (II millennium BC), discovered during excavations in the park, till the present day (the story of the museum-reserve and its activities). Much attention in the Encyclopedia is given to people who determined the fate of Tsaritsyno or related with it. Among them are the owners of the estate (Streshnevs, Golitsyns, Cantemirs, Catherine II and her crowned successors), and figures of Russian history, culture, science, from G. Potemkin, G. Derzhavin, N. Karamzin till the local natives (for example, creator of rocket engines Yu. Mozzhorin). The аrticles tell about writers: L. Andreyev, I. Bunin, A. Chekhov; musicians: P. Tchaikovsky, F. Chaliapin, and many others who lived in cottages in Tsaritsyno or visited the ones as a guest.

Encyclopedia was created by specialists of the Research Department with the assistance of colleagues from other departments of the Museum “Tsaritsyno” and the State Botanical Garden.

The authors studied and used documents and visual materials from public and private archives and museums of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Orel, as well as published records and memories. But it’s too early yet to put the last point in the project. Scientific search is carried out. Knowledge of Tsaritsyno continues to increase.