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Raiki Estate

The Raiki Estate is often referred to as the Montmartre of Moscow. According to legend, the Empress Catherine the Great took a fancy to this amazingly picturesque place. When checking out the surroundings, she named this land near Moscow “a paradise.” Hence the name of the place – “Raiki (paradise)”.

For many years the estate justified its name. Preserved here are a number of masterpieces by the ingenious architect Lev Kekushev, one of the brightest masters of Art Nouveau in Russia. At the turn of the 20th century he designed several wooden houses in Raiki thus converting the estate into a dacha community for the privileged.

At the Raiki Estate the owners entertained many high profile painters such as: Vasily Surikov, Leonid Pasternak (with his family) and Pyotr Konchalovsky. They enjoyed taking strolls through the huge park and marveled at the sight of three artificial ponds. One of the ponds was shaped like a triangle. Several park alleys are shaped into the letter “A”.

During his childhood Boris Pasternak, a Nobel prize winner in literature and the author of the epic “Doctor Zhivago” novel, stayed at the Raiki estate. While during the Soviet era, Viacheslav Molotov, Stalin's right-hand man, took a fancy to the “American house”.

Today, the estate houses the Yunost resort. Here they have preserved the old park, the wooden house in the style of Art Nouveau built by Kekushev and the “American house”.

Address: Moscow Region, Schelkovsky district, the township of Yunost

Directions: by local train from the Yaroslavsky train station to the Chkalovskaya station, continue by shuttle van #25 to the Biokombinat township bus station; from the Schelkovskaya metro station by public bus or shuttle van #320, or 321, or 378, or 429 to the Biokombinat township bus stop; by car down the Schelkovskoye highway in the direction of Chernogolovka to the township of Yunost (21 km from the Ring Road)