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Kursk Oblast , Ivanovskoe

Marino Ensemble of Palaces and Parks

Дворцово-парковый ансамбль «Марьино»
Дворцово-парковый ансамбль «Марьино»
Дворцово-парковый ансамбль «Марьино»
Дворцово-парковый ансамбль «Марьино»
Дворцово-парковый ансамбль «Марьино»
Дворцово-парковый ансамбль «Марьино»

The Marino mansion was created in the beginning of the 19th century on the grounds of an old village (Ivanovskoye), to which it was connected by an alley of century-old trees and a common history.

In 1811 all the estates in Kursk were inherited by Ivan Ivanovich Baryatinskiy after the death of his parents. The Marino Ensemble of Palaces and Parks was built in the second decade of the 19th century, taking its place among other beautiful country houses that belonged to the nobility. The axis of the ensemble goes through the wide drive-up alley that leads fr om Ivanovskoye village to Marino, and across the front yard, the palace-house, the Marino pond and the vast landscape park to the west of the Hermitage pond.

The center of the composition is the three-story palace building with one-story annexes on its sides. The palace was built by 1820 according to the design of the Kursk architect Karl Ivanovich Gofman. Initially the palace was called the Izbitskiy house, because it was built on the banks of the Izbitsa river. Later it was renamed Marino, together with the estate, after the second wife of I. I. Baryatinskiy.

At the same time a landscape park was designed with various vegetation: larches, oaks, chestnuts, white cedars, silver spruces, maple trees, pines, Canadian poplars, Lombardy poplars, and numerous kinds of bushes. The Big Marino pond was created near the river.

In the middle of the pond there was a round island where in 1817 a rotunda with 16 columns under a spheric dome was constructed. In the center was a white marble statue (The Birth of Venus) by the Italian sculptor K. Fenelli. There is also an oval island in the pond where a brick Protestant church in the pseudo-Gothic style was built specially for the duchess Maria Fedorovna. Several shipwrights were called from St. Petersburg to create a special fleet for the pond. Flags, sails, and ropes were bought, and anchors and copper cannons were forged. The main attraction of the Marino park is the cast iron Oryol memorial, a symbol of Russian military glory. It was created in 1903 to commemorate the deeds of A. I. Baryatinskiy and the successful end of the Caucasus war.

But the main reason why the palace was famous in Russia was not its architecture, but rather its luxurious interiors, collections, and the atmosphere of festiveness, openness, elegance, and nobility. To enter the palace, visitors had to go up the front stairs, guarded by two lions of white stone.

The central part of the main building was occupied by a huge front hall, topped with a dome with amazing grisaille murals depicting stories from Ancient literature. Upstairs there were parlors, living rooms, and dining rooms that impressed the guests with their colorfully painted ceilings and chandeliers of colored glass. The parlors were decorated with furniture in the imperial style.

Unlike many other manor estates, this mansion remained in possession of the Baryatinskie until 1917, which protected its heirlooms. In 1869-1873 the palace in Marino underwent a significant reconstruction designed by the famous St. Petersburg architect I. A. Monigetti (1819-1878). The reconstruction was headed by the Kursk architect K. F. Shtolts. The project was influenced by the new tastes in the neo-classic style, which was very popular in the 1870s. At the beginning of the 1900s, the palace was supplied with central heating, water, sewers, and electricity. The main building even had an elevator.

Beautiful pieces of art were added to the collection of Marino in the 19th century. After the 1917 Revolution the Marino palace collection suffered an unenviable fate. In 1918-1919 the local peasants repeatedly ransacked the palace or declared it «the people's property.»

The employees of the Museum Commission of the People's Commissariat for Education A. V. Grishchenko, N. P. Kiselev, and V. I. Raevskiy committed a civil feat when, during the war, they managed to get to the mansion, catalog the precious collection, and transport it successfully to Moscow, wh ere it was added to the museum reserves. From there the treasures were sent to the Museum of History, Museum of the Eastern Nations, the Rumyantsevskiy Museum and the Library of Foreign Literature. Now the pictures from Marino decorate the walls of museums in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Makhachkala, Ulyanovsk, Krasnodar, Ryazan, Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Odessa, Kharkov, Baku, Simferopol, Taganrog, Ashkhabad, Tashkent, and Rostov. In 1923 the possessions of Shamil, who once visited Marino in 1868, were donated to the Museum of the Dagestan Republic. A small part of the furniture, paintings, and decorations were sent to the local history museums in Rylsk and Kursk.

The Tourist Information Center of Kursk oblast /

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Address: Kursk oblast, Rylskiy district, Ivanovskoye village

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