Moscow Oblast is a true center of Russian Christian Orthodox culture. It is home to major holy sites such as the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and the New Jerusalem Monastery. Visit the ancient kremlins in Zaraysk, Dmitrov, Mozhaysk, and Volokolamsk to get close to history. In Kolomna you can try apple marshmallow and feel the atmosphere of the 19th century. The most famous arts and crafts, Gzhel ceramics, Pavlovoposadsky scarfs, and Fedoskino lacquer miniatures, originated in Moscow Oblast.
The estates, museums, and monasteries of Moscow Oblast are cultural treasures for all Russia. The architectural ensemble of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, the pearl of Russian church architecture, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of Russia's top ten symbols. The town of Istra was established as a settlement around the grand New Jerusalem Monastery, founded in 17th century by Patriarch Nikon based on Palestinian holy places.
Moscow Oblast's estates preserve many secrets and are wrapped in a unique romantic aura. Arkhangelskoye Palace is often compared with the residences of emperors and grand princes. Some foreign visitors say that it reminds them of Versailles. Abramtsevo Estate is an excellent example of a Russian estate from the second half of the 19th century, many of its buildings are similar in style to ancient Russian architecture. This includes the Spassky Church, similar to ancient churches in Pskov and Novgorod, and a bathhouse with wonderful carved decorations. The theme of Russian estate culture is also supported by the magical Hut on Hen's Legs, which is very similar to the fairy tale house of the witch Baba-Yaga.
The first plants, factories, and workhouses have been preserved in the east of Moscow Oblast. There are two routes of particular interest. The Flower Symphony will introduce you to the merchant town of Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Pavlovsky Posad, the only Russian museum of shawls and scarfs and the Dulyovo porcelain works. The two-day route Slavic Patterns of Moscow Oblast adds the towns of Gzhel and Yegoryevsk.
Ancient traditions and rituals are reflected in the folk festivals and traditional celebrations held in Moscow Oblast. The most popular festivals are: New Year, Christmas, Epiphany, Maslenitsa, Easter, the Sowing the Crane Field folk and environmental festival, the Day of Slavic Literature and Culture, the Trinity, Saviour of the Apple Feast Day, the Festival of Bread, the Luka-More Festival, the Slavic House Folk Festival, etc.
Moscow Oblast has lots of military history monuments. The following military history festivals are held every year: Day of Borodino, Dushonovskie Maneuverers, Battle of Molodi and the dramatization of the Vokhonsky battle from the Patriotic War of 1812.
In Shakhovsky district near the village of Stepankovo you can visit Konovalovo Ecofarm, a successful innovative ecotourism destination; Potapovo Farm in Ruzsky district; Vankovo Ecofarm in Mozhaysky district, and Ecoderevushka in Kolomensky. The Craneland Reserve is a national park in Taldomsky district. The Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Biosphere Reserve in Serpukhovsky district was included in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 1978.
Moscow Oblast's nature is charming and unique at any time of year. On hot summer days you can escape from the stuffy city and head for the public and private beaches.Skiing is very popular in the winter in the north of Moscow Oblast. The large ski resorts are perfect if you want to go skiing, snowboarding, iceskating, or riding on a snowmobile.