The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Gardens near Moscow

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463. Among other gardens near Moscow may be mentioned those of Count Alexy Razumowsky, and of Paschow, in Moscow; of Tzaritzina (fig. 149.), a singular Turkish palace, built by Potemkin for Catherine; and various others, which would well bear description. In general, extent, exotics, and magnificent artificial decorations are more the objects of the modern style in Russia, than scenes merely of picturesque beauty. We think, this may be accounted for, partly from the general want of refinement of taste in that country, and partly from its inaptitude for the natural style. The nobles of Russia, suddenly rendered aware of being distanced, in point of civilization, by those of most other European countries, are resolved not merely to imitate, but even to surpass them in the display of wealth. The most obvious marks of distinction, in refined countries, are necessarily first singled out by rude and ambitious minds, and large magnificent houses and gardens are desired, rather than comfortable and elegant apartments, and beautiful or picturesque scenes; since, as every one knows, it is much more easy to display riches than to possess taste; to strike by what is grand, than to charm by what is beautiful. Sophiowski; in Podolia, is a magnificent residence of the Countess Pototcki, laid out by a Polish architect, Mitzel, in the manner of Switzer. It has a magnificent terrace or promenade, and extensive avenues, conservatories, and gardens.