The 15 best sights of Istra – descriptions and photos

Istra sights

Voskresenskoe Reservoir Voskresensky Novoierusalimsky Monastery Troitskoe Estate Ivanovskoye Agalarov Golf and Country Club Novo-Ierusalimsky Monastery Estate Polevshino Estate Pavlovskaya Sloboda

On this site you can find attractions of Istra – photos, description and tips for travelers. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Istra, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Istra.

Istra Reservoir

Istrinskoe Reservoir (photo)

One of the most beautiful man-made lakes of the Moscow region, the Istra Reservoir, is located in the northwest of the Moscow region near the Istra River.

As with most reservoirs, the main purpose of the Istra reservoir is to supply water to nearby cities and towns, as well as the capital of our country.

Year of foundation of the reservoir is considered to be 1935, but during military operations in late 1941, the dam, which holds the water, was blown up by Nazi troops. It was possible to restore the dam in incredibly difficult wartime conditions only in 1942.

In the postwar period, passenger ships sailed on the Istrinskoe Reservoir, transporting people from one settlement to another.

At present, the Istra Reservoir has a cultural and recreational value. In the summer heat thousands of Muscovites leave the stuffy city trying to find relief and refreshment near the lake from the exhausting heat. There are all conditions for them here: numerous recreation centers and sanatoriums are scattered along the shores of the lake. Dacha residents of Volokolamskoe and Pyatnitskoe Chaussee are regulars at the lake.

The reservoir is also known for its famous residents: so not far from the shore is the palace of Pugacheva, Millergof manor, as well as homes of other celebrities of Russian pop.

Coordinates: 56.06437000,36.81370500

Voskresensky New Jerusalem Monastery

Voskresensky New Jerusalem Monastery (photo)

The Resurrection New Jerusalem Monastery is a stauropegial monastery.

It is the favorite monastery of its founder, Patriarch Nikon. The monastery was founded by him in 1656 and, according to Nikon’s plan, was to be analogous to the temple of the Holy Sepulchre. The construction was completed in 1685. The heart of the monastery is the Resurrection Cathedral, a unique monument of Russian architecture. The plan of the cathedral corresponds to the measurements of the temple in Jerusalem, given in “Proskinitarii” by hieromonk Arseniy. The scheme of the location of individual rooms was repeated.

However the Resurrection cathedral was not an exact copy of the temple of the Holy Sepulchre. Nikon ordered to decorate the cathedral being erected in accordance with the high dignity of the Russian Patriarchate and the tastes of his time. The decoration of the New Jerusalem Cathedral consisted of polychrome tiles of which the whole iconostasis was composed in the interior and outside – of platbands, portals and cornices completing the walls.

Coordinates: 55.92134000,36.84529100

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Ivanovskoe Estate

Ivanovskoe Manor (photo)

The Ivanovskoe-Kozlovskoe estate was founded in the early 18th century, originally it belonged to the Princes Gagarin, after which its owners changed several times. The last owners were the Princes Kozlowski.

Today tourists can see a two-story stone house, which consists of two parts and is an example of Baroque architecture. There are remnants of the furniture of past years preserved inside the building.

What is interesting is that the Nudol river that once flowed here is now a water reservoir that offers beautiful views. The manor house stands in the middle of a huge English-style park, which is in a neglected state today. During Soviet times, a wooden pediment, belvedere tower, and balconies were added to the house, which subsequently disappeared without a trace.

In the post-revolutionary time a school was organized in Ivanovskoye, first for the deaf-mute, then – for mentally retarded children. Later the estate was used as a health resort.

Coordinates: 55.80948100,37.30646600

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Manor Troitskoe

Manor Troitskoye (photo)

Today the Troitskoye Estate can be seen as a picturesque ensemble of two churches – the Trinity Church, made of wood in 1675 and dedicated to Sergius of Radonezh, and the Trinity Stone Church. Once, the estate belonged to the representatives of the old Russian noble family Boborykin.

Picturesque Giethoorn, Netherlands

It is interesting that in the old times the estate was called Boboryevo, as well as a pogost. Today you can see a huge cemetery with majestic tombstones of the past centuries.

Despite the official records, the wooden church dates back to the beginning of the XVIII century. In 1830, the foundation of the church was made of white stone, window apertures were enlarged, the entrances had new porches and the church itself was neatly lined with plank.

The stone temple was built by the project of M. Litvinov, it is called the Life-Giving Trinity, its architecture combines the features of the classicism and neo-Russian (or pswedorussian) style.

Coordinates : 55.88357000,36.90140000

Agalarov Golf and Country Club

Agalarov Golf and Country Club (photo)

Agalarov Estates estate, 24 km from MKAD, Novorizhskoe highway, Moscow region, Istrinsky district, Obushkovsky village, the district of Voronino and Zakharovo villages.

Infrastructure: Clubhouse, Golf Academy, Beach Club with a swimming pool, restaurant and a pier for boats on the quiet electric running Indoor sports complex with three tennis courts, a field for mini-football, bowling, hammam and gym hotel for guests of the settlement and members of the club, helipad.

Real Estate: 260 exclusive residences

(Area of houses: from 500 sq.m.)

New Jerusalem Monastery

New Jerusalem Monastery (photo)

According to the plan of Patriarch Nikon, the founder of New Jerusalem Monastery, the image of the buildings was to recreate the holy places of Palestine and repeat the architecture of the Holy Sepulchre. In the New Jerusalem Monastery, founded in 1656, Nikon found his last earthly resting place – his grave is in the northern aisle of the Resurrection Cathedral.

The monastery was patronized by Russian monarchs – under Elizabeth Petrovna its possessions increased and the repair of the tent of the Resurrection Cathedral began. And after the major fires of 1762 and 1792 the restoration took place on the funds allocated by Catherine II.

The architectural complex of the New Jerusalem Monastery, in addition to the majestic Resurrection Cathedral, built using blueprints from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, includes the underground Church of Constantine and Helen, the fortified stone fence and several beautiful buildings decorated with stucco and majolica that form a single complex ensemble.

Coordinates: 55.92134000,36.84533000

Polevshino Manor

Polevshino Estate (photo)

Polevshino manor from XVII century belonged to the boyars, then by family line came into the possession of the noble family Balk-Polevy. The manor often changed its owners – it used to belong to the Saltikovs and the nephews of millionaire S. T. Morozov, the Karpovs.

According to the description by Leonid Archimandrite from the end of XIX century, at that time the estate consisted of a mansion, outbuildings, church yard, a two-tiered church with a hipped-roof bell tower, garden and a linden alley.

Until our days there is still the Church of Kazan icon of the Mother of God, built in the late XVII century, the remains of the park and a small pond, which has lost its splendor. In addition, the burial vault of the boyars Polye is located here, but all these sights are in a deplorable condition.

Coordinates: 55.96520000,36.85681300

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Pavlovskaya Sloboda Estate

Pavlovskaya Sloboda estate (photo)

Pavlovskaya Sloboda used to be the village of Pavlovsky, the double name the estate received in 1864. The first mention of this settlement dates back to 1504, and its first owner is listed in the land surveyor Yakov Morozov. By 1730 the fiefdom had become a palace estate.

The Church of the Annunciation, which was built in 1661-1662, came down to this day. A roofed passage connected the temple with the mansion, where Boyar Boris Morozov used to live. The estate also included outbuildings, a wide household complex, massive hewn gates, as well as fruit gardens.

The Church of the Annunciation consists of a pierless quadrilateral, and there is also a refectory. The church is decorated with corbel arches and platbands. In the XIX century there was erected a three-tiered bell tower, which did not survive until nowadays.

The direct road connected Pavlovskoye to Moscow; Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich liked to go there for pilgrimage. Besides there were mansions of tsarina Natalia Kirillovna.

In post-revolutionary times the estate had hard times, but in the 50s the manufacture, located in the church, was removed from there.

Coordinates: 55.81083200,37.08177600

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Istra: sights, what to see in a day

Istra sights, what to see in 1 day

Istra is a quiet town located in the Moscow region. Distance from it to the capital – 68 km (when driving a car). The basis of the attractions of Istra are wooden structures of churches and manor houses. It is a kind of museum of ancient architecture in the open air. Tourists enjoy not only the majestic architectural buildings of the XVII century, but also the beauty of the scenery, the surroundings and the purity of the air.


The date of the founding of Istra: 1589 г.
Population of the city: 34309 people (2018).
Area of the city: 7 km²

History of Istria

The name of the town has changed several times. It received its modern name in 1930. Until then, its name was Voskresensk. The renaming is due to the fact that after the abolition of districts in the Moscow region formed 2 Voskresensk. The choice of the new name contributed to the fact that the city is located in a picturesque corner where the river Istra flows.

Historians suggest that the area along the banks of the Istra River has long been inhabited. Back in the XIII century these lands were settled by citizens of Surozh, who fled from the Polovtsians. In the next two centuries the land belonged to the families of Ivan Kalita and Dmitry Donskoy. After an epidemic of plague, raids by the Crimean Tatars, Lithuanians, and the events of the Time of Troubles, “wastelands” were formed in many settlements.

Historical beginning of Istra – Safatovo village, renamed in 1589 in Voskresenskoye. It is based on the name of the church.

The history of Istria is closely intertwined with the annals of the New Jerusalem Monastery. It was near its walls that the future city was formed. In 1656 those places were visited by Patriarch Nikon, the largest religious figure of Russia, who wanted to strengthen the church. After the trip he had a plan to create a “Palestine near Moscow” – a monastery that he called “New Jerusalem”. He bought lands from owner Boborykin and started building.

The construction of the monastery required a large number of workers. Nikon bought new settlements in the area. Soon the monastery had 19 villages.

Since 1781 the village became a county town – Voskresensk. In the beginning there were no significant changes in its economy. Trade and crafts were still the main occupations of the inhabitants. Popularity of the monastery contributed to an increase in the number of guest houses and inns.

Economic life has intensified after the appearance of the Vindavo-Rybinsk railroad. At the beginning of XX century in the city appeared 10 industrial enterprises.

On Saturdays and holidays the noisy fairs took place on the Market Square. They were visited by merchants from different places.

City street on an old photo

The city street in the old photo.

The town was also becoming a cultural center. Since 1908, the regional Drama Theater existed there, which began its activities with the staging of the play “Poverty is not a Vice” by Ostrovsky. Three years later a Zemstvo library was opened, and five years later – a cinematograph.

Chekhov, who came to visit his brother, lived and worked in the hospital in the city. It was here that the plots of “The Cherry Orchard”, “The Three Sisters”, the stories “The Fugitive” and “Surgery” were born. Residents of the city immediately knew that the three sisters longed to leave the backwater Voskresensk. Anton Pavlovich dreamed of buying a plot of land for a house on the banks of the river.

Herzen and other famous personalities visited Voskresensk. Lermontov has a poem “In Voskresensk”. Part of his masterpieces Levitan created, being in the neighborhood along the river.

In 1941, during the war the city was badly damaged. The Nazis almost destroyed it. The city had to be rebuilt from scratch. Important historical and architectural monuments were restored.

New Jerusalem Monastery

Let’s start the acquaintance with Istria from the New Jerusalem Monastery and its neighboring sights.

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General view of the New Jerusalem Monastery

General view of the New Jerusalem Monastery

Its construction was carried out by the best masters. In the project invested enormous resources. Nikon received a huge income from the 120 thousand peasant households that were in his possession.

In erecting the main building of the monastery, the drawings of the ancient temple of Jerusalem were used. In one of the Christian legends it is said that Christ was buried in that temple.

The purpose of the architectural ensemble was to create an impression of grandeur, to impress people with unprecedented splendor, to assert the immutability of the Russian church.

The place for the location of the monastery is well chosen – a high hill, around which the river Istra flows on three sides.

The works lasted for several decades:

  • 1656 – the date of the erection of wooden walls with 8 towers;
  • 1658 – the beginning of the construction of the Church of the Resurrection;
  • 1666-1678 – the period of cessation of work (affected by the events associated with the fall of Nikon);
  • 1679-1685 – the end of the construction of the majestic temple in Russia;
  • From 1690 till 1694 the wooden walls and towers are replaced with stone ones, the Gateway Church of the Entrance of Christ the Savior is built.

Despite the obvious manifestation of antiquity, of which Nikon was a fan, the construction of the ensemble was carried out with the use of new, unusual techniques and violation of the old traditions of Russian architecture. The rotunda dome and the circular gallery of the cathedral’s main part looked unusual. In the construction were looked through receptions of new style – Russian baroque.

The inner part of the Rotunda of the Resurrection Cathedral

The internal part of the tent of the rotunda of the Resurrection cathedral

Colored polychrome tiles were used for decoration of the monastery complex. They replaced the marble used to decorate the temple in Jerusalem. The result is a new interior with sparkling reflections of the tiles that enhances the expressiveness and richness of the ensemble.

Unfortunately, of these decorations only a small part has been preserved. The tiles were covered with stucco during reconstruction in the middle of the XVIII century. They became visible after the destruction during the Great Patriotic War.

The huge rotunda with a tent, whose diameter reaches 29 meters, and height – 18 meters, attracts attention.

The construction of walls and towers of New Jerusalem was supervised by famous Russian architect Bukhvostov.

Length of walls – 930 meters, height fluctuates in an interval 9-11 meters. On Nikon’s plan the towers of Voskresensky monastery were given names of the Palestinian towers of Jerusalem – Gethsemane, Zion, David’s House.

The monastery was supported by funds of Russian monarchs and the nobility. They regularly visited it. In 1903 it was visited by Nicholas II and his family.

In honor of Empress Elizabeth one of the towers was given the name – Elizavetinskaya, because it restored the collapsed tent and the burned building of the cathedral. It differed from other towers by a peculiarity – the presence of the second monastery gate leading to “Nikon’s skit”, which was behind the territory of the monastery walls.

The three-tiered towers and walls of stone were built following the traditions of Old Russian constructions. By that time their defensive role had lost its meaning. However, they added to the structure decorativeness and a spectacular view against the background of century-old pines, lindens and bushes covering the slopes of the hill.

In the middle of XVIII century, the Resurrection cathedral underwent changes after reconstruction:

  • The character of the rotunda’s interior changed as a result of replacing the stone tent with a wooden one. A lot of openings for light, letting in the sunlight, appeared. The result is a loss of the mystery and enigma of the glare from the tiles.
  • Many details of low artistic taste were added to the walls of the rotunda.

Successful changes are the presence of spacious galleries that look spectacular.

The monastery is now available for viewing:

  • Resurrection Cathedral;
  • orphanage building;
  • the refectory;
  • the chambers of Princess Tatiana;
  • the chapel building;
  • the brotherhood building;
  • the abbot’s chambers;
  • the church under the ground of Constantine and Helen.

A separate mention should be made of the one-story building in the courtyard.

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Chambers of Tzarevna Tatiana Miylovna

It housed the “Palace of Princess Tatiana Mikhailovna”.

The date of its construction was 1686-1698.

The monastery was severely damaged by the Nazis:

  • they blew up the towers, the gate church, the bell tower and the Resurrection Cathedral;
  • They destroyed the museum, located within the walls of the monastery.

At the Nuremberg Trials the facts of this atrocity were considered.

Address of the monastery: Sovetskaya St., 2 Working hours: every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Mondays. Phone: (495) 994-61-70 On the site you can take a virtual tour of the monastery, learn about its history and order an excursion.

Novoierusalimsky Monastery on the map

New Jerusalem Monastery on the map

Gate Church

It has already been mentioned that the New Jerusalem Monastery is similar to the temples and churches of Jerusalem. However, there is no gate church there. The temple in Istra was built on the model of the Church of the Savior in Uborah. With its attire it brightens up the austere architecture of the fortress walls.

The first thing visitors see is this church, otherwise known as the Holy Gate. It can be seen from afar. Under it is the entrance to the Resurrection Monastery.

On the left is the staircase that leads to the observation deck. From there begins a route along the walls of the monastery. You can walk to the Western Gate with the Elizabethan tower.

The church looks like a pyramid. It is a gate of three arches with a parapet enclosed by polyhedrons, placed one on another in the form of a pyramid. There are windows with pediments and carved platbands. In a niche is visible a painting with the image of the Resurrection of Christ.

Those who enter the church are attracted by the beautiful iconostasis.

The history of the temple is tragic. It was destroyed by the Nazis. It was restored almost 30 years later.

Church of Constantine and Elena

The peculiarity of this church, adjacent to the Resurrection Cathedral, is the underground location. It’s analogous to the Palestinian church cut out in the rock.

Church of Saints Constantine and Helen

Church of Sts.

In the middle of the XVIII century it was reconstructed:

  • Ditches up to 6 meters deep were dug.They protected the church from groundwater.
  • The interior was changed inside it to the Baroque style.

Inside the church is installed copper iconostasis with embossing, survived from the middle of the XVIII century.

On either side of the King’s Gate of the first tier can be seen images of the Savior and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The image of the Cross of Calvary, to which St. Constantine and St. Helen had prayed, is placed in the center of the second tier. This cross is a copy of the Cross of the Lord.

In the church there is a chapel of St. Kyriac the Hieromartyr. It is possible to go down 33 steps to it.

Behind it there is a Life-bearing source, opened at the time of patriarch Nikon. Those who wish may fill up the well with holy water.

In the northern part of the temple Alexander Suvorov’s wife and only son are buried.

At the present time services are conducted in the church.

The Gethsemane Garden

Immediately behind the territory of the monastery is the Gethsemane Garden. People who have visited it admire the picturesque beauty, the cedar grove, pine trees and different kinds of deciduous trees, the Kedron brook.

Garden of Gethsemane

The park was named after the garden of the same name in Palestine, where Christ prayed the last night before his crucifixion. Patriarch Nikon located his hermitage in this very garden.

The tour of the Resurrection New Jerusalem Monastery should definitely end with a walk through this park. One of the paths across the bridge will lead to Nikon’s monastery, the other – to the Museum of Wooden Architecture.

In the garden flows the river Istra, which in this place is called the Jordan. There is a holy spring where you can take a dip. There is a holy spring, in which you can take a dip.

Nikon Skete

The building of the hermitage was built in 1658. It combines originality and typicality of the buildings of that time. On the 3 floors there are situated:

  • Service and household services.
  • A canteen and 2 rooms.
  • Nikon’s personal rooms and the house church.

Above the third floor there was an open terrace (a typical detail of private houses and churches of the XVII century). Typical elements of the house of the Russian rich man were visible in the cosy palace of Nikon: facades decorated with glazed tiles, Russian stoves with lounges and a narrow winding staircase.

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Skete of Patriarch Nikon

The hermitage of Patriarch Nikon

Museum of Wooden Architecture

It contains only three exhibits consisting of wooden buildings. They are located in the park area next to the Nikon skete. Travellers can see:

  1. Wooden hut (house Kokorinyh), which viewers saw in the movie “Admiral. Brought her from Lyubertsy district. Built it in the early XIX century. Inside there are peasant household items.
  2. This windmill is a high structure, like a five-storey building. Those who enter it immediately imagine how the miller lived. They see a massive table, benches, household utensils. And in the courtyard there is a samovar. Those who wish are offered to drink tea with bagels. An annual wind festival is held in this place.
  3. Chapel . It was assembled using the plans of the old burned one.

Museum of Wooden Architecture

Museum of Wooden Architecture

On the territory of the museum, in addition to examining the structures, visitors will be offered to go on a horse walk, get acquainted with the work of the blacksmith. Children will be able to take part in themed holidays.

Getting to know the streets of Istra

Those who enter the city from Moscow, get to the street of the 9th Guards Division. It is named after the division that liberated the village occupied by the Germans. On this street are:

  • Central Market;
  • Chekhov library;
  • clinic;
  • beauty salons.

Tourists like to visit the Central Market of Istra, referred to by locals as a universal market. It attracts customers with a rich assortment with affordable prices and discounts.

Originally Lenin Street was called Zvenigorodskaya. Walking along it, tourists see a movie theater and a supermarket.

At the city cemetery in front of them will present the church of Nicholas the Wonderworker. The date of its creation – 1853. The archival records say that there was an ancient burial place on the site of the temple.

Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker

Church of Nicholas the Wonderworker

You can see it only from the outside. It conducts funerals.

After visiting the Istrinsky Drama Theater there is a clear impression of the Russian provincial theater. It was founded back in 1908.

Istrinsky Drama Theater

Istrinsky Drama Theater.

Attractions near Istra

Those who come by their own transport can get acquainted with a number of significant places located near the town.

Boris and Gleb Anosin female monastery

It is located in the village of Anosino.

Boris and Gleb Anosin Monastery

It was founded in 1810 by Princess Avdotya Meshcherskaya (aunt of poet Tyutchev)

It was named after her husband. Several times it had to be reconstructed after partial destruction. Its architectural look was changed. The church is active. There is a shop. It sells homemade products: milk, pickles.

Filatovo homestead

The first owners of the estate – the boyars Pleshcheyevs. The owners have changed several times. The last owner – Karpova made changes:

  • A zemstvo school was built;
  • Reconstruction of the 2-storyed master’s house and outbuilding was performed.

There is a huge park on the territory of the estate. Its area is 7.5 hectares.

Estate Filatovo

The manor was restored by entrepreneur Kalyuzhny, who bought it at the state auction.

This area was used for filming a movie based on Turgenev’s story “Rudin”.

Pokrovskoe-Rubtsovo estate

It was built by the Nashchokin boyars. They owned it since 1616. But the heyday of the estate belonged to the nobility Golokhvastovs (late 18th century). At that time the appearance of the house was changed (it displayed features of late classicism), the park appeared.

The next restructuring occurred after the purchase of the estate in 1890, the manufacturer Savva Morozov.

The estate was visited by:

  • Gertsen, a cousin of Golokhvastov;
  • later – artists: Levitan, Serov, Vasnetsov;
  • the writer Chekhov;
  • Theatrical celebrities: Nemirovich-Danchenko, Stanislavsky.

In the village remained Intercession church, built in 1745, farm yard, park with pond.

Pokrovskoe-Rubtsovo estate

Manor house is available for viewing

The main attractions of Istra are located in one area. It is realistic to examine them in one day. Those who have more time, it will be interesting to visit the outskirts of the city, to admire the picturesque nature, historical sites.

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