The darkest and most atmospheric estates in Russia

The darkest and most atmospheric estates in Russia

Ghosts, dragons and sorcerers – reality or fiction? Sometimes you can visit the houses where they live to check it yourself. On the eve of Halloween, one of the scariest days of the year, we have chosen six atmospheric estates, castles and palace complexes in Russia that you can visit right now. By the way, some of them keep some pretty dark secrets.

Oldenburgsky Palace, Voronezh region

The darkest and most atmospheric estates in Russia

How to get there: first to Voronezh by train (tickets will cost 1,700 rubles*), then either by bus No. 111 Voronezh – Ramon ( you will have to walk 800 meters to the castle), or by car (50 minutes on the way).

The Oldenburgsky palace complex in Ramon was built in a brick neo-Gothic style, rare for our latitudes. Here lived Her Imperial Highness Princess Evgenia Maximilianovna Romanovskaya, by marriage the Princess of Oldenburg. It was for her and her husband that the castle was built at the end of the 19th century.

There are many secrets and legends associated with the Oldenburg Palace. Thus, it is believed that Eugenia herself and her entire palace were once cursed by a local sorcerer, whom the married princess rejected. Rumor has it that Alexander of Oldenburg, Eugenia’s husband, was interested in the occult and held esoteric séances in the castle. And local peasants believed that a bear was kept in the basement, to which unwanted servants were fed.

Now it is difficult to say which of this is true and which is fiction. However, there is also modern evidence that this place is unclean. Thus, workers who have been reconstructing the castle since the mid-1970s said that they heard strange creaks and groans coming from the basement. And a few years ago, plaster fell off from the wall of one of the basement rooms in a somewhat unusual way: impressionable people claim that a female silhouette was clearly visible in the gap that had formed. They say it’s Princess Eugenie herself. Rumor has it that her ghost still haunts the castle.

Today you can come to the Oldenburg Palace on a tour. The territory of the complex, the main building and the suite building are open to the public.

Where to stay: at the four-star AZIMUT City Hotel Voronezh (from 4,600 rubles per night*) or at the five-star Marriott Voronezh hotel » (from 6,700 rubles per night*).

Ostashevo Estate, Moscow Region

The darkest and most atmospheric estates in Russia

How to get there: from Moscow by car along the M9 highway, the journey takes 2 hours 50 minutes.

The old manor was built in the 1790s. It is believed that secret meetings of the Decembrists, who plotted against the government, were once held here, and the constitution of the rebels was buried in the park next to the estate. However, these are the darkest secrets that can be found here – none of the locals have complained about ghosts or freemason warlocks.

That, however, does not prevent the house from being an ideal backdrop for photography on Halloween: the horse yard was built in the neo-Gothic style, and the tower is called the local Big Ben (however, the spire is lost, and the clock is painted on plywood). There is devastation and desolation all around: the main house did not survive the war, and the building built on its foundation is abandoned today. But once there was a country residence of the Romanovs here! Today you can find traces of former luxury – one entrance obelisk at the beginning of the alley, a pretty church and several outbuildings have been preserved.

Where to stay: at the Pshenichnikov Hotel for 3,100 rubles per night* or at the Nicole Hotel for 6,200 rubles per night* .

Castle Preussisch-Eylau, Kaliningrad region

The darkest and most atmospheric estates in Russia

How to get there: first to Kaliningrad (from Moscow by plane, round-trip ticket from 3,300 rubles*, travel time 2 hours 10 minutes ), then by car to Bagrationovsk (the road is a little over an hour).

This is a real castle of the Teutonic Order, built in the 14th century. It was once surrounded by a moat with water and equipped with a suspension bridge and gates with bars – everything as it should be. During its life, the castle has seen sieges and serious battles, and even survived the Great Patriotic War almost without losses. Surely many interesting and mysterious stories happened here, but they have not survived to this day. But the ruins of the citadel are very picturesque and atmospheric.

Today the castle is in a deplorable state – part of the roof has burned down, and the buildings have not been restored for a long time. In fact, all that remains of the once powerful fortification is the southern fortress wall and several outbuildings. In the late 1990s, they planned to create a tourist center here, but the project was never implemented. 

Where to stay: at the Seryi Gus mini-hotel in Bagrationovsk for 3,100 rubles per night* or at the three-star Berlin hotel in Kaliningrad for 3,600 rubles per night*.

Glinka Estate, Moscow Region

The darkest and most atmospheric estates in Russia

How to get there: from Moscow it is most convenient to travel by car along the Gorkovskoe Highway, the journey will take about an hour. In your navigator, enter the Monino sanatorium.

This is one of the oldest noble estates in the Moscow region, built in the first half of the 18th century and has survived to this day in excellent condition. What is so gloomy about this cheerful-looking yellow house? All the secrets are connected with its first owner. Jacob Bruce was a native of Scotland and one of the most prominent comrades of Peter I. After Catherine I ascended the throne, Yakov Vilimovich retired from business and moved to the Moscow region, where he built the Glinka estate.

Local peasants considered Bruce a sorcerer: a man with a good education, he was interested in science and equipped almost all the rooms of the manor house as offices with the latest devices for those times. At night he watched the stars, and the peasants, who did not understand what was happening, found the simplest explanation: the warlock as he is. It was rumored that dragons flew into the windows of the estate, and some guests saw Masonic symbols in the complex figures formed by the park paths – Bruce was called the first Russian Freemason.

Today the Monino sanatorium is located in Glinki, and in the western wing there is a museum dedicated to Yakov Vilimovich.

Where to stay: at the eco-hotel “Bogorodsk & SPA” for 5,100 rubles per night* or at the Horseka resort hotel for 5,400 rubles per night*.

Sheremetev Castle, Mari El

The darkest and most atmospheric estates in Russia

How to get there: first to Yoshkar-Ola (a train from Moscow will take you there in 14 hours and 1,800 rubles*).

This beautiful castle in the late neo-Gothic style was founded in 1860 for the family of Sergei Vasilyevich Sheremetev. You wouldn’t expect to see such a building in the Mari-El Republic: lancet windows, turrets, and a beautiful park all around. True, the owners did not really have time to live here: construction ended only in 1914.

There are also ghosts here: they say that sometimes you can see Sheremetev himself here, but more often guests meet the peasant girl Palashka. According to legend, she tried to escape from the persistent advances of the count, but was captured and walled up alive in a dungeon. If you look from the window in the east wing to the exact same one in the west, you can see a woman’s silhouette. And at night you can sometimes hear crying in the corridors. By the way, human remains in the basement were actually discovered during reconstruction.

Today, the restored castle houses a hotel, so everyone can check if these stories are true. And at night they even conduct excursions here.

Where to stay: at the three-star Eureka Hotel for 3,000 rubles per night* or at the Stone boutique hotel for 4,400 rubles per night *.

Vyborg Castle, Leningrad Region

The darkest and most atmospheric estates in Russia

How to get there: You can get from Moscow to Vyborg without transfers by train going to Petrozavodsk. It departs from Leningradsky Station daily at 16:00, and ten and a half hours later it makes a stop in Vyborg. A one-way ticket costs from 1,200 rubles*.

This ancient fortification on a small island in the Gulf of Finland was built back in the 13th century. It was founded by the Swedes during the Crusade against the Karelian lands. Previously, a Karelian settlement was located on this site. In those days, the castle was repeatedly besieged by the Novgorodians, but the land remained with the Swedes. Only the troops of Peter I were able to capture it. Since then, the castle burned, collapsed and was restored and restored more than once.

There are plenty of dark secrets here, as in every medieval castle that has survived to this day. They say that some people here are attacked by sudden and unmotivated horror – it’s not for nothing that pagan Karelians once lived here, who were destroyed by the Swedes. There are also ghosts here – they talk about the ghost of a sorcerer who lived here before the arrival of the Swedes, and today is capable of depriving everyone he meets of their sanity.

Where to stay: in the three-star hotel “Northern Crown” for 5,400 rubles per night* or in the four-star hotel “Victoria Vyborg” for 14,600 rubles per day*.

*Prices are current at the time of publication.

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