Abandoned Estate, Bazhenov’s Church, and Abandoned Aircraft: All in One Place

By Irina

Abandoned aircraft in the former Bykovo Airport. Moscow, Russia.

The abandoned aircraft in the former Bykovo Airport, Moscow.

What do you know about Russia? Moscow and St Petersburg, the Red Square and Peterhof, the Kremlin and the Winter Palace? That’s all? Boring. We wanted to find something unusual near Moscow, and since we love abandoned homes, we googled and found an abandoned Russian mansion and abandoned soviet aircraft in one place.

The former Bykovo airport is located just 32 kilometers from Moscow, Russia. It was the second airport built in the Soviet Union. Right in front of it, we found the slowly falling apart historical estate of Mikhail Izmailov in the village of Bykovo. It’s a pity, but it seems after 50 -100 years, only the unique church by the famous Russian architect Vasili Bazhenov will be preserved in the old estate where Russian Empress Catherine the Great liked to drink a cup of tea.

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Castles of the Knights Templar in Portugal’s History

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Templar's convent and castle in Tomar, Portugal.

Templar’s convent and castle in Tomar, Portugal.

Upon arrival at the Lisbon airport on January 5th, we stayed there only long enough to claim our baggage; a very eventful 10-day car trip around Portugal’s cities awaited us. Our GPS navigator calculated a course and we moved to a little-known Portuguese village, Alvega. Ninety minutes later, our rented Citroen was already parked at the Manor House Solar de Alvega.

That ancient house was chosen to be the starting point for our fascinating acquaintance with Portuguese history. The best places to visit in Portugal we had already identified at home, in advance. Judge for yourself. Within a radius of a hundred kilometers around Alvega, there were such historic Portuguese cities as:

  • Alcobaca with the gravestone of the most popular Portuguese Queen, Ines de Castro;
  • Tomar which has been the capital of the Portuguese Knights Templar since the 12th century;
  • the Almourol Castle, the Templars’ outpost on the Tejo River;
  • Coimbra, one of the first Portuguese capitals;
  • and the unique Portuguese village of Monsanto which would surprise us a bit later.

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A Walk Along the Jugendstil Quarter: Mikhail Eisenstein—the Gaudi of Riga.

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Art Deco Architecture Style. Albert Street, 4, Riga, Latvia.

Art Deco Architecture Style. Albert Street, 4, Riga, Latvia.

Do you know why the small capital of Latvia is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List? It is not because of the medieval center of old Riga with its bright and impressive House of Blackheads, and not even because of the Dome with one of Europe’s best organs, and certainly not because of the famous Riga Black Balsam. The capital of Latvia has a trump card, which not every tourist knows about.

It so happened that at the end of the 19th century, almost the whole of Europe watched the birth of a new architectural style—it would be called Modern. In France it is known as Art Nouveau, in Germany as Jugendstil, in Italy as Liberty, and in the USA as Tiffany.

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