Brasovo Residence of Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich to be Reconstructed

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Views of Brasovo the former manor house of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich

An announcement was made on 10th June, of plans to reconstruct Brasovo, the former manor house of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, situated in Lokot, Bryansk Oblast region of the Russian Federation.

The dream of reconstructing the grand ducal residence was expressed by Metropolitan Alexander, who was present at the celebration marking Russia Day (12th June). Local philanthropist Oleg Panin said that this idea is currently being discussed with local authorities. The Bryansk regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society is currently analyzing historic documents, which will help reconstruct the manor house. The Society has approached the State Archives of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts and the Russian State Historical Archive for their assistance in recreating the manor house to its historic original, and providing an opportunity to study the documents of the Ministry of the Imperial Court of this period.

The wooden palace in which Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich lived, was immediately plundered after the 1917 Revolution. The building was subsequently destroyed by fire after the Nazis retreated during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). Several buildings on the estate have been preserved to this day, including the tea house among others. 

High quality photographs of the manor house have been preserved to this day. These will help architects and restorers in their work of reconstructing the building. As the director of the museum of local lore Semyon Bobkov told Bryansk News, that several elements of the manor house have survived, including the old cellars, and a large fountain. 

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A plaque mounted on a granite stone mark the place where the manor house once stood

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Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and his morganatic wife Countess Natalya Brasova

Situated seventy miles from Orel, the estate of Brasovo had originally belonged to Grand Duke George Alexandrovich (1871-1899), son of the Emperor Alexander III. He had purchased it in 1882 for 4.3 million roubles. The estate covered an area of 430 square miles. The estate passed to his brother Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich (1878-1918) upon George’s death in 1899. Mikhail made a number of improvements to the estate, which included a water pipeline, a large park with ponds and alleys, several multi-storey stone buildings, as well as food and woodworking industries.

It was here that Mikhail came to live with his wife, Countess Natalya Brasova, née Natalia Sergeyevna Sheremetyevskaya (1880-1952) in 1911, after Emperor Nicholas II conceded that she could stay there. Thanks to her artistic taste, she succeeded in making an elegant dwelling as well as a comfortable home, thereby creating for Mikhail a place where he found comfort, peace and happiness.

The comforts of this country house are emphasized in these beautiful watercolours by Stanislav Yulianovich Zhukovsky (1873-1944) in 1916: 

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© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 June 2018