Tsarksoe Selo
Dacha of Princess Yusupova (1856)  historical photos

Zinaida Yusupova was one of the wealthiest women in Russia and great grandmother to Felix Yusupov, one of the primary conspirators in Rasputin’s murder.  This residence housed her extensive collection of paintings, applied art, and rare minerals.  After the revolution the building was used as a vacation home for female boarding students of choreographic schools and then until fairly recent times as a kindergarten.  Now it’s been bought by someone who intends to make it into a ‘residence’ again.  Between the time I spotted this building and returned with my camera (2 days), he’d had a high fence erected and posted guards.  But, as often happens in Russia, the guards turned out to be very friendly guys, let me take a few pictures, and then even felt obliged to entertain me afterwards, leading to about a 24-hour series of adventures, highlighted by, among other things, a fight at the local liquor store, police with Kalashnikovs, and me being presented as an American toilet paper magnate at some midnight car races on the outskirts of town (consumption of healthy Quantities of Drink may be assumed :-)