in Russian architecture, a complex of residential and service buildings, park structures, and other buildings that comprise an architectural whole. The classic country usad’ba of the 18th to the first quarter of the 19th century usually consisted of a stone or wooden manor house, often plastered, with a portico and one or more wings, a greenhouse and park, and a yard. Large usad’by also had a church. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the urban usad’ba developed, consisting of a mansion, service buildings, including stables and a carriage house, and a yard or small garden.

Many of the great architects of Russian classicism worked on usad’by, including V. I. Bazhenov, M. F. Kazakov, N. A. L’vov, I. E. Starov, D. I. Zhiliardi, and some serf architects. Significant collections of paintings, sculptures, and applied art were often found in usad’by, especially in the larger ones, which resembled extensive palace-park complexes. The usad’by of patrons of the arts often became important centers of artistic life, for example, Abramtsevo and Talashkino.

In the Soviet period, museums were established at usad’by of exceptional historical and artistic importance, including Arkhangel’skoe, Kuskovo, and Ostankino, all of which are in the Moscow area. Memorial museums have been founded at Iasnaia Poliana in Tula Oblast, the Pushkin Preserve, and others. Many usad’by are under government protection as monuments of architecture and landscape art.


Tikhomirov, N. la. Arkhitektura podmoskovnykh usadeb. Moscow, 1955.
Il’in, M. A. “Arkhitektura russkoi usad’by.” In Istoriia russkogo iskusstva, vols. 6 and 8, book 1. Moscow, 1961–63.


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