Pushkinskie Gory (also can be called Pushgory or Pushkin Hills) is a large open-air museum around the former Alexander Pushkin's family mansion. Its area includes several villages, each having a mansion and a park, surrounding forests, and riverside landscape. There is also a settlement with the same title nearby.
Silent alleys of picturesque parks, astonishing views at traditional Russian scenery, and the total atmosphere of early 19th century - everything makes this place a perfect destination for those who want to explore the incredible beauty of hidden Russia.
The museum is best to visit at summer or early autumn, when a guest can easily get lost for a week in this place. But usually Pushkinskie Gory is a weekend destination from Saint Petersburg and Moscow. During the winter the place is also worth to visit.
As in most parts of Russia, local infrastructure is not yet adapted for non-Russian speakers, so, language barrier problems can be expected even at most westernized hotels. English guided tours are probably available in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
The villages of Petrovskoe and Mikhailovskoe were the familiar property of Alexander Pushkin's ancestry since the 18th century. In 1817 Pushkin visited the place for the first time and was completely charmed by it. Afterwards he spent here 2 years being in exile after his disfavour at the capital. Here he wrote a significant part of his poetry, which became Russian and international legacy, including the part of Eugeny Onegin poem.
The museum was founded in 1922 by Bolsheviks, who decided to preserve Pushkin's cultural heritage from peasant disorders that occurred after 1917 revolution. The mansions suffered greatly from fire and were carefully renovated in 20th century.
Low hills, pine forests, meadows, lakes, and River Sorot flowing through the museum territory.
Suschevo train station is about 70 km from museum. Transit trains go from Saint Petersburg (5 hours), Minsk (8.5 hours), Kiev (17.5 hours), and Odessa (29 hours). The rest of the way can be done by taxi, or hotel transfer can be arranged.
The most suitable way to Pushkin Hills is by car.
From Riga and Moscow: take / road, turn to Pskov at Pustoshka (Пустошка), go by / road till Novgorodka (Новгородка) village, then turn right to Pushkinskie Gory. Expect 7-9 hours for the route. Form Saint Petersburg and Kiev: take / road and turn to Pushkinskie Gory at Novgorodka (Новгородка) village. Expect 5-6 hours for the route from Saint Petersburg and 12 hours from Kiev.
Fees and permits
Entering museum territory is free of charge. A permit is needed for those who want to enter the territory by car (€5). Visiting mansions and exhibitions is at additional cost.
Walking is the usual way to explore the Pushgory museum, but Mikhailovskoe, Trigorie and Petrovskoe are located at 5-10 km distance from each other. So, if you are not ready to walk such distance, use a car or hire a bike (bike rental is available at some hotels, e.g. Arina R.)
- Mikhailovskoe. Alexander Pushkin's mansion and surrounding park. Great views on Sorot river.
- Petrovskoe (about 10 km from Mikhailovskoe, 10 minutes drive from Pushgory settlement). Mansion and surrounding park, which belonged to Hannibals - Pushkin's closest relatives.
- Trigorskoe. Another mansion, once belonged to Osipovs, close Pushkin's friends.
- Bugrovo. A village on the way to Mikhailovskoe mansion with an ethnic museum and an operating water mill.
- Svyatogorsky Monastery (Pushkinskie Gory settlement). An Orthodox monastery, famous for Alexander Pushkin's tomb.
- Savkina Gorka. A hill with one of the most beautiful views from. 1 km away from Mikhailovskoe, at river Sorot bank.
- Argus, animal nursery, Pushkinskie Gory settlement, ☏ , . prior agreement for visiting needed. Established in 2000, Argus nursery is oriented on biodiversity preservation in the region. Contains birds of 50 species, and several species of mammals.
- Annual Pushkin's poetry festival. Organized at Mikhailovskoe on 1st Sunday of July.
The place is lacking restaurants and cafes. Service in those few operating can be poor, especially if a bus tour group is being served.
- U Melnitsy (Bugrovo village, near the mill). Restaurant with traditional Russian cuisine.
- Berezka cafe, Mikhailovskoe mansion. Tu-Su 10:00-20:00.
- Svyatogor, Pushkinskie Gory settlement, Lenina str., 2. 10:00-01:30. Beware organized groups of tourists - if you meet them here, you'll probably be served last in the queue.
There are several sleeping facilities in the museum or right outside it. Book in advance during the summer season.
- Arina R., Bugrovo village, ☏ , . Named after Alexander Pushkin's nanny, Arina Rodionovna, this resort hotel offers 3-star room or cottage accommodation. Wooden apartments are styled as happy medium between traditional Russia and European comfort. Wifi Internet available for additional cost. Sauna, swimming pool and barbeque can also be arranged. Other services include transfer from the railroad station. €70-140 per room.
- Petrovskoe mansion guesthouse, Petrovskoe village (10 km from Pushkinskie Gory settlement), ☏ . An inexpensive opportunity to stay right inside the museum, at Petrovskoe village, near Hannibal's mansion and park. 8 double/twin rooms and two 4-person (family) rooms. All rooms have showers and toilets en suite. €25 per person.
- Druzhba, Pushkinskie Gory, Lenina str., 8 (center of Pushkinskie Gory settlement), ☏ , . A Soviet-style cheap hotel at a short driving distance from the museum. €25-35 per room.
- Pushkinogorskaya, Pushkinskie Gory settlement (outside the settlement, on a road to Bugrovo village), ☏ . A holiday centre located at walking distance from the museum. Different types of rooms are available, from the cheepest Soviet-style to 2-3 star ones. Parking is free, cafe, sauna and other facilities are available. €20-65 per room.
The place is generally safe for visitors. Take repellent in summer, because of many mosquitos and botflies.
There are at least 3 historic cities at the distance of 100-150 km from Pushgory:
Also, there are few beautiful mansions around:
- Altun mansion - 15 minutes drive from Pushgory. Once a deserted noble mansion, now being intensively reconstructed, promising to be a beautiful destination in the nearest future. A hotel at the mansion will also start to operate soon.
- Mussorgsky mansion - the world's only house-museum of famous Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. Near / road in Tver Oblast near its border with Pskov Oblast, on the way between Moscow (350 km away) and Pushkinskie Gory (200 km away).