The Massandra Palace, Crimea. Picture: Supplied
Russia has a treasure trove of stunning locations apart from the Red Square in Moscow or the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg - wich once belonged to the late Tsar Nicholas II.  

Many of the country’s castles have been featured in Disney films (think of Anastasia and Cinderella), but have stayed hidden from the public eye until the last two decades. 

Massandra Castle
The Massandra Castle is situated in Crimea, near the town of Yalta, and was designed using a palette of elegant designs from a number of architects, who unfortunately never lived see the completed project. 

Although the castle never officially belonged to a royal or noble family, it was often targeted by Russian members in power. The likes of Tsar Alexander III attempted to use the castle as a hunting cottage, while dictator Joseph Stalin used the castle as his second home (known in Russian as a ‘dacha’). The castle was also used as inspiration for the castle used by the Prince in the 1950's Disney film 'Cinderella'.

The Massandra Palace, Crimea. Picture: Supplied
Kiristy Castle
Based in the region of Ryazan, the Kiritsy castle is approximately 3 hours from the capital city of Moscow. 

The castle was the creation of a young architect, Fyodor Schechtel, who became famous not only for creating the amazing design of the castle but also for making its owner, Count von Derviz bankrupt in 1910.

However, the castle is not open to the public as it was turned into a sanatorium for children who suffer from tuberculosis of the bone.

The Kiritsy Castle, Ryazan Region. Picture: Russia Beyond

Mikhailovsky Palace
The Mikahilovsky Palace (also known as St. Michael's Castle) has an interesting story. It was commissioned in 1798 by Emperor Paul I who built it for his youngest son, the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovsky when he was born. 

However, the palace was built when the Grand Duke was 21 - when the Grand Duke’s older brother Alexander I was on the throne, by Italian-Russian maestro of the neoclassicism architect, Carlo Rossi. 

The Grand Duke lived in his palace with wife, children and eventually grandchildren up until the 1890's, when Emperor Alexander II bought the palace and turned it into the Alexander III museum which is still open today. 

The Mikhailovsky Palace, St. Petersburg. Picture: Saint-Petersburg.com

Garibaldi Castle
One glance at the Garibaldi Castle and one would assume that it houses villanous counts or was the home of personalities such as Dracula or Rasputin, but this is not the case. 

The Garibaldi Castle was built during the Renaissance Era (1300-1600), based on Gothic revival style with the dark walls and presence of statues such as griffins. 

Located on the shores of the Kuybyshev Reservoir, in the town of Khryashchevka, the castle was named in the honour of its owner Garibaldi Arcadievich Kuzichkin. 

Now a tourist destination, the castle boast statues of some of the greatest figures of fiction – Beowolf, King Arthur and Guinevere, and King Arthur’s knights of the round table.

Garibaldi Castle, Khryashchevka. Picture: Garibaldicastle.com
Alekseevsky Palace
The Alekseevsky Palace in St. Petersburg is also known as the Music House, and is located in a quiet spot of the city, near the shipyards and the district of Kolmna. 

Built between 1883-1885 by court-chosen architect and interior designer Maximilian Messmacher, the palace and its surrounding land boasts a four-storey guesthouse, stables, greenhouses and gardens, which were all made for the Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich (Emperor Alexander I’s brother). 

Presently known as a venue for classical performances, the design was inspired by the Baroque and the Renaissance eras, as well as France’s King Louis XV’s palace.
The Alekseevsky Palace, St. Petersburg. Picture: Saint-Petersburg.com
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