A small town of Bogoroditsk is in the Tula region, in the immediate vicinity of the М4 Moscow-Don highway, to the south of Novomoskovsk. The beautiful estate of Count Bobrinskiy, who was Catherine the Great`s natural son by Count Grigory Orlov, is on the shore of an artificial pond in the center of the town.
Bogoroditsk was founded in 16 century as one of the outposts of the Zasechnaya cherta where the druzhinas of Russian principalities defended Russian lands from the raids of the nomadic tribes from the southern steppes. The Battle of Kulikovo took place 50 kilometers to the south-east of Bogoroditsk in 1380.
In 1663 the outpost was replaced by a fortress. The formation of a town began about the same time, although the threat of the raids of the Crimean and Nogai Tatars remained to the end of 17 century.
Under Catherine II Bogoroditsk was excluded from the list of towns and the uyezd was turned into the volost of «Her Imperial Majesty». So there was formed the estate for the natural son of Catherine and Grigory Orlov who was born to them in 1762 when Catherine came to power after the palace revolution.
Catherine put out her natural son, Alexey Grigoryevich Sitskiy, to her wardrobe master Vasiliy Shkurin, in whose family he lived to 1774. After that he was fostered out to I. Betskoi, the private secretary of Catherine and president of the Imperial Academy of Arts. About the same time he was given an estate in Bogoroditsk called Bobriky. The son of Catherine was given the appropriate surname – Bobrinskiy.
The rich mansion house in Bogoroditsk was built on the site of the former stud farm. A large oval pond was dug out in front of it. The palace was built on the high shore of the pond, instead of the remaining ramparts of the fortress.
Catherine commissioned the construction of the palace and the Kazan Icon of Our Lady Church in the Bogoroditsky park to a famous architect Starov. The palace was built with a high base and a belvedere. From outside the palace was finished with rustic (rough-hewn stone), but it looks very beautiful.
A bell tower was erected opposite the palace. It served as the entrance to the court. Later a large landscape park was created in the estate. The outstanding Russian agronomist and botanist Andrei Bolotov worked on the park.