The beautiful building of the Big Stone Greenhouse is opposite the Grand Palace at the end of 300 meter parterre. It is near the American greenhouse. In the time of Sheremetyev greenhouses were used for growing rare trees and plants, as well as for holding balls. Today they house the most interesting museum of ceramics and porcelain, so you must visit the greenhouses.
Greenhouses were a mandatory attribute of all nobility estates of that time. It is not surprising that the Sheremetyev had one of the best greenhouses in Russia. The building of the stone greenhouse was designed by a serf architect F. Argunov in 1761. It vaguely resembles Sanssouci, the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in Potsdam.
Considering that the estate was intended for pleasure events, the greenhouse was also a dancing hall apart from its main purpose. Vauxhall pleasure garden - a small round dancing hall with a gallery for musicians - was in the middle of the greenhouse. Game rooms and a gardener`s hut was in the risalits. It is there that the famous «Flower Ball» in honor of Catherine II was held in 1780.
The serf gardeners of Count Sheremetyev grew bitter orange, orange, lemon, coffee and laurel trees in the greenhouses. The Kuskovo greenhouse had one of the richest collection of exotic plants and flowers in Russia.
The American greenhouse, which was intended for housekeeping needs, is near the Stone greenhouse building in the east part of the park. It is one of the earliest buildings at Kuskovo. Five variously oriented sections of the American greenhouse on the stone foundation were built in 1750.
After it was nationalized in 1917 there began the formation of the museum of ceramics and porcelain at the Kuskovo estate. Its collections were located at the greenhouses. The museum collection was based on the collection of А. Morozov consisting of 3 thousand porcelains of 18 century, mainly of Meissen porcelains. But later exhibits from the other Russian museum were added to the museum collection.
There you can see Italian majolica, porcelains painted by Adam Levenfink and Heraldt, porcelains of Chelsea, Wedgwood and Sevres, as well as a beautiful collection of Russian porcelains of 18-19 centuries. Of a special value is the famous Egyptian service, a gift of Napoleon to Emperor I on the occasion of signing the Treaties of Tilsit.