New Jerusalem Museum and Town

Istra’s second attraction is the very modern New
Jerusalem Museum, built in 2013 to house a collection that was formed in the
1920s. If you enjoy art
or are interested in Russian culture, this museum is a great place to view some
of Russia’s finest artwork. The museum features a variety of
Russian art from the early medieval period up to today. Currently there is a
large exhibition of works by one of Russia’s finest landscape artists, Isaac
Levitan. The 30 or so works from 14 Russian museums range from sketches to
finished paintings, including many of the countryside around Istra.

At the end of your day, you might try one of the town’s
cafes or restaurants. Istoriya is Istra’s fanciest eatery with a menu of
upper-scale Russian cuisine served in halls decorated to represent various eras
in Russian history. Less fancy is Staraya Meltnitsa, which serves Russian and
European fare, as well as dishes from the Caucasus.

Jerusalem Museum. 1 Ulitsa Novo-Ierusalimskaya Naberezhnaya. Open Tues. to Fri. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 10
a.m. to 8 p.m., closed Sunday and holidays.

Istoriya. 9
9th Ulitsa Gvardeiskoi Divizii. Tel: 498 729 6982. Open daily noon to midnight.

Melnitsa. 55 Ulitsa Panfilova, Bldg. 1. Tel: 964 550 5407. Open daily 10 a.m.
to midnight.

Getting There and

The best way to get to Istra on public transportation
is by the suburban train line at Rhizsky Station. Tickets for the suburban
trains are sold in a building north of the main station and cost 350 rubles
round trip. Tickets can only be bought at a ticket window; if your Russian is
rudimentary, practice saying: “Istra, tuda i obratno” (round trip to Istra). Fortunately
there is only one suburban line out of Rhizsky Station, so finding the right
train is not a problem.

When you arrive in Istra, you can use a navigational
system to take a 30-minute walk to the monastery and museum. For a bus, the
stop is located in an open mall that is to your left when exiting the train
station. Buses
4, 40, 46, and 48 all
have stops near the monastery.

When you arrive back at the Istra train station, check
the board for trains На Москву (to Moscow)
and to Рижский Вокзал (to the
Rizhsky Train station). Be careful: not all trains from Istra go to Moscow and
the information online is out of date.