One day, looking down from his throne on Mount Olympus, Zeus saw a young boy called Ganymede resting with his friends. Instantly, Zeus fell in love with the boy, the handsomest human ever born. Zeus turned himself into a powerful eagle, flew down upon the world of men and whipped up a fierce tempest, turning day into night. Under cover of the storm, the eagle tenderly seized Ganymede. The aged guardians reached out to stop him, but the god and the boy rose up higher and higher, vanished and in the blink of an eye arrived at Olympus. Zeus took Ganymede to bed and then appointed him cup bearer. But to make room for him, Zeus had to chase away Hebe, his daughter, who served the drinks at the divine feasts. Hera, her mother, went insane with rage. All the other gods rejoiced to have Ganymede among them, for his beauty was delightful.
Ganymede thought pouring nectar to the immortals was delightful, and when he filled his lover’s cup he made sure to press his lips to it first, giving it half a twist as he placed it in Zeus’ hand. On Earth, Ganymede’s father Tros, lord of all Trojans, was crying endless tears. Even Zeus was moved by his pain. He sent down a messenger, who let him know his boy was in Olympus, immortal and forever young. Zeus gave Tros two horses in exchange for his son, deathless and able to walk on water. Hera vented her rage by destroying the Trojans, but Zeus, grateful for Ganymede’s love, made a place for him among the stars as Aquarius – the Water Bearer. He still stands there, beautiful and smiling, pouring nectar and shielded to this day by the wing of the Eagle constellation.

Ensemble Kuskovo
Home of the Praskovia Story

Ensemble Kuskovo, originally owned by the Sheremetev family, as a specimen of a typical 18th century Moscow region residence. The estate was designed as a site for receptions, celebration and other festivities. More than 20 unique monuments of architecture with genuine interiors have been presented including a Dutch House, an Italian House, a Grotto, Greenhouses, others. Another point of interest in Kuskovo Estate is the only regular French park to have survived in Moscow. There are ponds, canals and Russian and Italian sculptures in it. The centerpiece of the estate is the Palace residence. Especially interesting is the original planning and ornaments of the interior. This includes superb works of Russian and European art, decorative arts and crafts and unique collection of 18th century paintings, primarily portraits of Russian emperors and several generations of the Sheremetev family. The Museum possesses one of the largest collections of ceramics and glass from different countries dating from antiquity up to present days. Old traditions of hospitality are being revived at the estate, and the museum organizes theatrical programs, receptions and other festivities. During the summer the Palace Dance Hall plays host to numerous concerts and musical festivals. Magnificent architectural monuments, original interiors, a beautiful park and a unique collection of ceramics and glass will create unforgettable impressions, immersing you into the world of an old Russian estate.

Home of the Butterfly lovers Story

Ningbo is the birthplace of the story of Butterfly Lovers which was the inspiration for Liangzhu Culture Park, the first large-scale love theme park, covering an area of 300 acres. The legend of the Butterfly Lovers is a tragic love story, one of China's Four Great Folktales, which has been known for over 1600 years in China. It is called the "Oriental Romeo and Juliet" in Korea, Japan, Europe and America. One of the most important legends in Chinese history, it has proven that the Butterfly Lovers is not simply a legend but has a place in reality. Excavations in 1997 of the renowned Liang Shanbo Temple and other archaeological findings in the Yinzhou District of Ningbo indicated that the Butterfly Lovers may have really existed. Liangzhu Culture Park was then constructed around the archaeological site of the Liang Shanbo Temple built in 397 AD. The construction of the park was based on the tragic love story, dotted with pavilions, terraces, mansions and other scenes from the story including Kwan-yin Hall, Spouse Bridge, Lotus Pond, Nine Dragon Pool, the White Butterfly Lovers sculpture and Wansong Academy. Butterfly Lovers cultural monuments suh as the lovers’ sculptures, the tomb of Liang Shanbo, the Spouse Bridge and of course butterflies can be seen everywhere in the park. Today, the lovers’ sculpture clings to each other in the Music Square seeming to invite you to step into this holy place of love.