This land was given to Princess Evgenia of Oldenburg as a wedding present in 1879 and she and her husband built the castle. It was finished in 1887 and included a gate house and a menagerie with a number of animals. Princess Evgenia also founded a sweet factory nearby that employed many of the local peasants. Princess Evgenia and her husband Alexander, Duke of Oldenburg had one son, Peter, who married Olga, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicolas II, in 1901. They spent their honeymoon at Ramon. However, their marriage was not happy and was never consummated - Peter was believed by most to be gay. Olga soon found a lover, who, it is rumoured, she used to meet at the estate in Ramon on a bridge behind the castle.
In 1917, the castle and other buildings on the estate of Ramon were confiscated by the Bolsheviks, and were turned into, at various stages, a school and a library
According to some accounts, during the Second World War the Nazis didn't bomb the Ramon estate as the former owner, the Duke of Oldenburg, was German.
The castle's exterior is in good condition but the inside is empty. There are some Dutch stoves and just off the shower room there is a secret cupboard that was only recently discovered. On the ground floor, the tower room was a reading room - you can see the holes in the walls where hot air was pumped through a heating system - on the second floor it was a prayer room. During one of the attempts at restoration an architect fell of the balcony in this room and that, along with the death of a schoolboy in an underground passage, contributed to the opinion of many that building is haunted. Also in the cellar, some of the plaster has fallen off the wall in the shape of a man's silhouette. The cellars are rather damp and apparently at one point might have housed bears. There was also an underground passage leading from the kitchens which were in a separate building to the castle - it was this passage that collapse and lead to the death of a young boy. The Oldenburgs were rumoured to have been Masons and in the tower room in the basement an Masonic cross was removed from the ceiling.
In February 2010, the regional governor announced that the estate of Ramon would become a historical museum. The project will be financed by a 40 million Euro German investment and will include the reconstruction and restoration of the palace and surrounding buildings, as well as the construction of a hotel.
There is not much inside the castle but there was a photo exhibition in Duke Alexander's study. To the right of the castle and behind it you can see the old sweet factory and to the left down the hill you can see the lovers' bridge and just past that are steps up to the grotto where apparently the bears used to live.
There is a guided tour in Russian available for 60 roubles, which, if you can speak Russian, I would recommend as there is no information available inside.
To get there get the bus to Ramon from the avtovokzal (bus station). It is 36 km outside Voronezh, which takes about 50 minutes. The buses go every 15 to 30 minutes and cost 42 roubles. Arriving in Voronezh bus staion, continue to walk down the road in the direction the bus was heading until you get to the T-junction. The castle is opposite.
Here's some orphans in the Voronezh area. They are considered mentally retarded if they have a problem with their body like heart problems or kidney troubles anything that would need surgery. They are just left because they are "retarded" babies. What a shame nothing at all wrong with these children that a doctor couldn't fix!
here's a picture from outside of our window. Good Morning to the pollution! The city you see is Voronezh and there is a park right below.
We couldn't leave Russia without writing Ray was here! This was down at a local park. Oh that's garbage get use to it. It's all over the place with no one to pick it up!
Here's the neighbor where we stayed at within a week he had his car engine completely out and reinstalled! He was sure proud of his rebuilt motor!
Here's another prison picture these are younger boys from 7 yrs. to 15 yrs. What a hard life for these boys, mostly street children and petty thieves.
Well not many people see the inside of a Russian prison here's one for you! And yeah that's Ray and I in the picture in the center! These young boys are between the ages of 15 to 21yrs old.