If you have a little time in Moscow, and you want the capital to be remembered not only for its luxury and huge squares, but also for estates with amazing examples of real Russian architecture, then choose the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve.
Due to the variety of temples, historical buildings presented here, as well as legends and interesting activities such as a sand sculpture festival or rope jumping competitions, the estate of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich will give odds to everyone else.
The Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve in Moscow will be of interest to both history buffs and families with children. Getting here will not be difficult. From the city center by metro it will take no more than 20 minutes.
Museum-reserve Kolomenskoye, history
As the legend says, Kolomenskoye was founded in the 14th century by the settlers of Kolomna, who, picking up their last dress, fled from the pursuit of Batu Khan’s troops. But they still yearned for their homeland, so they decided to name the place of “emigration” in honor of the small land. A little later, in 1528-1532, Vasily III built the famous tent-roofed Church of the Ascension here. But under Ivan the Terrible, in 1547-1554, the Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist appeared.
A century later, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich planned to establish a residence in Kolomenskoye. Moreover, a beautiful legend also disposed to construction, allegedly after the end of the Kulikovo battle Dmitry Donskoy came here with his army. And some of the local ancient oaks are living witnesses to this. They say that all these lands give power and energy to all rulers. True or not, Alexei Mikhailovich decided that it was necessary to build.
By the way, one more fact about energy: in Kolomenskoye, two boulders once appeared “out of nowhere”.
The goose stone endows men with remarkable strength, and the Virgin stone helps childless women find the happiness of motherhood. So the legend says.
But back to history. The heyday of Kolomenskoye ends with the transfer of the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Under Catherine II, the palace, dilapidated with old age, was dismantled. They decided to put the new residence, where the queen could stay when she was staying in Moscow, opposite the northern facade of the Church of the Ascension. The four-story palace took four years to build: the lower two floors were made of stone, and the upper ones were made of wood.
Catherine II adored Kolomenskoye in the warm season.
Still: fruit orchards bloomed here, which caused pleasant aromas to spread. Panoramas of the Moskva River opened up to the eye: why not live like a king! But the queen, purely as a woman, decided to set up a pharmaceutical garden (there are never enough fresh flowers) and a cedar grove. Later, a cascade of ponds appeared in the Voice Ravine.
You will be surprised, but until the 80s of the 20th century, locals still lived on the territory of the Kolomenskoye estate, who descended from the courtyards of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. A little later they were all settled in the sleeping areas.
Church of the Ascension
The tent-roofed temple in the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is the first surviving and most perfect stone temple of this type. He laid the foundation for a new type of churches, which became widespread in Russia in the 16th century. On the day of the abdication of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II, a miraculous icon of the Sovereign Mother of God was found in the basement of the Church of the Ascension. She is considered one of the most revered in Russia. You can still pray with her now.
House of Peter I
Now Peter’s house is a memorial museum, which is entirely devoted to Russian reforms. The Tsar-reformer did not live in Kolomenskoye, he only visited, and the house was built in 1702 on the island of St. Mark at the mouth of the Northern Dvina by ship craftsmen. Peter I lived in it for 2.5 months, overseeing the construction of the Novodvinsk fortress, located on the mainland opposite the island. In order not to lose the unique structure forever, in 1934 the house was moved to the Kolomenskoye estate museum.
Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God
The Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God is described even in foreign guidebooks as a temple with a unique and incredibly beautiful iconostasis. There are more than ten rare and ancient icons here. The church itself is connected to the palace gallery, which adds to its intimacy and homeliness. Visitors note that inside it feels like you have returned home after a long journey.
Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich
The palace ensemble includes 26 towers, a house church, which was intended only for the royal family and his retinue, as well as Sytny, Kormovoy, Khlebny dvors, the building of the guardhouse, Colonel and Prikaznye chambers. Historical interiors have been recreated in 24 rooms, but, naturally, modern technologies were used in the work. So, the supporting columns are made of reinforced concrete, but to give them the appearance of a tree, they are disguised with boards and logs. The walls are decorated with engravings depicting people and animals, the interior is decorated with original works of art and preserved old icons. Be sure to see the Dining Room, the private chambers of the tsar, the mansions of the princes. And by all means go up to the observation deck: such views open up from there!
Palace (Front) gate
They served as the main entrance to the royal estate in the 17th century. The gate consists of four tiers and is crowned with a Clock Tower. Above the arches of the entrance was the Faceted Chamber, in which a mechanism was previously installed that set the figures of lions in motion. They stood below the Palace Gate and, welcoming the guests, rolled their eyes, raised their paws and let out a roar. Pure delight! Unfortunately, they have not survived. But the mechanism from the Sukharev Tower has been restored, which acts in such a way that the bells, which are located in the belfry of the tower, ring every quarter of an hour, half an hour, an hour. Now the building houses museum expositions.
Despite the cataclysms of history, the Ascension Garden as part of the Big “Old” Tsar’s Garden in the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve was almost completely preserved, it is considered one of the oldest gardens on the territory of Moscow. About 880 trees grow here, mainly apple trees and the very ancient oaks, which are almost 400 years old. According to one of the legends, Tsarevich Peter Alekseevich, the future Emperor Peter I, learned to read and write under the shade of these oaks.
Bratsk prison tower
One of the four corner towers of the Bratsk prison, which was built by the Cossacks on the Angara, a unique monument of defensive architecture of the 17th century. When the Bratsk hydroelectric power station was being built, the place where the prison was located fell into the flooded zone. One of the towers was transported to Kolomenskoye and restored.
But the Mokhovaya Tower is part of the Sumy fortress-fortress, which defended the northern possessions of Russia in the 17th century. By the 20th century, only two of its six towers survived. In 1931, all that remained of the Mokhovaya Tower was dismantled and transported to the Kolomenskoye Museum, where it was kept in storerooms for almost 80 years. In 2003, restorers discovered it, who, according to drawings, restored the monument to the way it was in 1680.