Kolomenskoye Estate in Moscow
Let me tell you about Kolomenskoye Estate in Moscow. This is a huge, beautiful park, but it's also a historical spot. By going there, you will both enjoy the stunning nature of Moscow AND have a chance to attend a true open-air museum.
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Kolomenskoye Estate was first mentioned in chronicles of the 14th century. That place was basically a residence, and it was very popular among the Russian Tsars including Ivan the Terrible.
There are a lot of things to see there - churches, historic buildings, walls and gate that date back to 16-18 centuries.
One of the main places to visit in Kolomenskoye is the Church of the Ascension. It was built in 1532 by Vasily III to commemorate the birth of his son, the future first Russian tsar Ivan IV. What Vasily didn't know back then is that "Terrible" will be his son's second name.
The Church of the Ascension.
But let's get back to the church. Judging by the exterior, its architect was Italian, and it was the same guy who designed the walls and towers of Kitay-Gorod in Moscow.
Several years ago the church was restored, and I think it's great, because such beauty should be seen by as much people as possible. Plus, there's even a museum inside!
Make sure you see the Front Gate that was built somewhere in 1672. It was meant to be the front entrance to the estate, because all the important guests of that time (now we call them VIPs) arrived from the side of Moskva River using the embassy road.
However, there was a little trick, just the way Russian Tsars liked. Right after the guest passed the gate, they would see four wooden lions covered with realistic fur and with machinery inside that made them roll their eyes and roar.
Since the distinguished guests weren't familiar with the term "animatronics", I think they were quite impressed. Plus, I think the lions softened them up just enough to give the Russian Tsar a winning side in any coming negotiation.
The Front Gate.
The exterior of the gate fully matches the original, 17th century one. In addition, there are all kinds of rooms inside the gate, and right now they are occupied with museum exhibition.
In 17th century, Tsar Alexey Mihailovich Romanov initiated the creation of a wooden palace. It stunned the foreign ambassadors with its amazing looks, both in- and outside. Truly, that was the case where the designers and architects thought everything through to the tiniest detail. That's no wonder, really, because Romanov hired the best of the best.
Alexey Romanov's successors also loved the palace. It was especially true for Peter the Great, who spend there a lot of time. However, after the Russian capital was moved to St. Petersburg in the 18th century, Kolomenskoye Estate began to lose its importance.
Exactly 100 years after its construction was initiated, Tsarina Catherine the Great ordered to dismantle it. However, she also ordered to make exact blueprints of the palace, and I think that was the first time when the concept of backup was applied to architecture.
Anyways, thanks to her prudence, the palace was restored later on, but it was dismantled again in the 19th century. In 2007 it was decided to rebuild it again, and in 2010 the palace was opened for public. Of course, the entire inner decor was also restored as closed to the original as possible.
I have one question though - why on Earth did they dismantle it? Didn't they have anything else to do? Oh, those Russians....sometimes even I don't understand them!
But the palace isn't everything. Pay a visit to the Church of Our Lady of Kazan. It was wooden in the 17th century, and then in the same century it was rebuilt to stone. It was also once connected with Tsar Alexey's palace before it was moved, but that's even better because you'll get to breathe some fresh air when you move between the two.
The Church of Our Lady of Kazan.
Those are only some of Kolomenskoye Estate memorials. There are many others, like Peter the Great wooden house (18th century) that was brought later from Arkhangelsk; Savior, or "Spassky" Gates (17th century); The Refectory Church of St. George with a bell tower, and many others.
There are all kinds of walking tours around Kolomenskoye Estate including thematic one, with guides dressed in historic Russian costumes. They will surely help you not get bored!
A nice view on Moskva River.
However, if history is simply not for you then just stroll around the place. Remember I told it's also a big park? Well, you can, for example, enjoy the stunning view on Moskva River and walk across the beautiful lawns that are well taken care of.
All the historic buildings fit the landscape perfectly, so take a lot of photos. Looking for a great Russian desktop wallpaper? Well, you're standing on one! Plus, don't forget that all kinds of holidays and festivals take in Kolomenskoye Estate, so if your timing is good you will see much more than just the landscape and buildings.
The whole place is quite near Kolomenskaya Moscow metro station, but keep in mind that since the park is very big the palace of Tsar Alexey is quite far from the metro exit. So, if you're looking to get there first it's better to do that from Kashirskaya station.
That's it for now, hope you enjoy Kolomenskoye Estate and hey - share your photos on our
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