Old village of Kolomenskoye situated in the southern part of Moscow is a unique place where the relics of Russian history were created and kept for centuries. Close to Kolomenskoye there is the oldest on the territory of Moscow settlement — known as Dyakovo Gorodishche — that is 2,5 thousand years old.
Kolomenskoye was first mentioned in chronicles of Prince Ivan Kalita in 1339. Since the 14th century Kolomenskoye had been the summer residence of Great Moscow Princes, and then — Russian tsars. In 1606 Kolomenskoye was the place of dislocation of the rebellious troop headed by I. Bolotnikov. Peter the Great spent his childhood in Kolomenskoye. After capturing Azov in 1696 and Poltava victory in 1709 Peter the Great spent some time in Kolomenskoye, before his solemn entrance to Moscow.
In the 19th century the constructions of Kolomenskoye became dilapidated. In 1860-1880s, after partial restoration, Kolomenskoye became the place for folk festivals and even bear fights.
Kolomenskoye became the department of the museum «Pokrovsky Cathedral» in 1925. Since 1928 the estate was turned into the part of the State Historical Museum. In 1930-1959 the museum of architecture under the open air was created in Kolomenskoye. The examples of Russian wooden architecture of the 17th century were brought here from all over the country. Among them was the brewery from Preobrajenskoe village, the gate tower from Nikolo-Karelsky monastery, the tower of Bratsk prison from Siberia, Peter the Great log-cabin from Archangelsk, and so on. These architectural monuments were preserved by the efforts of Kolomenskoye Museum director, P. Baranovsky.
The architectural ensemble of Kolomenskoye Estate is valuable from both historical and artistic points of view. The complex of Kolomenskoye includes the Ascension Church, John the Baptist Decapitation Church in Diakovskoye, St. George temple with belfry, Our Lady of Kazan Church, the water tower and two stone entrance gates built in times of Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovitch.
The gem of the architectural ensemble is the Ascension Church that was one of the first hipped stone temples in Russia. The church was put up in 1532 to commemorate the long-awaited birth of Great Prince Vasili III's son. He was the one who inherited Russian throne and became known as Ivan the Terrible. It is possible that the church was constructed by Italian architecture Petrok Maly (Peter Fryazin), the one who put up the walls of Kitai-Gorod. The well-proportioned temple with arrow-shaped windows and high octahedral hipped roof was intended only for the members of tsar's family.
The wooden palace built in 1667-1671 for Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovitch did not survive until nowadays. The contemporaries' called the palace «the eighth wonder of the world». It consisted of the high picturesque wooden houses connected with each other by means of covered passages and halls. The palace was decorated with carvings and paintings. In 1681 it was rebuilt, but it did not help preserving the palace. In 1768 the ramshackle building was demolished. In summer 1996 the archeologists were lucky to discover the foundation of the palace.
In 1971 Kolomenskoye was announced the state museum-preserve. Nowadays it is the State Historical, Architectural, Nature and Landscape Museum-Preserve Kolomenskoye. The collections of the museum are unique, since they include the Late Stone Age findings, rare print issues, including the first Russian print book «Moscow Apostle» edited on March 1, 1564 by Ivan Fyodorov and Peter Mstislavets, and so on. The unique collection of white stone carvings includes the parts of decor of the destroyed temples and architectural monuments of Moscow. Kolomenskoye also features one of the best in Russia collections of architectural and oven ceramics of the 10th-beginning of the 20th centuries, including Moscow glazed tiles.
Nowadays Kolomenskoye Museum-Preserve is one of the most picturesque and popular places in Moscow. In autumn, 2002 the government approved the program of the museum development. On the territory of Kolomenskoye it is planned to create the Ethnographic complex. The city government is responsible for restoration of some Kolomenskoye architectural monuments, including the Ascension Church, Our Lady of Kazan Church, the railing of Gosudarev Yard, Sytni yard, water tower, and St. George temple with belfry.
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