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Kolomenskoye is one of the most convenient and popular places for folk festivals. Wintertime events include New Year’s and Christmas parties. Over the Christmas week, guests can attend theatrical performances and ride in horse-driven sleighs. In the park, clowns walk on stilts, while animators organise ring dancing and singing, playing Russian folk games, and contests. In addition, the Museum holds festive expositions. As for the evening, the dark skies over Kolomenskoye are illuminated by traditional fireworks. It was Peter the First who introduced them to Russia.
Maslenitsa is a special folk festival. In Kolomenskoye, they start making pancakes a week before the Lent. Pancakes are served with salmon, caviar, butter, honey, and sour cream to fit every taste. During the Maslenitsa Festival, they traditionally eat to their hearts’ content before the Lent, make merry, stage street-fighting shows, and have open-air parties and promenades. The Kolomenskoye Maslenitsa Festival is visited by both local residents and guests from all over Moscow. Here, they slide down snow and ice chutes and ride horses and snowmobiles.
Maslenitsa or Butter Week is nearly the brightest and merriest ancient Slavonian custom. These festivities are dedicated to seeing the winter off and the spring and the Sun in. Pancakes are the symbol of the Sun and the most favourite seasonal treat. Guests can learn about the most interesting and joyful Maslenitsa customs and traditions from folklore and dancing groups, hilarious comics, and circus performers. Shrove Sunday is the apotheosis of the Butter Week. People see the winter off and put a straw effigy of Lady Maslenitsa to the flames of a bonfire. Every year, Kolomenskoye hosts a performance of seizing a snow fortress and a firework show.
Kolomenskoye is a nice park and a former royal estate situated several kilometers to the southeast of the city center of Moscow, on the ancient road leading to the ancient picturesque town of Kolomna (hence the name).
The area overlooks the steep banks of the Moskva River. This fact will allow you to do a lot of great panoramic photos. This is also a place where seasonal folk festivals take place: honey and handicrafts trade-fairs, religious festivities and processions. If you fond of painting, this is the right place for drawing nature, city landscapes and churches.
The area is rich with cafes and restaurants offering traditional Russian cuisine in wooden houses. Try Russian pan-cakes with different filling, small and big pies, and honey cakes.
Kolomenskoye village was first mentioned in the testament of Ivan Kalita in 1339. As time went by, the village was developed as a favourite country estate of grand princes of Muscovy. The earliest existing structure is the exceptional Ascension church (1532), built in white stone to commemorate the long-awaited birth of an heir to the throne, the future Ivan the Terrible. Being the first stone church of tent-like variety, the uncanonical "White Column" (as it is sometimes referred to) marked a stunning break from the Byzantine tradition.
Recognizing its outstanding value for humanity, UNESCO decided to inscribe the church on the World Heritage List. The estate was one of the favourite places for Ivan the Terrible. He used to celebrate here his name-day in August. In XVI-XVII centuries there develops a unique architectural ensemble, subordinated to the idea of ceremonial royal residence, which is of great artistic and historical value. The heyday of Kolomenskoye is associated with the reign of Alexey Mikhailovich - Kolomenskoye was his favorite residence also. In 1667-1668 a magnificent wooden palace (the Eighth Wonder of the World) which had 250 rooms, was erected. The complex of the royal buildings was surrounded by the wall with three gates: Front, Back and Garden.
The future Empress Elizabeth Petrovna was born in the palace in 1709, and Tsar Peter the Great spent part of his youth here. Upon the departure of the court for St. Petersburg, the palace fell into disrepair, so that Catherine II refused to make it her Moscow residence. On her orders the wooden palace was demolished in 1768, and replaced with a much more modest stone-and-brick structure.
Fortunately, detailed plans of the 17th century palace survived and Moscow Government has completed a full-scale reconstruction in 2010.