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The earliest historical record about Kolomenskoye as a grand prince ancestral estate dates back to the C14th. In those days, the estate was a small village with a wooden church and a church yard. It had purely household functions and looked just like any other grand prince domain. More than once, the manor was raided and ruined by Crimean Tatars, but every time it was restore.
Kolomenskoye gained prominence owing to its convenient and strategic geographic location at the junction of roads and water routes leading to the South. Kolomenskoye was mentioned several times in chronicles in the context of Moscow’s fight against the Golden Horde and Crimean Khanate. Prince Dmitry Of The Don passed through the estate after his victory in the Battle of Kulikovo. In 1408, Edigu Khan set up his camp in this place before attacking Moscow. In 1533, from Kolomenskoye Vasily the Third Giray commanded his campaign against Safa-Giray Khan of Crimean Khanate. Later, Ivan the Terrible passed through Kolomenskoye in his campaign against Kazan.
In the early C16th, during the reign of Vasily the Third, Kolomenskoye underwent dramatic changes. The grand prince came to love his country estate, and it gradually became his permanent summer residence. Here, a wooden grand prince palace was built and then – the Church of the Ascension, one of the old Russian stone architectural gems. Ivan the Terrible also loved this estate. He often visited it and stayed at his country ‘entertaining’ or ‘fun’ palace. Here, the tsar hunted for waterfowl with falcons and merlins. He also went hunting with hounds, for hares and other game. However, Kolomenskoye did not become really famous until the C17th, during the reign of the first tsars of the Romanov dynasty.
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.