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One of the attractions in Kolomenskoye is famous Golosov Ravine. It stretches for 1 kilometre almost from Kashira Highway to the Moskva River, separating the premises of the former imperial residence in Kolomenskoye from an old village called Dyakovo. At present, it is quite easy to cross Golosov Ravine using convenient numerous staircases.
In the old days Golosov Ravine was called Volosov Ravine. It was believed that a snake of pagan deity Volos or Velos lived in the ravine. The name of this pagan deity originates from the word meaning ‘villous’ or ‘hairy’. Legend has it that local residents often saw a tall shaggy humanlike creature that appeared and disappeared at the foggy bottom of the ravine. So, people preferred to stay away from that place, especially in the night-time.
In the 1920s, a Moscow newspaper published a story titled ‘Young Pioneers Searching for Wood Goblin’. According to the story, one night a field service militiaman saw a tall hairy man emerging from the foggy in the ravine. The militiaman was so frightened that he used all his revolver bullets shooting at the stranger. However, the weird creature did not even turn a hair. Then it vanished in the fog. The next morning, members of the Young Pioneer Organisation searched the ravine in search of the stranger, but surely in vain.
There is a story that was first told in 1832. It was about two peasants from Sadovniki Village, Arkhip Kuzmin and Ivan Bochkaryov, who disappeared in Golosov Ravine and reappeared 20 years later. The story goes as follows. Two heavily drunk friends were on their way back home from Dyakovo Village. This happened in 1810. The inebriated men decided to take a shortcut and go through the ill-famed ravine. Passing between two boulders, according to them, they kind of fell through something and found themselves in some sort of passage. They walked through the passage and came out to a whitish-lit place. There, the two friends encountered strange hairy creatures who explained that it would be difficult for the men to come back. The creatures agreed to help, though, and they did. However, when the men returned to their village, they found out that 20 years had passed since they disappeared. Fortunately, some of their relatives were still alive who remembered the men and recognised them. A chief of police who investigated the case made the men follow the same route and show how that had happened. Some time later, one of the men disappeared, while the other one hung himself.
It is said that some old documents ostensibly describe an event that occurred during the reign of Tsar Mikhail I Romanov, the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty. In Kolomenskoye, near the gate of the tsar’s palace, guards arrested a small group of Tatar horsemen. The prisoners said that they were warriors of the Crimean Khan, whose army had failed to seize Moscow … during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. They said that the army had been defeated and tried to shake off their pursuers in small groups. One of those groups decided to escape through a ravine. They were so afraid to be taken prisoners that none of them noticed a greenish fog in the ravine. The horsemen thought that they would spend only a short while in the fog. Little did they know that they would spend there more than fifty years. Tsar Mikhail ordered to investigate the case. According to the investigators, the Tartars seemed to have told the truth, because their clothes and arms, although new, were outdated.
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.