--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
On the left bank of the Zhuzha River, near the place where it meets the Moskva River, are up-to-date facilities: a helipad. Close to the helipad is a small two-storey log house behind a fence. This is the Falcon Yard.
The Falcon Yard in Kolomenskoye was reconstructed in 2010 with maximum precision, using an old photograph dating back to the beginning of the 20th. If you come up to the yard, you will hear birds squawk. Several saker falcons and northern goshawks are kept here. As well as a raven and an eagle owl. Hunters tacitly valued the falcon higher than the hawk. And white gyrfalcons were of special value: they were considered royal birds. If any white gyrfalcon was lost, the falconer would receive a severe punishment.
The Falcon Yard was founded in the Kolomenskoye royal estate in the middle of the C17th. As instructed by Tsar Alexey, falconer Afanasy Matyushkin purchased special aviaries. The yard was built not far from the village of Dyakovo.
From the earliest times falconry in Russia was considered to be a sport of princes and tsars. The first tsar of the Romanov dynasty, Mikhail Romanov, loved using predatory birds for hunting. But with his son, Aleksey, game birds were especially popular. He is considered to be the author of the austringer regulations and it is from this book that the popular proverb ‘business before pleasure’ originated.
Austringers used their own mysterious slang terms that were known only to initiates. Usually, those terms were abbreviated ordinary words. For example, an austringer could ask the Tsar: ‘Izime doobz, yourm?’ This meant ’Is it time to do business, Your Majesty?’ The Tsar could answer: ‘Doofts’, meaning ‘Do the gifts’.
It is difficult to say how many falcons were at the Tsar’s disposal. The Austringer Service was in charge of catching wild birds. Royal huntsmen hunted for them in the Siberia and Urals regions. It was not inexpensive to tame and keep falcons. Therefore, ‘the pigeon duty’ was imposed in Russia to fatten pigeons used to feed game birds. Trained falcons were highly valuable and Tsar Aleksey often presented them to foreign rulers.
During the reign of Tsar Aleksey I Romanov, falconry arrangements in Kolomenskoye looked like a real theatrical performance. Sometimes, even the empress and her daughters took part in the action, riding in their carriages. Foreigners, however, were not allowed to participate in hunting excursions. Once, in spite of long negotiations, some envoys of the Austrian Emperor were not permitted to watch the royal fun, as falconry was then called. In addition to falconry, the Tsar came to Kolomenskoye for ‘the winter fun’ – hunting for hares, foxes, wolves, and elks. Not far from Kolomenskoye, in Novoye Zaborye Village, they even built a wolf yard, where they kept wolves for royal hunting.
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.