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At the bottom of Golosov Ravine, there are two huge stones. Only some part of them can be seen. The stones seem to be grown into the ravine’ slope. Each of the boulders weighs at least five tonnes. These quartz sandstone blocks were pushed to Moscow from Scandinavia by glaciers. The boulders can be seen from afar owing to a lots of ribbons tied to the trees growing near them. According to a legend, this is the place where there was a battle between George the Victorious and the serpent who chopped Saint George’s steed into pieces that later petrified.
The shape of the miracle-working stones of Golosov Ravine is quite unusual. One of them—the ‘Male’ or Goose Stone—looks like a head of a steed. It is white and smooth. The shape of the other one—the ‘Female’ or Maiden Stone—resembles a turtle. It is all covered in huge ‘bumps’ and ‘blisters’. It is believed that the stones have some medicinal magic in them. It is said that if a man sits on the Goose Stone his virile strength will be doubled. The Maiden Stone is believed to cure relevant organs, depending on what part of the stone you sit on. Ostensibly, the stone is especially effective for treating female infertility. Many childless families like to come to these magic stones, hoping that they would help.
There are some springs near the miracle-working stones. Many people come to them to fill their bottles and large cans with healing water. Legend has it that the springs are the hoof prints of the steed of Saint George. The right way to perform the ritual is get some water from those springs and, without saying a word, sit on the relevant stone—the Goose stone or the Maiden Stone, make a wish, and drink some spring water. Women sit on the Maiden Stone wishing to have a son or a daughter. Then it is customary to tie a ribbon to one of those trees. Muscovites, however, visit these stones wishing not only for having children. It is said that this place helps to fulfil all sorts of kind wishes.
Scientists established that the surface of the Maiden Stone emits intense radiation creating a strong electromagnetic field, which depends on solar activity. Reasonably, experts think that the mysterious radiation is the cause of the local miracles. According to them, when infertile women touch the Maiden Stone with their hands, they are exposed to the electromagnetic field with its highly beneficial effect. In other words, they have some kind of a physiotherapy session that helped them to treat their infertility problems. This is why, to quote poet Alexander Pushkin, ‘the people's path to it won't be o'ergrown with grass’.
While the Scandinavian boulders are famous for their healing energy, Golosov Ravine, in whose slopes they sit, is a place of ill repute. Numerous legends about time jumps experienced by some people who lost their way in the fog of Golosov Ravine impelled scientists to study this anomaly.
In the mid-1990s, researchers at the General Physics Institute measured the electromagnetic field near the stones and came out with astounding results. The electromagnetic radiation detected in the ravine and near the boulders exceeded normal background levels more than 12 and 27 times respectively.
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.