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The light-yellow building with a four-columned portico is the palace pavilion of 1825. This is the only surviving building of the palace of Emperor Alexander the First. The entrance is protected by two lionesses.
There was a three-storeyed palace of Catherine the Second in Kolomenskoye before 1816. It had two lower stone storeys and two upper wooden ones. Its façade was decorated with a portico. Even though the building was plain and modest, the empress loved it and repeatedly stayed there. In this palace, she wrote Instruction, her famous statement of legal principles. In 1878, Catherine stayed in her country palace for a few days before ceremonial arrival in Moscow where she celebrated the 25th anniversary of her reign. The palace was built in a slapdash manner and it adversely affected its quality. By the early the C19th, the building had dilapidated so much that it had to be dismantled.
In the mid-1820s, they started to build a new palace on the site of the old Catherine’s palace in Kolomenskoye. It was designed by architect Yevgraf Tyurin. It was a sophisticated structure with a high and massive lantern tower and a broad terraced staircase descending to the river. On quadrangular supports, they displayed cannons in front of the palace – the imperial residence was designed as a monument to Russia’s victory in the war against Napoleon.
The construction of the new palace in Kolomenskoye finished shortly before the unexpected death of Alexander the First in Taganrog. The emperor never saw his new residence. During the reign of Nikolay the First, court architect Andrey Stakenschneider designed a new palace with a full replanning of the one in Kolomenskoye. But his project was never implemented.
As for the Alexander Palace, it was torn down to sold for bricks during the reign of Emperor Alexander the Second.
The preserved palace pavilion was a garden building. It was planned to be used as a tea house or a home theatre. Eventually, it came to house a hospital for the Moscow Cadet Corps. In the early 20th, physicians of the Kolomenskoye hospital lived in the building. At present, this place hosts exhibitions, concerts, and even weddings.
Emperor Alexander the First was near his new palace in Kolomenskoye in 1825, but he did not see it. From Taganrog where he died, the emperor’s body was carried on a catafalque to Moscow. On its way, the funereal train stopped over in Kolomenskoye. For a night, the coffin was placed in the Church of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan. It was as though the emperor said goodbye to his estate, where he had spent his childhood.
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.