Very close to the center of Moscow there is a wonderful historic site with extensive options for leisure.
Park Kolomenskoye. For many Muscovites this word is associated with really good memories. A beautiful park with apple garden not far from the center of Moscow, with ideal transport accessibility. The park is located on a beautiful turn of the Moscow River. Kolomenskoye Park features excellent historical buildings that are included on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. This is a place where you can easily escape from the bustle of the capital.
Tourists will find especially interesting masterpieces of Russian architecture, among which there is a steepled church.
Church of the Ascension
Church of the Ascension is considered the first steepled stone church in the world. This church is included on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. “Steepled” means that the roof of the temple is made in the form of a tent. Prior to the construction of this church, when building stone churches in Russia (and not only) tented roofs where never used, just domes. Tentedroofs in stone church architecture takes its rightful place among Gothic spires and various domes.
However, the prime of tented stone architecture did not last very long. Already a century later construction of steepled churches was forbidden by Russian patriarch. For several centuries, this unique style of architecture was forcibly forgotten by architects.
Before the construction of the Church of the Ascension at Kolomenskoye, steepled architecture was used in international church building only for towers and steeples. Indeed, with its upwardaspiration the Church of Ascension reminds a belfry.
The Church of Ascension in Kolomenskoye amazes with its combination of elements from different styles: from ancient Russian traditions of church architecture to modified Gothic style.
At the same time, first wooden churches with tented roof style (the information about them was preserved only in the form of historical descriptions and images) were built at least a millennium ago. Indeed, building a wooden roof for a church in the form of a tent is much easier than building it in the form of a dome. Creating a tented roof from stone is a very, very difficult task, especially if we are talking about a large structure. And any church, especially the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye, is considered a large building. In fact, building stone steepled churches was a breakthrough in church architecture.
There is a version that the Church of the Ascension was built by one of Italian architects. A pretty interesting version, which, according to the historian Sergei Zagrayevsky cannot be confirmed by the facts.
Other attractions in Kolomenskoye Estate
Inside of the Kolomenskoye Park you will find a carefully recreated inside and out a wooden Palace of the Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich in Kolomenskoye – a fine example of pre-Peter, original Russian tradition of the Moscow kingdom.
You can learn about the history of the Kolomenskoye Estate in the local museum, where some of the exhibits are 3-5 thousand years old.
From Arkhangelsk to Kolomenskoye a house (palace) of Peter I was moved, where the interior of the times of the first Russian emperor was fully recreated. This is the only house (palace) of Peter I that was preserved in Moscow.
In Kolomenskoye Park you can visit a bee farm, an apothecary garden, a peasant’s homestead, a blacksmith’s house, a stable yard, a falcon yard where falconries of the Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich began.
In Kolomenskoye Park from the Arkhangelsk region a wooden church of St. Georgy was moved (the interior of the temple is accessible only in summer), which was built in 1685 at the expense of parishioners. The Church has survived many difficult periods of the Russian history and was preserved to this day.
On the territory of the Kolomenskoye Estate you will also find many other unique monuments.
What to do in Kolomenskoye Park
In the summer
Join a group class and make with your own hands a Russian souvenir (a postcard, a piece of pottery, a Russian doll).
Take a ride on a boat on the Moscow River.
Select one of the thematic group tours.
Take a photo of yourself and your friends wearing the historic Russian clothes (several eras for you to choose from) in the interior of the museum.
Put on special Old Russian clothing in the museum and take part in the ceremony of “Russian Wedding” (try to sing along).
In the winter
Take a ride on an inflatable sleigh being hatched to a snowmobile.
Enjoy downhill tubing.
Try Russian pancakes.
Skating on a specially illuminated lit with festive lights skating rink.
Take a ride through the Kolomenskoye Park in a horse-drawn carriage (you will need to inform the administration about this activity via email at least 3 days in advance and to choose a horse).
Buy a wrought corkscrew as a souvenir (you can’t take it in hand luggage with you on planes, only in checked luggage) or, for children, buy tin soldiers.
How to get there
Subway stations Kolomenskaya or Kashirskaya. Then take a 5 minute walk. The park is open from early morning until late evening (in the summer from 7 am to 12 am, in the winter from 8 am to 9 pm). Entrance to the park is free.