The old imperial estate at Kolomenskoe is one of the most picturesque and enjoyable of Moscow’s out of town attractions and is an absolute must see.
The estate is nestled on the steep west bank of the Moscow River, surrounded by ancient forest, which is now a conservation zone, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Kolomenkoe features vintage wooden structures built by many of the country’s Tsars, one of the most beautiful churches and examples of Russian tent-roofed architecture in the country. During the 16th century, Kolomenskoe was chosen as the site of a royal summer retreat, where Ivan the Terrible stayed during his childhood and later with his first wife, Anastasia. The estate was rebuilt by Tsar Mikhail Romanov and included a magnificent wooden palace, which his contemporaries dubbed the «eighth wonder of the world».
Inside the entrance to the grounds stands the impressive Church of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan, built in 1644 by Tsar Alexei in memory of the struggle against the Poles during the Time of Troubles. The church became better known in modern times for the icon of the «Majestic» Virgin.
Not far from the site of the original wooden palace visitors can wander in the oldest oak woods in the Moscow region, with some trees dating as far back as 600 years and some having been planted by the young Peter the Great himself. The most interesting is undoubtedly Peter the Great’s cabin.
The Kolomenskoye Estate also hosts a number of festivals and Russian religious celebrations every year. The festivals feature traditional Russian music, dance, costumes, food and games and the estate provides a magnificent historical backdrop to the celebrations.