KolomnaRussian: Коломна is one of the best-known and most popular cities for tourists in the Moscow OblastRussian: Moskovskaya oblast or Московская область. It is conveniently located, and you can easily do a day-trip from Moscow to Kolomna. The city features an overwhelming number of historical monuments, churches, interesting buildings and museums. Kolomna is situated at the confluence of the Moskva and OkaRussian: Ока rives, and the Kolomna Kremlin and ancient monasteries standing on the riverbanks are exceptionally picturesque. All of this attracts visitors; some are interested in knowing more about the city’s history and culture, others want to just relax and spend a great day in Kolomna. The city has a long history of marshmallow production and other well-preserved aspects of the old Russian merchant lifestyle.
THE HISTORY OF KOLOMNA
Mentioned for the first time in 12-century Russian chronicles, Kolomna is one of the oldest cities of the Moscow Oblast. Many major events in Russian history had a significant impact on the city’s life, and their traces are still visible here. This is due, above all, to Kolomna’s location at the confluence of the Moskva and Oka rivers, approximately 100 kilometres from Moscow. Rivers, or rather waterways, connected it with other large Russian cities. Kolomna, however, was not only a port, but also a key stronghold of the Moscow Principality, guarded by a wooden fortress from times immemorial. In the 16th century, the wooden kremlin gave place to the stone fortress that is still there today. One of Kolomna’s major landmarks, the Kolomna KremlinRussian: Kolomenskiy kreml or Коломенский кремль, has only partially survived, because in the 18th and 19th centuries, locals took its walls to pieces to use the red bricks in their households. The fortress witnessed a great many battles: the Tatarsthis term is applied to a variety of Turco-Mongol semi-nomadic empires who controlled the vast region known as Tartary coming from the south sieged it repeatedly, and the supporters of the troops of False Dmitry IIthe second of three pretenders to the Russian throne who claimed to be Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible and Polish invaders, his allies, used it during the Time of Troublesperiod of political crisis in Russia that followed the demise of the Rurik dynasty (1598) and ended with the establishment of the Romanov dynasty (1613) in the early 16th century.
In the past, seventeen mighty towers protected the Kolomna Kremlin (5, Lazhechnikova StreetRussian: ulitsa Lazhechnikova or улица Лажечникова), and the total length of its tall, stone walls was 2 km. Only seven towers still exist today, however they lose none of their former might. Each has a name and a story. For instance, the tallest tower was named after Marina Mniszech, a Polish adventuress who was the wife of False Dmitry I and then of False Dmitry IIvarious pretenders to the Russian throne who passed themselves off as Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich of Russia, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible. As a Tsaritsa of Russia, she settled in Kolomna and helped Polish invaders get into the Kolomna Kremlin. After the Russian-Polish war was over and the impostors overthrown, Marina had to answer for her actions and was imprisoned in one of the kremlin towers that has since been known as Marinkina (Marina’s) TowerRussian: Marinkina bashnya or Маринкина башня. This story has many legends associated with it, for instance, that Mniszech was a witch, so she turned into a crow and is still flying over the city.
The Faceted TowerRussian: Granovitaya bashnya or Грановитая башня is notable for its unusual shape, rectangular on one side, and hexagonal on the other. It now houses a museum of ancient Russian weapons (visitors can try on ancient helmets to feel how heavy they were) and hosts elaborate reconstructions of medieval battles staged by the SvyatogorRussian: Святогор sports club.
And yet, Russian fortresses are much more than just walls and towers. They were also centres of political, military and cultural city life. As is the case with the Moscow Kremlin, the Kolomna Kremlin has squares, churches, monasteries and office buildings. In a sense, it is a city within a city, where different periods of history and architectural styles combine to make a single and coherent ensemble.
CHURCHES AND SANCTUARIES
The Kolomna’s Assumption CathedralRussian: Uspenskiy kafedralnyi sobor or Успенский кафедральный собор, located on Cathedral SquareRussian: Sobornaya ploschad or Соборная площадь (14, Lazareva StreetRussian: ulitsa Lazareva or улица Лазарева), was founded during the reign of Prince Dmitry Donskoythe first prince of Moscow to openly challenge Mongol authority in Russia in the 14th century and completed after the Russian victory over the Golden Hordea Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire in the Battle of Kulikovotook place at the Kulikovo Field between the armies of the Golden Horde under the command of Mamai, and various Russian principalities under the united command of Prince Dmitri of Moscow (1380). One of the greatest Orthodox icons, the icon of Our Lady of the DonRussian: Donskaya ikona Bozhey Materi or Донская икона Божьей Матери, was kept here before moving to the Tretyakov Art GalleryRussian: Tretyakovskaya galereya or Третьяковская галерея. The cathedral we see now is a 17th-century reconstruction featuring a rather laconic but festive architectural design, with smooth white stone walls, a precise five-domed silhouette and simple décor which includes only carved portals and window frames. Overall, the architectural landscape of the Cathedral Square is very beautiful.
Next to the Assumption Cathedral is one of Kolomna’s most exciting buildings, the tent-roofed belfryRussian: shatrovaya kolokolnya or шатровая колокольня that also dates back to the 17th century. Its massive cubic base harmonises perfectly with the light and airy octagon which contains the bells. The Church of the Icon of Our Lady of TikhvinRussian: hram Tihvinskoy ikony Bozhey Materi or храм Тихвинской иконы Божьей Матери (12, Lazarev Street) is located near the belfry. Built in the 18th century, it underwent several reconstructions and is now in perfect condition. A monument to Saints Cyril and MethodiusRussian: pamyatnik svv. Kirillu i Mefodiyu or памятник свв. Кириллу и Мефодию, the inventors of the Slavic alphabet, stands on the Cathedral Square.
The New Golutvin ConventRussian: Svyato-Troitskiy Novo-Golutvin monastyir or Свято-Троицкий Ново-Голутвин монастырь, located in the centre of the Kolomna Kremlin at 9, Lazareva Street overlooks the Cathedral Square. The 17th century Eparch’s PalaceRussian: Arhiereyskie palaty or Архиерейские палаты, the Trinity ChurchRussian: Troitskaya tserkov or Троицкая церковь and the 18th-century Church of the Intercession of the VirginRussian: Pokrovskaya tserkov or Покровская церковь are located on the convent’s grounds. This active convent is home to 90 nuns and lay sisters who manage a boarding school for orphans.
The Brusensky Assumption ConventRussian: Uspenskiy Brusenskiy zhenskiy monastyir or Успенский Брусенский женский монастырь (36, Brusensky DrivewayRussian: Brusenskiy pereulok or Брусенский переулок), located on the Kremlin’s premises, was founded by order of Ivan the Terribleruled from 1533 to 1584 and is still active today. The main convent church – the Dormition ChurchRussian: tserkov Uspeniya Bozhey Materi or церковь Успения Божьей Матери – dates back to the same epoch. Most of the surviving buildings on the grounds of the Brusensky Convent were built in the neo-Gothic and neo-Russian styles in the 18th and 19th centuries. These include the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy CrossRussian: Krestovozdvizhenskiy sobor or Крестовоздвиженский собор, the enclosure with stylish turrets and spires, and buildings with a peculiar window design.
You may also admire the belfry of the Church of John the ApostleRussian: tserkov Ioanna Bogoslova or церковь Иоанна Богослова, located in the immediate vicinity of the Kremlin, at 1, Dvukh Revolutsiy SquareRussian: ploschad Dvuh Revolyutsiy or площадь Двух Революций. The church is the focus of the late-Classical architectural area that includes market stalls and the church featuring severe Doric columns.
Built in 1716, the Church of Nikola of the QuarterRussian: hram Nikoly na Posade or храм Николы на Посаде at 18, Posadskaya StreetRussian: Posadskaya ulitsa or Посадская улица is one of Kolomna’s most celebrated churches. It is attended by Old Believers (Russian Orthodox Christians who refused the reforms of Patriarch Nikonintroduced many reforms which eventually led to a lasting schism in the Russian Orthodox Church so that the Old Believers appeared of Moscow in the 17th century). The church is very ornate, with its five rows of kokoshnikssemicircular decorative elements used often in Russian architecture, five airy domes, ornamented belts and carved window frames.
Another sanctuary in Kolomna is the Epiphany Old Golutvin MonasteryRussian: muzhskoy Bogoyavlenskiy Staro–Golutvin monastyir or мужской Богоявленский Старо–Голутвин монастырь, situated at 11, Golutvinskaya StreetRussian: Golutvinskaya ulitsa or Голутвинская улица. It was founded in the late 14th century under the auspices of the Venerable Sergius of Radonezha spiritual leader and monastic reformer of medieval Russia, the founder of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius LavraRussian: Svyato-Troitskaya Sergieva Lavra or Свято-Троицкая Сергиева Лавра. The Venerable Gregory of Golutvin, his disciple, became its first superior. Unfortunately, the original building has not survived on the monastery’s grounds. On the contrary, the building complex dating from the 18th and 19th centuries has survived almost intact to this day. The surviving structures include the neo-Gothic turrets of the enclosure, the 18th-century Epiphany Cathedral and the church built in commemoration of the Venerable Sergius of Radonezh from the early 19th century. The monastery’s most noteworthy building is the 46-meter-high church over the gate. It has a very elegant outlook, with its three tiers of bells, semi-columns and gables, creating a solemn, hierarchical appearance without being too heavy on the eye.
A CITY OF VARIOUS EPOCHS
Many picturesque and cozy little houses have survived in and outside the Kolomna Kremlin, giving it a special charm. When strolling around the streets of the city, it’s great to take your time to admire them, since every house is unique and matches the style of its owner, with a custom-made design, carved window and door frames and porches. For an example, the so-called Kuprin’s HouseRussian: dom Kuprina or дом Куприна (10, Lazareva Street) belonged to Zinaida I. Nut, sister of the Russian writer Aleksandr Kuprin, who was a frequent guest there.
One of these 19th-century merchant mansions houses the Kolomna MuseumRussian: Kolomenskiy kraevedcheskiy muzey or Коломенский краеведческий музей, located at 15, Lazhechnikova Street. Its exhibition presents the entire Kolomna area, its history, nature and everyday life. The museum also comprises the 17th-century Voyevodavoyevodas were Old Russian military leaders’s House and the Museum of Military GloryRussian: Muzey boevoy slavy or Музей боевой славы.
Kolomna does not belong to any specific period of history. Although its most visited landmarks belong to the Old Russian period, Kolomna continue to develop its style even in later times. The rise of industry and commerce in Kolomna in the 18th and 19th centuries allowed the city to embellish and rebuild many Orthodox churches, and the houses of the local merchants, albeit lagging behind metropolitan mansions in terms of size and luxury, compete among themselves to surpass others in the stylish wooden décor common across the city.
Kolomna also has a lot to offer for food lovers. In the past, Kolomna produced delicious marshmallows made with applesauce, berries and nuts, which was famous throughout Russia. Today, the old recipes have come back into fashion, and a small Marshmallow PlantRussian: fabrika pastily or фабрика пастилы (4, Polyanskaya StreetRussian: ulitsa Polyanskaya or улица Полянская) and the Marshmallow MuseumRussian: Muzey pastily or Музей пастилы (13A, Posadskaya Street) are operating in the city. Visitors describe them as cozy and friendly places, where you will not only learn a lot about the production of marshmallows, but also taste its many varieties and examine the interior with its ancient pieces of furniture and cookware. You can even participate in the marshmallow making process at the plant and purchase the finished products at local shops in the area.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com