UNESCO Heritage Site #141: Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye

Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye
Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye

UNique – 6/10

Located a few kilometers away from Moscow, Kolomenskoye was a small village until in 1532 the Russian Grand Prince decided to build a church as a token of his gratitude for the birth of a son, an heir to the throne, who would eventually come to be called Ivan the Terrible. (In my humble opinion, that is an absolutely awful name to give to a child. It’s like Denice the Menace but much worse. You could not expect him to get up to anything good with that moniker.) Church of the Ascension was the first tent-roof stone building in Russia and would become the turning point in Russian religious architecture. As you enter the church, you realize that the 3-meter thick walls encroach on the interior, making the church feel very small inside. This perceived narrowness of space does a lot to emphasize the height of the structure.

ESsential – 4/10

After the construction of the church was completed, the status of the surrounding area grew in importance. Kolomenskoye became a residence of the Russian tsars in the 17th century. It is here that Peter the Great staged his play battles during his youth. To celebrate his connection to this area, a small wooden house which he resided in during the Northern War in 1702 has been moved to Kolomenskoye.

COst-Effective – 6/10

The entrance into each building of the complex is a nominal 100 rubles, but considering that there is not much inside the small church, you would do much better to enjoy its gleaming tower-like beauty from the outside.

 

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