Hi y’all! Today was our last day in Moscow, and as usual, it’s been pretty awesome. Our day began with a visit to Kolomenskoye. Kolomenskoye was a former royal estate that was inhabited by Russian dukes beginning in the 14th century and later the residence of Russian tsars. We saw some interesting architecture, including the Church of Our Lady of Kazan, a 17th century wooden church. In addition, I thought the Church of the Ascension was quite beautiful. It was designed in the 16th century by Italian architects. This church contains some Russian motifs, but there are also some western European influences in its design. There were once other buildings on the estate, but they were dissembled in the 19th century.
Next, we went into Kolomenskoye’s museum, where we saw one of Russia’s oldest bells (Note: this is NOT the oldest bell in Russia, which was cast in 1420 and is currently at St. Sergius Lavra). This bell in the Kolomenskoye museum was cast in 1487 with several Russian motifs; at this early time, the Russian bells had little ornamentation and were cast in a “beehive” shape.
Afterwards, we visited a nearby church dedicated to Ivan the Baptist (John the Baptist), called the Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist in Dyakovo. Ivan the Terrible once rang bells here as a child, and we ascended the steps to the belfry to follow in Ivan the Terrible’s footsteps. While we were up there, Father Roman and the Lowell Bell Ringers rang several peals (here are videos of the Akimovsky Peal and the Mikhailovsky Peal in this church!).
Following a nice lunch break, we walked past a reconstruction of the Tsar’s palace, which was one the buildings on Kolomenskoye estate that had been previously dissembled.
We then met up with Konstantin, a bell ringer in the Kremlin and Cathedral of Christ the Savior, who led us on a tour of Moscow. We saw many more beautiful, unique buildings, like the Church of the Archangel Gabriel (Menshikov Tower). At the time it was built, it was about 100 m tall including its spire at the top of its tower. Moscovians disliked this because the church was taller than the church for Ivan the Great, so that was a big no-no.
Another interesting location was the Perlov Tea Shop, which was styled after Chinese buildings. Sergey Perlov was a tea merchant in the late 19th century. He really wanted to impress a Chinese tea trader to secure a trading deal, so he built this Chinese-styled building. However, the Chinese tea trader went elsewhere and ended up trading with Sergey’s brother… #yikes.
Furthermore, we took a tour in Sretensky Monastery. The monastery contains a cathedral from the 17th century as well as one of Russia’s newest cathedrals, which opened in May 2017. The new cathedral is a place of remembrance for the victims and saints of Stalin’s terror. Interestingly, during the Soviet times, only one bell from the monastery was saved and held at St. Sergius Lavra, but it has been returned to this new cathedral.
After seeing many more sights, we ended our tour along the innermost ring-shaped road of Moscow. Here, we passed by the famed Bolshoi Theater!
Once we returned to Danilov Monastery, we had quite a fun dinner. Apparently we must’ve looked really tired – a few people who saw us kept commenting about it – but we were still having a great time!
Until next time,