Sunday, July 8, 2012
The Wooden Palace
In late June Barb went with some of the other senior couples to see the Wooden Palace in Kolomenskoye outside of Moscow. (Dave was home sick) It is incredibly beautiful. It was originally built in the 1670's for the Tzar Alexey Mikhailovich. It is sometimes referred to as the "eighth miracle of the world." Called the Kolomenskoye Palace, it took five years to build. Russian and foreign craftsmen brought new devices into the traditional Russian wooden architcture. It was built without nails or using saws. The Palace consisted of separate towers and living sections connected by passages. There were 26 living sections of different height from 2 to 4 floors. There were 270 rooms which were lighted by 3000 small windows. (which are very beautiful) It was a most unusual structure, being build of wood instead of the traditional stone or brick. In almost all the rooms, icons were kept in the "red" corner, (which means beautiful), curtains on windows, and floors and walls were covered with woolen cloth. There were glazed tiled stoves in many of the rooms; in the men's side they were square and women's side they were round. There was a women's half of the Palace and a man's half of the Palace. The Empress Catherine the Great who reigned from 1767-1770 ordered the Palace pulled down. (It has ben recreated according to 18th century surveys found which Catherine the Great had kept). It was completed in 2008, also without using saws or nails. There are many pieces of original period furniture, a set of knight's armour, a crossbow and other weapons. The grounds are very beautiful and it was a delightful day. We were blessed to have a guide with us who spoke English and explained many things to us. We walked for quite a distance on the grounds. Her great grandmother (our guide) is buried in a tiny cemetery not far from the Palace.