The Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye is one of the most significant architectural monuments of the XVI century, that has remained intact on the territory of the Moscow tsar`s summer residence Kolomenskoye.
The church was built in 1532. According to the legend it was erected in honour of Basil III`s heir Ivan the Terrible.
Probably it was built by an Italian architect Petrok Maly, the one who built the walls of Kitai-town in Moscow. The Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye is one of the first stone hipped cathedrals in Russia. Its appearance marked new fresh gains the Russian architecture made.
The Byzantine cross-vaulting architecture was completely rejected, and the new image of the Church of the Ascension was formed on the basis of harmonious combination of construction engineering of Russian principalities and achievements of West-European craftsmen. The light, strictly centred and vertically stretched church represents a cross in the plan. It stands on the ground floor with galleries and staircases and there`s an imposing towering above octahedral pyramid topped with a small cupola.
The decoration of the church (pilasters, fretted capitals, "beads" on the hipped roof) were borrowed from the Italian Renaissance. The inner space of the church, though quite cramped - 8.5x8.5 - combined with the height produces an effect of scope. The interiors of the church are decorated with pilasters and fretted capitals stylized in imitation acanthi leaves. This decorative detail is quite rarely met with the design of Russian churches. Unfortunately the ancient iconostasis and murals didn`t remain intact till the present day. But we have an opportunity to see what?s left from the "tsar`s bridge" and the tsar`s throne.
In 1917 the wonder-working icon of the Mother of God "Majestic" ("Derzhavnaya") was found in the church.
The Church of the Ascension has been numerously rebuilt and reconstructed, but its main characteristic features were preserved. The Church of the Ascension is a part of the large architectural museum complex "Kolomenskoye".
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