Kolomenskoye is a former royal estate situated several miles to the south-east of Moscow’s city-center, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna (hence the name). The scenic area which overlooks the steep banks of the Moskva River became a part of Moscow in the 1960s.
Kolomenskoye village was first mentioned in the testament of Ivan Kalita (1339). As time went by, the village was developed as a favorite country estate of grand princes of Muscovy. The earliest extant structure is the exceptional Ascension church (1532), built in white stone to commemorate the long-awaited birth of an heir to the throne, the future Ivan the Terrible. Being the first stone church of tent-like variety, the uncanonical “White Column” (as it is sometimes referred to) marked a stunning rupture with the Byzantine tradition.
Recognizing its outstanding value for humanity, UNESCO decided to inscribe the church on the World Heritage List in 1994.