(active 1530s in Moscow)

Exterior view

Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye, Moscow

The Church of the Ascension (Voznesenskaya) was built in 1532 on the imperial estate of Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, to celebrate the birth of the prince who was to become Tsar Ivan IV ('the Terrible'). It is now situated near the centre of Moscow on the steep slope that descends to the floodplain of the Moscow River. One of the earliest examples of a traditional wooden tent-roofed church on a stone and brick substructure, it had a great influence on the development of Russian ecclesiastical architecture.

The remarkable tent roof rises from an octagonal base crowned by small kokoshniks (a semicircular or keel-like exterior decorative element in the traditional Russian architecture); the base itself also rises from a larger base formed by a series of tiered kokoshniks. Galleries reached by steps at various levels surround the church. In the eastern altar part of the gallery, facing the Moscow River, there is a "royal pew" in the form of a throne with a white-stone ciborium above it. Because of this specific construction, the walls are 2.5 to 3 metres thick, making the interior very small, although the 41-metre high ceilings create a feeling of spaciousness.

View the ground plan of the Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.