Moscow Oblast

moscow oblast – московская область

istra – истра

In 1656 Nikon the then patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church founded the New Jerusalem Monastery in the town of Istra 50 km from Moscow.  According to Nikon`s concept, the monastery had to become the center of Eastern Christianity. The Istra River was renamed Jordan. The areas around the monastery were given biblical names Bethlehem, Galilee, Mount of Olives, Zion, etc. The Resurrection Cathedral was constructed after the image of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Like its prototype, it houses several churches under one roof.

Patriarch Nikon was buried in the cathedral. Visitors can see his resting place, worshippers can kiss his relics.

kolomna – коломна

The town of Kolomna founded in 1177 is located 100 km south of Moscow on the way to Ryazan. When driving to Ryazan it makes sense to make a two-three hour stop to see remnants of the Kolomna kremlin built in 1525-31, old churches and monasteries. The historic part of Kolomna is a pedestrian area calling for a stroll in good weather.

The 1855 Cross Exaltation Church.

In 1380 Prince of Moscow Dmitry Donskoy marshaled Russian troops in Kolomna before heading to the Kulikovo Field for a decisive battle with the Golden Horde. Hence his statue at the kremlin wall. (See also Tula Oblast for the Kulikovo Field Battle).

The 1682 Assumption Cathedral. The white belfry was built in 1692.

The 1776 Tikhvin Church.

The 14th century Resurrection Church.

The 19th century Old Golutvin Monastery on the outskirts of Kolomna.

zaraisk – зарайск

The town of Zaraisk was founded in 1146. The Zaraisk kremlin is the smallest in Russia. The walls measure just 125 by 185 meters.

Inside the kremlin stands the 1904 Beheading of John the Baptist Church.

Behind the 1904 Beheading of John the Baptist Church Stands the 1681 St. Nicholas Church.

The memorial plate reads that Prince Dmitry Pozharsky governed Zaraisk in 1610-11 and successfully opposed the then Polish invasion. See also Nizhny Novgorod, Suzdal and Red square in Moscow for more monuments and details on Prince Dmitry Pozharsky.

Babushkas begging at the entrance to the kremlin.

The 1776 Trinity Church stands next to the kremlin.

borodino – бородино

In June 1812 the Napoleon army consisting of corps, regiments and divisions of 20 European states invaded Russia. On 26 August the Napoleon and Russian armies met in a bloody battle at the village of Borodino 130 km west of Moscow. The battle lasted from dawn to dusk leaving over 100,000 soldiers dead. The Russian army withdrew and abandoned Moscow. Borodino was the beginning of the end for Napoleon. Having stayed in Moscow for two months the Napoleon army began its disastrous retreat. Out of 600,000 strong army that entered Russia, only about 30,000 people managed to survive and to flee back to Europe.

The Borodino Battle Museum.

A set of surgical tools used in 1812.


Russian Czar Alexander I.

Field marshal Kutuzov the commander-in-chief of the Russian army.

The main monument commemorating the battle stands in front of the museum.

The location of the Russian headquarters is marked by an obelisk.

The entire battlefield is dotted with memorials to specific divisions.

In 1941-42 the Soviet Army confronted the Hitler troops in this very site. Therefore, WWII mass graves and memorials also dot the field. Sometimes WWII and Borodino Battle memorial signs stand side by side.

The Saviour Borodino Monastery was founded in 1817 by Margarita Tutchkova, widow of Russian general Alexander Tutchkov who fell in the Borodino battle.