➤Guided tour to the State Tretyakov Gallery, the most famous museum of Russian art in the world
➤Guided tour to the Kolomenskoe Museum-Reserve
➤Traditional Maslenitsa festivities in Kolomenskoe Estate
A short ride from the city centre will take you to Kolomenskoe Museum-Reserve, where you can get an idea of what Medieval Moscow looked like. Here you’ll find the oldest garden in Moscow and a favourite estate of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, father of Peter the Great. The Church of the Ascension was built in 1532 on the imperial estate of Kolomenskoye to celebrate the birth of the prince who was to become Tsar Ivan IV ('the Terrible'). 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 and is now one of Russia's few UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES.
Since Lent excludes parties, secular music, dancing and other distractions from spiritual life, Maslenitsa represents the last chance to take part in social activities that are not appropriate during the more prayerful, sober and introspective Lenten season.
In some regions, each day of Maslenitsa had its traditional activity. Monday may be the welcoming of “Lady Maslenitsa”. The community builds the Maslenitsa effigy out of straw, decorated with pieces of rags, and fixed to a pole formerly known as Kostroma. It is paraded around and the first pancakes may be made and offered to the poor. On Tuesday, young men might search for a fiancée to marry after Lent. On Wednesday sons-in-law may visit their mother-in-law who has prepared pancakes and invited other guests for a party. Thursday may be devoted to outdoor activities. People may take off work and spend the day sledging, ice skating, snowball fights and with sleigh rides. On Friday sons-in-law may invite their mothers-in-law for dinner.