The entire town of Kolomna is an open-air museum where everything – the churches and monasteries, the cozy wooden houses, the cobbled streets and the steep riverbanks – breathes history.
At the centre of historic Kolomna is a kremlin built in the early 16th century, one of the biggest and best defended fortresses of its era. The walls of the kremlin are up to 21m high in places, while the towers (of which seven remain) measure 31m in height. The Kolomna Kremlin covers a substantial area of 24 hectares, and it can take several hours to tour the whole site. Every part of the kremlin is fully accessible, and can be touched, photographed, and even climbed over.
Kolomna boasts a large number of small museums, including collections of samovars, gramophones, trams, and favourite toys, as well as the workshops of blacksmiths, confectioners, needle workers and other traditional crafts.
On a visit to Kolomna, it’s diffi cult to resist the temptation to try the local sweets. The town has seen the revival of the local pastille, made to original historic recipes and once again commercially produced. The pastille is a natural delicacy, with the main ingredient being whipped apple puree made from local late varieties.
A visit to one of Kolomna’s pastille museums is a unique interactive quest—you will come across merchants, violinists, heartsick students, and ladies in crinoline who will serve you tea made with herbs from the apothecary gardens.
Another culinary treat for which Kolomna is famous is the local kalach (a circular bread roll). Visit the local kalach bakery, and you can see an astonishing show that demonstrates the way the kalach’s unique asymmetrical shape is formed to give the roll a “handle”, and that illustrates the many Russian idioms that originate from the baking and eating of this true Kolomna miracle.
From Moscow, take a commuter train from Kazansky Railway Terminal to Kolomna.