Peter I’s house in Kolomenskoye
Holland and Russia have a common museum. This is the house of Peter I, in which the Russian reformer stayed when he arrived in the city of Zaandam. The original has been the main attraction of a small Dutch city for two centuries. An exact copy of the house was donated to Russia by the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Dutch house of Pedro I
Peter the Great went to Holland, the pearl of 17th-century Europe, in 1697 by experience. To discover in practice how this overcrowded country with such a small territory achieved prosperity. Banks, exchange houses, insurance: the paradise of merchants. And most importantly, the head of state of Russia was beset by the merchant fleet of the Netherlands: four thousand ships, more than all other countries combined.
Therefore, the Russian autocrat stopped by the name of Peter Mikhailov in Zaandam, famous for his ships and shipbuilders. He worked as a simple carpenter in a private shipyard. But only eight days the king managed to stay incognito. Exactly both lived in a small wooden house with two windows: two rooms and a tiled stove. With his gigantic growth, Peter slept in a small niche where he couldn’t even stretch his legs. It was the great growth that dissipated the doubts of local residents regarding the distinguished guest. The rumor spread this message throughout the city, and Peter had to go to Amsterdam, for excessive attention.
In Zaandam, the memory of the presence of the Russian Tsar is carefully preserved. The Russian flag over the house is the main landmark. More than once the flood threatened the flimsy building, but the Dutch saved it. This is the oldest preserved wooden house in the city. And in the nineteenth century, the cabin was surrounded by a stone to protect it from moisture, fires and tourist inscriptions, even with the pre-revolutionary “b”. Distinguished guests have been in Peter’s house: Napoleon Bonaparte, Nicholas II, Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin. And the poet Vasily Zhukovsky pointed out his makeshift stay:
House in Russia
In Russia itself, a copy of a small Dutch house appeared in 2013. Then, the government of the Netherlands celebrated the cross-year of Russian-Dutch cooperation. The specialists of the engineering battalion of the city of Wazep first built the house, then dismantled it and sent it by sea. On September 24, 2013, the gift of the Dutch people arrived in St. Petersburg aboard the ships of the Navy of the Netherlands: the frigate “Seven Provinces” and the patrol boat “Friesland”. They decided to install a house in Kolomenskoye, on the banks of the Zhuzha River. It was assembled by soldiers from the same Dutch engineering battalion, along with Russian colleagues.
Two small rooms, only 42 square meters. Peter’s desk with drawings and books, maps and a design of a Dutch ship. A fireplace, tiled with Delft ceramic tiles and a king bunk. One of the oddities of that era is the 18th-century forged hinge of Peter’s authentic house in Holland. They discovered it in 2013 when they strengthened the foundations of a historic building.
Among the exhibits is the icon of the Holy Savior. The sanctuary accompanied the king in military campaigns. The detailed route of the Great Embassy to Holland is marked on an interactive map: cities and countries in which Peter I studied experience for the future reconstruction of Russia. The museum’s exhibition speaks not only about the Dutch period of the king’s life, but also about his stay in Kolomenskoye. And next to it there is another wooden house of Peter, in which the Russian Tsar lived unpretentiously, studying the naval construction of the masters of Arkhangelsk.
The house of Peter I in Kolomenskoye is a unique monument of history and architecture and, at the same time, a museum that contains interesting exhibits about the life of the Tsar’s reformer. The building, which is more than three hundred years old, is located next to the Wooden Architecture Museum in a picturesque place on the banks of the Zhuzhi River (a tributary of the Moscow River).
At the beginning of the 18th century, Arkhangelsk was the only seaport of the Russian state. To protect the city from attacks by the Swedish fleet and block access from the sea, Peter the Great signed a decree on the construction of the Novodvinsk fortress 20 versts of the city of Arkhangelsk.
The fears of Peter the Great were not in vain: in the summer of 1701, when the fortress had not yet been completed, the Swedish ships approached the mouth of northern Dvina and tried to seize Arkhangelsk Street. However, Russian soldiers were not lost and were able to repel the attack.
In 1702, for Peter the Great on the island of Markov, near the fortress under construction, a house was built where the emperor spent two months supervising the construction of the citadel. When the threat of the Swedes receded, Peter left his room.
For several years, the House of Peter the Great remained in its original place, but frequent floods destroyed it. In 1710, a building that suffered from ice floes was moved from the island to the Novodvinsk fortress, where it was located until the end of the 19th century.
Later, the architectural monument was moved to Arkhangelsk, and in 1934, on the initiative of the director of the Pyotr Baranovsky museum reserve, the House of Peter the Great moved to Kolomenskoye (the future emperor spent his childhood there and held fun fights in his youth).
A large-scale restoration of the architectural monument took place in 2008, as a result of which the building acquired its original form.
In 2013, another Pedro I house was built in Kolomenskoye. In honor of the 400th anniversary of the establishment of friendly relations between the Netherlands and Russia, a copy of the Dutch House of Peter the Great was created, located in Zaandam, where it remained in 1697.
Peter I’s house was built according to the traditions of Russian civil architecture: it is composed of cut logs with a carved gable roof. Pay attention to the stamped edge of the ceiling and the porch design, its racks and fences are decorated with unpretentious carvings, a double arch with a hanging weight, square slots between the boards and wide blocks that frame the windows. At the same time, we see European innovations: the large size of the windows and, instead of mica in the window openings, glass.
The house had several heated rooms: an office and a bedroom, a batman and a dining room. In rooms without heating (a canopy and a corridor), there is currently a historical exhibition that details the life, habits and character of the emperor. Models of ships, weapons of the time and battle banners are presented.
Near the house you will see galley anchors raised from the bottom of the Moscow river. According to legend, this finding dates back to the time when Peter’s flotilla was created here.
Opening hours of the exhibition at the Casa de Pedro I in 2019
In the summer period (from April 1 to September 30)
Every day, except Mondays and Fridays, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Monday – free day
In winter (from October 1 to March 31)
Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Monday – free day
Tickets for the exhibition “Builder, swimmer, hero …” at the Casa de Pedro I in 2019
For adults – 200 rubles
For schoolchildren and retirees – 50 rubles
For full-time students of state universities of the Russian Federation – free
For children under 6 years old – free
Thanks to the initiative and the hard work of the director of the Museum-Reserve Pyotr Baranovsky and the meticulous work of restoration specialists, the House of Peter I was preserved in its original form. The presented exhibition completely recreates the interior of the premises of the life of the Russian Tsar in it.