Water tower in Kolomenskoe

The Vodovzvodnaya Tower is an architectural monument in the territory of the Kolomenskoye Reserve-Museum. It was built in the 70s of the 17th century to accommodate the water lifting mechanism that supplied water to the Gosudarev courtyard. The water intake tower was built in the 1670s as the center of a complex hydraulic system created to supply water to the Gosudarev courtyard.

The water hoisting mechanism housed in it was presumably carried out by the Armory master, Bogdan Puchin, who was sent to Kolomenskoye in 1675 “to his water supply business.”

The tower was located on the road between Kolomensky and Dyakov, crossing a dam in a ravine, and compositionally played the role of a link between the neighboring villages. The tower could enter the southern line of the fence of the former royal residence, which separated the Ascension Garden from the Ascension Square and was, according to F.V. Berkhholtz, “the last back door at the entrance of the garden”, from where the old road to Dyakovo began. Perhaps the tower was replaced by Dyakovsky Gate, which was part of the fence of the former Sovereign Court.

The tower is also known as the Falcon Tower, because according to a legend that appeared in the 19th century, it contained hunting birds for royal falconry.

Water tower architecture in Kolomenskoye

A brick building 40 m high resembles a kind of travel tower. The simple form of the structure is consistent with its extremely modest decoration, which is not without grace. The vertical proportions of the tower are consistent with similar proportions of the old bell tower of the Ascension Church, now the bell tower of the Church of St. George the Victorious. As in the bell tower, the order system techniques are used in the composition of the water tower.

North facade of the water tower

The building consists of a massive lower quadrangle and a rather high upper level, which ends with a stone arch, reproducing a “barrel” wooden cladding. The “plow” of the roof today is replaced by its imitation. Along the entire perimeter, the masonry of the lower volume is reinforced with strong iron bonds, whose anchors are visible in the cornice area. Both levels of the tower end with a simplified entablature, discovered at the intersection with the corners or the central leaves that look like pilasters.

A pair of intermediate blades of the lower quadruple passes to the angular blades of the upper level, the lateral sections of the lower volume are covered with a sloping roof, which rests on brick “fronts”.

The main facades of the tower, north and south, have an almost identical design. Wide travel arches surrounded by a brick roller that crosses the north (main) and south facades. On the arches there are icon cases for icon cases. There are windows at the height of the icon boxes on the sides of the travel arches, and on the north facade that overlooks the Temple of Ascension, there are an additional pair of windows that frame the arched opening.

The side facades of the lower level are left without windows, in contrast to the upper volume cut by window openings on all sides. The windows are decorated with frame platforms, and triangular pediments are added on the lower level. Previously, the windows were closed.

South facade of the water tower

In the southern part of the eastern facade of the four upper legs, the arched door can be seen. Apparently, it used to lead to the roof of the east wing of the tower, which, most likely, was flat and could be used when working with a water lift mechanism. The mechanism itself has not been preserved and the principle of its operation has not been established. However, it was precisely under the east wing of the tower that a deep white stone basin (2 meters) covered by a vault was preserved.

At the bottom of the pool there is a narrow well that could reach the aquifer. Two ceramic pipes leave the underground pool in the direction of the Ascension Church and in the direction of the village of Dyakovo.

From the original wooden floors inside the tower, there were only gaps in the brick of the walls to join logs. The stairs to the second level, probably, as in our days, were located in the lateral sections of the lower four. The entrance to the east wing of the tower is within the passage, and the west wing can be accessed from the west facade.

Water tower museum in Kolomenskoye

Currently, the tower of the tower houses an exhibition of the Historical-Artistic, Architectural and Natural Museum-Reserve of the Kolomenskoye State, entitled “Sovereign Water Supply Plant. To the history of water supply in the 17th-20th centuries. “

In the Ascension Square, next to the Church of St. George and the Ascension, is the Vodovzvodnaya Tower, or the Dyakovo South Gate. From the first name, it is clear that the purpose of the tower was to raise the water and its flow through the buildings of the farm. In addition, this structure served as a gateway to the Garden of Ascension and the Dyakovo palace town.

In the second half of the 17th century, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich continued to improve the estate in Kolomenskoye. For a comfortable hobby of the royal family, water was important.

  • The water tower, whose mechanism was developed by master Bogdan Puchin, was built in 1675.

Water has always been a source of life, but during the time of frequent enemy incursions it was necessary to hide the true purpose of the building. That is why such an important structure was made in the form of an ordinary travel tower and was no different from other fortifications. By the way, of all the stone towers of Kolomenskoye, the Vodovzvodnaya Tower is the only one that has survived to this day.

During the time of Peter the Great, when St. Petersburg became the capital, the estate in Kolomenskoye was losing its importance and the tower was much less used.

Throughout its history, the building has been repaired many times. In Soviet times, the Vodovzvodnaya Tower became part of the museum complex and, like other buildings, was restored. In 2007-2008, the building’s scientific restoration was carried out, as a result of which a design and an exhibition were created that talk about the water supply and distribution system in Kolomenskoye.

The Vodovzvodnaya tower is a monument of Russian civil architecture of the 17th century. It will be interesting for adults and children to visit the museum’s exhibition. During the tour you will learn how the water supply system was organized in those days, and the children are offered the “How does water get home?” Program.

Opening hours of the exhibition at the Vodovzvodnaya Tower

In the summer period (from April 1 to September 30)
Every day, except Friday and Monday, 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
The cost of tickets for the exhibition “Sovereign Water Plumbing. To the history of water supply in the 17-20 centuries” at the Vodovzvodnaya tower in 2019
For adults: 100 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