Sitny Yard (Kolomenskoye)

The Sitny Yard is one of the main buildings that make up a household complex in Kolomenskoye. The building has been preserved till our days and is located in the central part of the estate.

For the first time the Sitny Yard was mentioned in a document written in the 1680s that stated the importance of holding repair works in the building. The very first graphic document representing the structure of the building dates back to the 1740s.

The historical and architectural examination as well as restoration results allow scientists to presume that originally the Sitny Yard was a one-storeyed L-shaped building standing in the south-eastern part of the Tsar’s Courtyard with the Front Gate located to the north of it and the stone wall standing to the west. In the southern wing of the Sitny Yard there were the Steward’s chambers (2 rectangular chambers with an entryway) and the Vinegar chambers. In the northern part of the Yard one can see the Brewery and the Fryazhsky Wine Cellar with Storage Chamber above it, as well as ice-houses with white stone drains, and rooms for drying herbs, berries and fruits.

The Sitny Yard was built of big bricks marked with a unicorn and eagle referencing to the Prikaz of theGreatPalace. It had low vaults, unpretentious brick decorations and wooden elements such as roofs, attics, sheds and porches, as well as bars on isinglass windows.

By the end of the first quarter of the XVIII century the Sitny Yard had become dilapidated and later on numerous repair works were held in order to maintain it.

The second biggest construction period in the Sitny Yard dates back to 1766-1768 when wide-scale restoration works were held in Kolomenskoye under the supervision of P. Makulov by order of Catherine the Great. As a result one more storey was built in the Sitny Yard meanwhile the existing vaults were deconstructed and replaced with wooden ceilings.

According to the generally accepted opinion, the Storage Chamber and Fryazhsky Wine Cellar were exploded by French people or their allies in 1812, which caused damage of the other structures in the northern part of the Sitny Yard. As a result of these events this part of the building was deconstructed in 1825 at the latest as the plan made that year represents a stone wall connecting the southern wing to the Colonel’s Chamber and standing on the site of the Sitny Yard structures. From the middle of the XIX till the beginning of the XX century the surviving structures of the Sitny Yard were used as a hotel first and then as a school.

After opening of the museum in Kolomenskoye in the 1920s, a close examination of the preserved wing of the Sitny Yard and its restoration were held, historical basis of the building and its interior were restored and decoration of the ground floor was reconstructed according to the architectural traditions of the XVII century. All the works were implemented under the supervision of the museum director Peter Baranovsky. The location of the destroyed part of the building was examined with the help of archeological means as well as conservation. Simultaneously, restoration works were held in the Fryazhsky Wine Cellar.

Later on many restoration and examination works based on written and graphical resources were held in the Sitny Yard. As a result the ground floor interior of the southern structure in the Sitny Yard corresponds to that of the XVII century meanwhile the first floor decoration looks like that of the XVIII century.

In2009, afull-scale complex of repair and restoration works was held and nowadays the Sitny Yard is an integral part of the museum complex with the original XVII and XVIII century basic constructive elements revealed and in some cases restored thanks to numerous scientifically justified decisions.