Kolomenskoe Museum-Reserve
Moscow Legends: The House of Beria

The Sorcerer of Kolomenskoe

Park Kolomenskoe is one of the most fascinating place in Moscow. And at the same time one of the most mysterious. Back in the 17th century, a real drama took place here…

Как известно, Коломенское было любимой резиденцией царя Алексея Михайловича (1629 – 1676). (It is well know that Kolomenskoe was the favourite residence of the Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich). In summer 1647, the royal court was at Kolomenskoe Palace, a wooden masterpiece, which was said to be one of the world marvels (the palace has been recently restored).

The Tsar’s butler, Prince Lvov, was concerned about the apparition of his opponent, the Boyard Streshnev, who was looking for a way to take is position.

And this is what happened: the ruler of Kolomna, Lvov Ivan Alexeev, informed Lvov that a local farmer, Simeon Danilov, and his wife were using sorcery, but that the Boyard Strechnev never once turn to them for their services.

В 1653 году был издан указ, запрещающий заниматься гаданием, колдовством, чтением еретических книг. (In 1653, a decree was issued prohibiting the fortune telling, the art of sorcery, the reading of heretical books). These practises were punished by jail or death sentence (witch burning).

The investigation against the Danilovs began. Поначалу Данилов всё отрицал, но после того, как царская сестра рассказала, что приходила к колдуну по “сердечным делам”, он всё признал. (At first, Danilov denied all the accusations, but when the Tsar’s sister explained that she went to the sorcerer for “heart business”, he finally admitted it). Boyard Strechnev, as it turned out, also asked the favour of the sorcerer, but only for treatments, and the cure actually worked well (there was practically no sick person on his estate).

This fact interested the Tsar, and he himself decided to check the ability of the sorcerer. It was a disaster for Lvov. Тогда он «с пристрастием» допросил малолетних детей Данилова, которые рассказали, что боярин Стрешнев и колдун Данилин договорились свести царя со света. (Then he interrogated Danilov’s children under the torture, and they said that the Boyard Streshnev and Danilov agreed to bring the Tsar to an end).

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They were found guilty. Streshnev was exiled to Vologda, and the sorcerer and his wife were sentenced to be burned into a wooden cage. During his execution the sorcerer cursed the Tsar and all his family. “Дети государевы ругаться будут, внуки и правнуки своей смертью не помрут, а когда сын отцу голову проломит, время в обратную сторону пойдёт, и на колдуне всё закончится” (Сhildren will curse their parents, grandchildren and great-grandchildren won’t die of their natural death, and the son will break the head of his father, then the time will change again, and all the spell will be over.)

Coincidence or not, these prophecies predicted the death of the Emperor Paul and the sorcerer Rasputin, whose death was the annunciation of the collapse of the Empire.

Елена Коновалова