Lake Pleshcheyevo is the second largest among the lakes of the Yaroslavl region, second only to Nero. The area of Pleshcheyevo Lake is just over 50 square kilometers, and the maximum depth is 25 meters. Despite such a modest size, Lake Pleshcheyevo is called the cradle of the Russian fleet; it was here at the end of the 18th century that the young Tsar Peter began the construction of his "amusing" flotilla.
Peter was crowned kingdom in 1682 together with his elder brother Ivan. Both brothers were still young, Ivan was 16 years old, Peter - 10, therefore, the actual rule passed to his sister Sophia. Peter spent his childhood in the village of Preobrazhenskoye near Moscow, where he first created his "amusing" troops, then artillery, and in 1688 an old English boat was found in Izmailovo, after which Peter got fired up with a new idea - to create his own fleet. Let, for a start, and amusing.
Initially, the construction of ships took place on the Yauza River, but it turned out to be too shallow even for amusing ships. Peter decided to move his fleet to Lake Pleshcheyevo, the size of which amazed the young monarch. This was not surprising, because Peter had never seen the real sea by that time. So I decided to found a shipyard on Lake Pleshcheyevo.
Dutch craftsmen were even invited to supervise the construction of the ships. First, an old boat was delivered from the village of Izmailovo to the lake, on which Peter learned to sail. The boat was six meters long, about two meters long, and the sails were over six meters high. In addition, there were four light cannons on board. Gradually the flotilla grew, the Dutch Brandt, Klass and Kort built new ships "of the type of sea".
The shipyard was located near the village of Ves'kovo. The work went on so actively that already in April 1689 Peter wrote to his mother Natalya Naryshkina that the ships "were all very good." A canal was dug from the shipyard to the lake, through which small ships descended to the water, and large ones were built right on the shore.
Despite the fact that Peter was very keen on a new business for himself, he soon had to leave Lake Pleshcheyevo and urgently go to Moscow, where a streltsy riot took place. He managed to return back and resume work only in 1691. By that time, a wooden palace had been built for the young tsar on the shores of Lake Pleshcheyevo, and soon a small church appeared. In the spring of 1692, Peter studied the art of navigation, plowing the expanses of the lake.
Now it is no longer possible to name the total number of large and small vessels that were built on the shores of Lake Pleshcheyevo. According to some reports, there were at least a hundred of them. In 1692, the tsar went to Arkhangelsk to see the already real sea, and the Pereyaslavl governors strictly ordered to protect the "amusing" fleet for future generations. Of course, the ships of Pleshcheyevo Lake could not be called a serious flotilla in any way, but this was only the beginning.
The fleet, indeed, survived for more than half a century, but in 1783 it was destroyed by a major fire. As luck would have it, only one bot will survive, with a characteristic name - "Fortune". He was saved only by the fact that he was kept in a boathouse, separate from other ships.
In 1802, the governor of Vladimir Ivan Mikhailovich Dolgorukov visited the place where the "funny" fleet of Peter the Great was created, who decided that the unique boat should be preserved, and a museum should be organized on the site of the former shipyard. Only a year passed, and in August 1803 the first naval museum in Russia was opened. A small boat "Fortuna" was kept in a specially built house. On the pediment of the building was carved the inscription: "Zealous Peter the Great Pereslavl".
The opening ceremony of the museum was held solemnly; notable citizens of Pereslavl-Zalessky took part in it. The decree of Peter the Great on the careful storage of his ships was read, the archimandrite of the Nikitsky monastery Anatoly served the mass, and the governor I. M. Dolgorukov read poems of his own composition. In 1842, not far from the museum, a brick gatehouse was built for sailors who were on guard duty.
In 1850, the museum was visited by the Grand Dukes Nikolai and Mikhail Nikolaevich. They laid the first stone in the foundation of the future monument to Peter the Great. The grand opening of the obelisk took place on August 17, 1852; the architect Campioni worked on the project of the monument.
After the October Revolution, a geographical station of Moscow State University was housed in the estate museum. In the twenties of the last century, the famous Soviet writer Mikhail Mikhailovich Prishvin lived and worked here for some time. Shortly before the start of the Great Patriotic War, a rest house was opened on the territory of the museum, where workers from Pereslavl-Zalessky came. And during the war itself, children evacuated from besieged Leningrad were accommodated here.