There’s an amazing new park right in the heart of Moscow.
Opened in September, the park covers 13 hectares between Red Square and the Moscow River, and it’s certainly attracting the crowds.
Unusually, its buildings are buried underground – much of the apparently natural landscape has been constructed over the roofs of these new buildings. Among them are a media centre and nature centre, along with a fancy restaurant that runs along highly thematic space-travel lines – waitresses wear navy boiler suits and the salt and pepper shakers are white china cosmonauts’ helmets. Another eatery offers food from all over the world, advertised by jazzy neon signs and consumed at counters.
Outside, the park has been divided into four zones, each representing a key feature of Russia’s natural landscape and fauna: tundra, steppe, forest and wetland. A total of 760 trees, including birch, Scots pine and larch, and nearly 900 000 perennials will create a snapshot of the country’s diverse geography.
There’s also a walkway that stretches out over the river, without reaching the other side, allowing visitors amazing views of Stalin’s towering Embankment Building and new ways to look back at the Kremlin and the multicoloured domes of St Basil’s Cathedral.
The area which houses the park has an interesting history. In the 1800s, it was a Jewish enclave. After the 1917 revolution, it was mostly destroyed to allow direct access to the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky bridge. Later, it was earmarked by Stalin as the site for an eighth skyscraper to join the ‘Seven Sisters’ spread out across the city and, in the 1960s, Nikita Khruschev built the largest hotel in Europe here.
Over a million people have already visited the park. If you’d like to join them, it’s accessible from every side (no fences or gates), and is located just to the south-east of St Basil’s Cathedral, on the north embankment of the Moskva River. And needless to say, we’re here to make all your travel and accommodation arrangements for you.