Moscow fountains are turned on
On 26 April, the fountain season kicked off in Moscow. All fountains were turned on simultaneously.
“We are opening the fountain season by unveiling a new fountain on Birzhevaya Square. A car park used to be there but it wasn’t maintained properly and looked rather shabby. Last year, the Rybny, Bezymyanny and Bogoyavlensky pereuloks were improved as part of the My Street programme,” said Deputy Moscow Mayor for Housing, Utilities and Amenities Pyotr Biryukov.
Over a period of the past eight years, Moscow’s parks, public gardens and central streets have been blessed with 200 new fountains. 247 fountains have been repaired in the past two years. Thus, the Stone Flower fountain at Luzhniki has been recently done up to recreate its original look and engineering works have been replaced.
The reconstruction of two more fountains in front of the Rossiya State Central Concert Hall is nearing completion. In the summer there’ll be a dry deck fountain on the square between the swimming pool (currently under renovation) and the entrance to Vorobyovy Gory metro station.
In all, there are about 600 fountains in the city. They will operate until 1 October or even longer should the weather turn out to be fine.
Birzhevaya Square improvement
Birzhevaya Square and the adjacent Rybny, Bogoyavlensky and Bezymyanny pereuloks saw comprehensive improvements between July and September 2017 covering an area of 1.55 hectares. Over 12,000 square metres were covered with large paving stones. 16 benches, 36 lamp posts and two information stands were installed and four trees planted. Overhead wires were placed in a 10-kilometre underground cable duct with 36 cable chambers. A fountain is now the main attraction on the renewed square. It is surrounded by a 1.2-metre-wide oak parapet that can be used as a bench.
During excavation work on Birzhevaya Square, experts found over 1,000 artifacts dating back to between the 12th-18th centuries. Household items, jewelry, weapons and coins were handed over to the Museum of Moscow.
The largest thing found was the foundation and parts of the walls of the Annunciation Church from the 16th century St Joseph-Volotsky Monastery that was demolished in the 18th century. The ruins were preserved by recovering them with soil.
Moscow fountain: Present and future
Moscow currently has 594 fountains, pools and other water structures. 347 of them are maintained by municipal authorities, while 247 are the responsibility of restaurants, shopping centres as well as other businesses. The 66 most important fountains are managed by Gormost, 43 of them have architectural lighting. In particular, there are four dancing fountains. These are in Gorky Park, the Tsaritsyno Museum and Reserve, near Kiyevsky railway station and on Manezhnaya Square. There are floating fountains installed on Vodootvodny Canal.
A comprehensive repair project was launched to recreate the unique architectural and fountain complex at VDNKh. Those on the Central Alley and the famous Golden Spike fountain, which was out of order for 30 years, are now operating. The historical fountains Friendship of Peoples and Stone Flower, built back in 1954, are being upgraded and will be ready by 2020.
From Vitali Fountain to Adam and Eve
The Vitali Fountain constructed back in 1827 on Teatralnaya Square is the oldest fountain in Moscow. In the 19th century, it was a mere well. In the early hours of the morning, water carriers and locals gathered there. It also served as a drinking place for horses. In 1835, the fountain was decorated by sculptor Ivan Vitali. With the development of the water supply system in Moscow, the fountain became a city decoration. In 1995, the Vitali Fountain was renovated. It was one of the first fountains in Moscow to be fitted out with winter lighting.
The main fountain on Manezhnaya Square is called Geyser. Its streams of water resemble that of a hot spring. The Four Seasons fountain has four horse sculptures. In its vicinity, there is the Zavesa (Veil) fountain. It imitates the bed of the Neglinka River, with fairytale characters – from Ivan the Tsar’s Son and Vasilisa the Beautiful to the sleeping Mermaid – surrounding the fountain.
The Alexander and Natalie rotunda fountain near the Nikitskiye Vorata Square was built to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pushkin. This is located near the Ascension Church, where the poet and the reigning beauty of both capitals Natalya Goncharova got married. The water in the fountain is cleaned with coal filters, so it is quite safe to wash there on a hot summer day, though it is not advisable to drink from it.
On Europe Square in front of the Kiyevsky railway station, near the pedestrian bridge across the Moskva River, there is the Abduction of Europa fountain deisigned by Belgian sculptor Olivier Strebelle.
The Music of Glory, one of the largest fountain groups in Europe, is located near the Kuzminki metro station. It consists of 21-metre Fanfares of Victory fountains and the Pyramid of Memory fountain the falling water of which symbolises tears and memories and vertical streams resemble festive fireworks.
A large fountain built to mark the 300th anniversary of the Russian fleet is installed on the Moskva River at the feet of a huge ship led by Peter the Great. The Moskva River serves as the fountain’s basin.
The Pushkinsky Fountain has been on Pushkinskaya Square since the 1950s and serves as a meeting point. On the other side of the square there is the Novopushkinsky fountain, built in 1980.
The dancing multi-coloured fountain in Gorky Park was constructed for the 1980 Olympics.
The Old Circus fountain on Tsvetnoi Boulevard has sculptures of clowns. One of them is holding an umbrella while balancing on a unicycle in the centre of the basin, which represents the circus arena. The Turandot fountain on Arbat Street near the Vakhtangov Theatre features a sculpture of a beautiful princess under an intricate canopy and is one of the street landmarks.
Floating fountains on Vodootvodny Canal were put there in 1995. A group of four pontoons fitted with pumps that provide vertical water jets that shoot up into the air is located between the Maly Moskvoretsky and the Maly Kamenny bridges.
The Adam and Eve fountain has been working in the public garden near Novokuznetskaya metro station since 2008. Each of the pumps of the fountain has its own function. Water jets frame the podium with a sculptural group and the fountain has bright-coloured decorative lighting.
In the public garden in front of the famous House on the Embankment (Dom na Naberezhnoi) near Bolotnaya Square, there is the Repinsky Fountain. It has a classic design and was built in 1948 with a round basin and jets of water that spout into the air and toward the centre of the fountain.
A magnificent dancing fountain in the Tsaritsyno Museum and Reserve was a gift to the citizens on the occasion of the 860th anniversary of Moscow. It has over 1,000 jets of water and 3,000 lights. Due to the acoustics system, the music can be heard from all sides of the pond.
A grandiose fountain group on Poklonnaya Gora consists of 15 fountain basins with 15 vertical water jets each.