The tallest monument in Russia and Submarine Museum: unique sights offered by Moscow parks

The tallest monument in Russia and Submarine Museum: unique sights offered by Moscow parks
Photo: Maxim Denisov
You can view unusual cultural and historical sites in Park Pobedy, Muzeon Arts Park, Zaryadye, Kolomenskoye and other recreation areas.

This autumn, Moscow parks invite citizens and tourists to view ten unique sights. Some are unique not only in Moscow, but in Russia as a whole. You may see them taking a walk through Gorky Park, Zaryadye, Tsaritsyno, Kolomenskoye and six more recreation areas of the Moscow Department of Culture. 

Recall the Victory Day and tell the time by flower clock 

Two unusual attractions are located in Park Pobedy on Poklonnaya Gora. The recreation area is centred around the Victory monument, the highest  monument in Russia (about 142m). Triangular obelisk looking like soldier's bayonet is made by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, who explained that every 10 cm of his monument symbolise one of the 1,418 days of the Great Patriotic War. The monument was opened on 9 May 1995 in honour of the 50th Victory anniversary.

A flower clock welcomes guests at the entrance to the Park, the largest in Moscow and the second largest in Europe. The diameter of its dial is about 10 m, the minute hand is 4.5 m long, and the hour hand is 3.5 m long. Every year, thousands of bright flowers are planted on the site. This year, the flower bed blooms with over 12,000 yellow, red, white and blue violas. 

Photo: Maxim Denisov

Take a stroll along the Moskva River and visit the open-air museum

Gorky Park boasts the longest walking route to take along the riverbank (12 km). Guests can stroll along four Moskva River embankments — Krymskaya, Pushkinskaya, Andreyevskaya and Vorobyovskaya, connected by a single pedestrian route.

Nearby, you will find the Muzeon Arts Park, unique in Moscow and the largest open-air museum in Russia. The Park's collection includes more than a thousand exhibits, with monuments of the Soviet era of socialist realism, works by Russian avant-garde and contemporary artists, and public art style sculptures. The Muzeon presents works by Evgeny Vuchetich, Vladimir Lemport, Sergei Merkurov, Vera Mukhina and other renowned sculptors.

Visit the vertical greenhouse and the Ice Cave

Zaryadye's florarium is a multi-tiered cone-shaped greenhouse, one of a kind in Moscow, with ornamental plants and crops grown in the air, without any soil. Today, the florarium grows beans and tomatoes, green cabbage and herbs, strawberries and cucumbers, avocado, papaya, pineapple, banana, coffee and even tobacco. The Nature Centre also offers plants to view.

The Ice Cave in the Park offers winter coolness even on a hot day. This unique art installation was created by the artist Alexander Ponomaryov and the architect Alexei Kozyr.   -4 to -9°C is the usual all-the-year-round temperature in the cave. So ice crystals in the room are formed naturally. Buy tickets to visit the greenhouse and the Ice Cave on Zaryadye Park's website.


Get on a submarine and wander through the ruins of an ancient settlement

B-396 Novosibirsky Komsomolets, a large diesel electric submarine, is moored on the bank of the Khimki reservoir in Severnoye Tushino Park. From 1980 to 1998, she served as part of the submarine squadron of the Northern Fleet, decommissioned and withdrawn from the Russian Navy in 1998.  In 2006, the submarine was transferred to the Park to become a museum. Today, it is the only Submarine Museum in Moscow. Buy tickets at the box office of the Naval History Museum located nearby.

In the western part of the Fili Park, you will find one of the oldest settlements in Moscow — Kuntsevo settlement. The first cultural layer dates back to the 8th-7th centuries BC and belongs to the so-called Dyakovo archaeological culture. Today, there are only ruins and stones left of the walls built after the 16th century on the settlement grounds.

View the tabernacle church and buildings in 'soft Gothic' style

Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve was built by order of the Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily III in honour of his heir's birth, future Tsar Ivan the Terrible. It is located on Voznesenskaya Square near the Palace Pavilion. The building is a one-pillar structure combining traditions of Byzantine, Greek, Gothic and Russian Church architecture. This is the first and most ancient stone tabernacle church in Russia, which marked the beginning of a new tradition in Church architecture. In 1994, the monument was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Extant buildings constructed in 'soft Gothic' style can be found on the grounds of Tsaritsyno Museum Reserve. This unique style was invented by Vasily Bazhenov (1737-1799), the first architect of the Palace and Park complex. It combined features of classicism, European Gothic and Moscow Baroque. The project's owner, Empress Catherine the Great, did not appreciate the architect's fancy and ordered to destroy most of the buildings constructed in this style. Bazhenov's student Matvei Kazakov (1838-1812) later proceeded with construction. Slightly changing proportions, he retained the original concept of his teacher. Today, you can view the Grand Palace built by Kazakov in Tsaritsyno, as well as the original Bazhenov's buildings, the very 'soft Gothic', with the Small Palace and the Opera House, Ornamented Bridge and the Grand Bridge over the ravine and the Grape Gate among them.

This autumn, Moscow parks invite citizens to both take a walk and see the sights, and listen to lectures on aeronautics, dance and cinema art, start learning German or take part in an insightful festival. Ten parks of the Department of Culture have prepared art and insightful programs. Students of any age are welcome at the classes, with most of them to be held in September.