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Zaryadye Park
August 9, 2018 14:58


The emergence of the “Zaryadye” park can be called an event of the century in Moscow - only because a new large park was created in Moscow for the first time in half a century. And it us not just a park: a modern public recreational space opened a few steps away from the Kremlin, in the very heart of the capital.

The waste ground left after the demolition of the huge “Rossiya” hotel has turned into an island of greenery with amazing views of the Kremlin towers, the Intercession Cathedral, the sights of Kitay-gorod, embankments and high-rise buildings at the distance – these are the most famous visual images of Moscow.

Old Times
The “Zaryadye Park” occupies 13 hectares of the historical Zaryadye district between Moskvoretskaya Embankment, Varvarka Street and Kitaygorodsky Proyezd. This area has been documented since 1365, but it certainly emerged even earlier. Once a trading centre of medieval Moscow rustled here: it has a pier, warehouses, benches, cathedrals of Varvara (Barbara) the Great Martyr and Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of travelers; the main Velikaya Street of this district later turned into Mokritsky lane. The lane existed until 1950s. The street that limits Zaryadye from the north is connected with the church of Varvara, and in the Soviet era the street was given the name of Stepan Razin - he was taken to be executed along Varvarka Street.

Then the trading settlement became a quarter of wealthy people, wealthy foreigners, merchants and nobility: for example the English court opened in Zaryadye at the times of Ivan the Terrible. Here you can also see the museum chambers of Romanov boyars (court nobility). The old streets were rebuilt many times, for example after the great fire of 1812, when everything that could burn had burnt.

In XIX century, the rebuilt stone Zaryadye became more “democratic”, cheap houses were rented by artisans and other poor city residents, and Jewish merchants were allowed to stop at the Glebovskoe farmstead. So the Jewish quarter was formed in Zaryadye, it had existed until 1891. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the city district was gradually deteriorating and becoming slum quarters, and in the 1930s it came to the spotlight once more.
The “Rossiya” hotel

By that time Zaryadye got “cleared”, that is, the old buildings were destroyed, including the ancient wall of Kitay-gorod, and they began to build a 300-meter high-rise building which would cover any Kremlin. The skyscraper with 32 floors was designed by Dmitry Chechulin. Construction started in 1953: there was enough time to build a giant foundation, but Stalin's death and a change in political tastes stopped the project.

The “Rossiya” hotel was built in Zaryadye  in the next decade, instead of a skyscraper: it was the world's largest hotel with more than three thousand rooms at that time. It was also designed by Chechulin. In 2006 the building was demolished.

Finally, in 2012 the idea of creating a nature-landscape park called “Zaryadye” emerged. The project was implemented by world-class masters led by the architects of the New York “Diller Scofidio + Renfro” studio.

Nature and architecture

The park's creators chose four zones that are considered typical for Russia: tundra, steppe, forest and flood meadows (they are also called a swamp). The zones are not separated in any way, and this is the general principle of the park. The architecture of “Zaryadye” is connected with nature, there are no clearly marked alleys, habitual fences and restrictions even at the level of the trails - they are paved with tiles without borders, with grass growing through lacunes.

The largest object of the park is the Philharmonic Hall hidden in an artificial hill and covered with a scaly glass dome. The microclimate under the dome is specific: it's warmer and more humid than normal conditions. There is an amphitheater with benches for 3 thousand people on the hill.

An even brighter structure is the soaring bridge on the embankment. It is called “soaring” because its span has no supports. The bridge is 250 meters long, 60 meters wide, and rises 13 meters above the water surface. The construction can be called a “bridge” rather conditionally, since it leads from the left bank to the same left bank.

A foundation of the high-rise building left of the “Rossiya” hotel has turned into an underground parking lot for 430 cars plus 33 parking places for low-mobility visitors. There will be a new hotel with apartments and even living trees in the rooms in the north-eastern part of the park.

The opening of “Zaryadye” was held on September 9, 2017. In addition to the hotel and the Philharmonic Hall, in the year 2018 visitors saw the Ice Cave with a maze, a promenade leading from the cave to the cafe and various specially equipped grounds, for example, a ground for picnics. An underground archaeological museum in the transition to the embankment and a multi-level greenhouse have already been opened.

Read more about Zaryadye and Moscow parks.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Moscow Zaryadye Moscow parks travel to Russia  

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