The picturesque Fili park contains a rich history and will allow you to relax in nature while learning a thing or two about history in the process. The park's territory is teaming with numerous kiosks, cafes and restaurants where you can get something to eat and recharge your batteries, both literally and metaphorically. The park features 16 playgrounds for children as well as 15 sports zones. These are all situated in the shade under large trees, so that even on hot, summer days they remain comfortable and cool. In addition, the park has a 5 km-long running track and a 2.5 km-long cycling track.
We start our visit by through the Barclai Street entrance. The main entrance gate is styled as an 1812 Patriotic War monument commemorating the village of Fili that used to be located nearby. This village hosted the famous military council held by general Mikhail Kutuzov and his generals.
Fili Park has four rental shops, where you can secure all kinds of bicycles, scooters, electric scooters, tandem bicycles, all-terrain vehicles and even a velomobile. There are also some more exotic vehicles available, including Segways, golf carts, fat bikes, 3G Stepper Hammers, among others. The first rental shop you come across is right next to the main entrance. You will find another one right next to the kids' amusement park. The third one can be found at the intersection of Big Filyovskaya Street and Minskaya Street, while the fourth one is located next to Naryshkinsky pond.
The rental shop at the main entrance has a special offer for people with disabilities, namely hand-bikes (bicycles you propel with your hands). Any mobility-challenged park visitor can rent a hand-bike, while those accompanying them can rent a standard bicycle free of charge.
If you bear left on the main alley, you will find yourself in the children's amusement park. Here kids can ride carousels, win prizes in a firing range, jump on trampolines, ride a toy steam engine and watch a 5D film. The amusement park also features kiosks selling ice cream, snacks and drinks.
This year, the amusement park opened the FunGrad high rope course, a new unique sports and entertainment facility for kids aged 4 to 12. The two-level rope course includes a second floor for children located at a distance of 3.5 metres from the ground. The upper level offers kids 24 rope obstacles, a unique 3D cube labyrinth comprised of 4 levels, interactive quests and pirate-themed battles with toy balls.
At the end of the main alley in Fili Park, you will find the Panda Park high rope course, the largest extreme outdoor rope course in Russia offering nine different routes for adults, adolescents and children. The adult route measures up to 22 metres high. From up here, you will see beautiful views of the Moskva river and the Mnyovnikovskaya floodplain.
A short distance from Panda Park, you can find an important historical site. Here you will find World War II era long-term and reinforced concrete weapons emplacements.
In the fall and winter of 1941, when German troops closed to within 20–40 km of Moscow, the Moscow defensive perimeter was set up here. Defensive lines passed through the territory of Moscow proper, as well as through some of the suburbs of the time. Moscow's fortified defensive perimeter passed through what is today part of Fili park. Fortunately, through the valiant efforts of the Soviet army, the German invaders were stopped short of the capital, and no fighting actually took place within the territory of the Moscow defensive perimeter.
In 1943, the majority of the Moscow defensive perimeter was torn down. Today, two gun emplacements were raised to the surface and a memorial has been established there, which now hosts commemorative meetings and the laying of flowers each year on both 9 May and 22 June.
Walk a short distance away from the weapons emplacements and you can go down to the Moskva river embankment, where you will find a comfortable beach with numerous lounge chairs that visitors can use free of charge. Nearby stands the "By the River" cafe as well as beach volleyball courts and mini-football pitches. The embankment stretches for over four kilometres and is a favourite place for park visitors to walk along.
After walking about half way down the embankment, you can go back up the bank to a unique, 18th century piece of Russian architecture: the Naryshkin estate. In 1690, Lev Naryshkin became the owner of Fili, and the family ended up owning the territory for 175 years. From 1730 to 1740, Alexander Naryshkin had a large house built here, complete with greenhouses, gardens, wide walking paths, statutes and sculptures. In 1763, the estate was visited by Catherine the Great. To commemorate that visit, a marble column with the empress's personal monogram was put up in front of the estate house. In 1818, the Prussian king Friedrich-William the 3rd stayed overnight in the estate house. And in 1861, the estate was visited by emperor Alexander II.
Throughout the 20th century, the Naryshkin estate underwent drastic changes: the main estate house was damaged, the ponds were filled with earth, the carefully laid out park lost most of its original layout, and warehouses were constructed along the riverbank. And the walkway that used to lead to the Naryshkins' summerhouse was replaced by Big Filyovskaya Street. In 1976, after a major fire, the main estate house was taken apart and rebuilt using brick.
Situated on a picturesque bank of the Moskva river, the estate is now a federal heritage site.
Not far from the estate house, there sits the famous Naryshkin pond. At 90 metres long and 55 metres wide, the pond is the park's largest body of water. Many famous visitors to the estate, like M. Lermontov, P. Tchaikovsky, I. Turgenev, L. Tolstoy and A. I. Herzen, among others, all went for walks along its shores and enjoyed quiet summer evenings here.
It is generally believed that this is this pond that I. Turgenev mentions in his book "The Day Before."
Keep walking further, and you will find yourself in Western Fili Park, part of the historic territory of Suvorovsky Park. Here, you will find the famous Kuntsevskoe settlement, one of the ancient settlements near Moscow. Archaeologists found that people started settling here between the 6th and 5th centuries BC. The settlement sat on top of a high cliff between two deep ravines on the right bank of the Moskva river, some 600 metres from the modern day Krylatsky bridge.
The Kuntsevskoe settlement remains fairly well preserved. The central part of its upper site is divided in two by an ancient burial ground dating back 13–14 hundred years. This place has garnered a rather ominous reputation over time. Locals would often find the so-called devil fingers here (fossilised molluscs) and began to associate this spot with evil spirits. Rumour has it that a church once sank under ground here, and that to this day one can hear the ringing of its bells at night.
In the 19th century, Mikhail Voskresensky wrote a novel entitled "Cursed Place", set primarily on the settlement's territory. After its publication, Moscow residents started taking pilgrimages here. Artist Aleksey Savrasov depicted the "cursed place" in his picture Autumn Forest. Cursed Place. Kuntsevo.
In a deep ravine next to the Kuntsevskoe settlement rests a spring that the locals have named the holy well. In the past (1830s–1840s), the spring contained a number of decorations built around it, which made it look like a grotto. Poet Nikolai Ogarev recalled a "dark, moist cave full of vegetation in which there is a constantly flowing spring, dripping drop by drop into the water beneath." Researchers believe this spring must have first appeared between 8 and 10 thousand years ago during the melting of the continental ice sheet. In 1982, it was classified a state-protected local natural heritage site.
The holy spring, named after saint Serafim Sarovsky in Fili Park, is located 370 metres downriver from the Krylatsky bridge along the Moskva river within the territory of Suvorovsky park.
In the westernmost part of Fili Park, there is a natural preserve in which a geological museum of various time periods has formed. The ground here stores sediment of dark Jurassic sands and clay, with the fossilised remains of marine animals that lived here 130–150 million years ago.
The flora is just as varied. You can find over 199 different species of field grass and plants here. On occasion, the water from the stream flowing nearby washes out yet another layer of soil, laying bare new artifacts from the time of the dinosaurs.
Fili Park is a historical garden and a park/artistic heritage site located in the territory of the former villages of Fili, Mazilovo and Kuntsevo. The park is situated along the Moskva river and is part of the Moskvoretsky natural park. The park is five kilometres long and has a total area of 260 hectares.
The cozy little parks
Playgrounds, topiary, a museum and much more
The picturesque embankments of the Yauza River, poetic landscapes and romance
Take in views of Moscow, play pétanque and much more
The cosy lanes of the old garden, an open-air cinema and sports
Sculpture Garden, Fountain and Walks along the Embankment