Two people are passionately talking about a statue in Muzeon park. Who is on the pedestal? A girl on the beach or one of Rubens' women? The answer is on the plate: the curvy beauty with wavy hair sculpted by Fakhraddin Rzayev is the 'Moskva river' herself.
The sculpture garden is one of the most extraordinary places in Muzeon park. Perhaps, there is no other place in Moscow with so many sculptures per square metre stand in the open air. You can not only observe the beauty from the outside but also walk among the inanimate figures—it feels as if you have found yourself in an acropolis.
The way to the heart of Muzeon park is through Golutvinsky Lane, which is marked by the majestic figure of Peter the Great by Tsereteli (actually, to be more precise, this monument on the Vodootvodny Canal is called 'In commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Navy'). But this is not the main entrance. The main entrance is the one on the Krymsky Val side. Start with a walk along the river. In summer, this space is a paradise not only for pedestrians but also for skaters and cyclists. Roller skaters are also frequent visitors here — the wave-like surface of the embankment is perfect for roller-skating and doing tricks.
The strongest coffee, the most flavoured shawarma and the most original salads can be found in several cafés located along the embankment from the bridge to the sculpture of Peter the Great. A special treat is to sit on a wooden chair amidst the lilac sea of vervain and sip on a cappuccino while watching the boats pass by. One cannot but exclaim 'Carpe diem!'
You can refresh yourself in the heat by the dry fountain. The wooden terrace in front of it is an ideal place for intimate gatherings during the day, practising yoga in the morning and dancing in the evening.
Regarding stress management, Muzeon park is at the forefront of the city's urban areas. Consider the fact that in the Park of Arts you can get acquainted with the ancient Oriental practise of Qigong and let go of all your worries.
Here, you can also try to paint like an artist, sculpt like a sculptor, and move like a dancer — all this in the epicentre of creativity, the School pavilion.
When you are done walking along the embankment, go deeper into the park. Winding paths will take you through a row of sculptures — there are 700 of them! Next to the monumental works, such as the monument to Dzerzhinsky, there are miniature works, such as Suvorov in the Alps.
You simply must have a game of table tennis under the close supervision of these very stony sculptures: the tables are placed right next to the Alley of portraits.
There are a lot of famous Russian authors in the park: a thoughtful Lermontov, at least four Pushkins and one Esenin — guess on the first try under which tree is the statue of the poet to be found?
The House of Books is located nearby — a wooden pavilion, filled up to the ceiling with the works of those authors, as well as modern bestsellers. Close by, a bronze Don Quixote by Nikolay Silis sits on the ground as if he had escaped from the pages of a chivalric novel. According to the artist's idea, the hopeless romantic is meant to be gazing at a fragile flower in his hand. Muzeon park's Don Quixote does not have a flower. They say that kind visitors sometimes put a real flower in his hand. You are unlikely to read these and many other curious stories anywhere else, but can hear about them on a tour: tickets are available on the official website of Gorky Park.
Wandering along the paths, sooner or later you will find a modern hut with a huge stained-glass window filling up the whole wall. Regulars of the Gorky Park rink will easily recognise the iconic Mediarubka studio, where musicians have performed live for two winter seasons in a row. In summer 2020, the site changed its location and concept. If you see several people at the microphones behind the glass having a lively discussion, it means that you have witnessed the recording of a fresh podcast: the head of the Gorky Park Special Projects Department and host, Boris Bolelov, is talking with the most interesting contemporary luminaries. Rinat Karamba, Margarita Mitrofanova, and Anton Lavrentyev talk about success and what it is like to relax in the 21st century.
Nota Bene: in case you have forgotten, the New Tretyakov Gallery is also in Muzeon park. So a park excursion can hardly be squeezed into one day, you will need to stay at least one night to spend a full weekend.
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The cozy little parks
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