The Ekaterininsky Park, or the Catherine ParkRussian: Ekaterininskiy park or Екатерининский парк, an outstanding achievement of 18th and 19th-century Russian garden art, is located in the vicinity of DostoyevskayaRussian: Достоевская Metro Station, at the intersection of Sovetskoy Armii StreetRussian: ulitsa Sovetskoy Armii or улица Советской Армии, Olimpiysky AvenueRussian: Olimpiyskiy prospekt or Олимпийский проспект and Suvorovskaya SquareRussian: Suvorovskaya ploschad' or Суворовская площадь. Before the 15thcentury, this territory was marked only by a chain of ponds along the Naprudnaya streamRussian: Naprudnaya rechka or Напрудная речка. This area’s recent history starts with the transfer of the Holy Cross MonasteryRussian: Krestovozdvizhensky Monastyr’, or Крестовоздвиженский монастырь here in the 16th century, followed by the construction of the Church of St. John the WarriorRussian: Tserkov’ Ivana Voina, Церковь Ивана Воина, built in stone. In the 18th century, Count Saltykovthe first lover of Empress Catherine the Great after her arrival in Russia built here his estate in the Elizabethan Baroquecharacterized by an endless variety of decorative elements style. In 1807, the building housed the Catherine Institute for Noble MaidensRussian: Ekaterininskiy institut blagorodnyih devits or Екатерининский институт благородных девиц, and the former estate park was renamed ‘Ekaterininsky Park’.
The area surrounding the park underwent a lot of changes in the 20th century. Part of the park was cut down in the 1930s to enlarge the Suvorov Square and another part of the park and both EkaterininskayaRussian: Екатерининская Streets were demolished in 1979 to open up some space for the huge Olympiysky StadiumRussian: stadion «Olimpiyskiy» or стадион «Олимпийский» and Olympiysky Avenue when Moscow was getting ready for the Olympic Games in 1980. The Ekaterininsky Park overlooks the stadium and a mosque, and its surroundings are associated with the military. as the Russian Army TheatreRussian: teatr Rossiyskoy armii or театр Российской армии and the Central Armed Forces MuseumRussian: Tsentralnyi muzey vooruzhennyih sil or Центральный музей вооруженных сил are located close by. The Armed Forces Cultural CentreRussian: Kulturnyi tsentr vooruzhennyih sil or Культурный центр вооруженных сил is now located in the building formerly home to the Catherine Institute for Noble Maidens.
The ongoing comprehensive modernization of Moscow parks has not yet affected the old Catherine Park, which still retains its former charm. It has neither modern venues nor Wi-Fi, but lilac, cherry and apple trees blossom here in spring, roses and dog roses in early summer, and asters and chrysanthemums in autumn. The ground here is thick with fallen leaves in autumn, and you are most welcome to shuffle through them at your leisure! The park has many century-old oaks and even one 300-year-old willow, so old trees are well taken care of here.
The ponds are located in the very heart of the park. Rent a boat for a row in summer when the boathouse is open, or go skating in winter (however, you can’t rent skates here), and at other times of the year, just take a stroll there and feed local ducks. The Prichal CaféRussian: kafe "Prichal" or кафе "Причал" is located near the boathouse (it is closed in winter).
The Naprudnaya riverRussian: reka Naprudnaya or река Напрудная, a small tributary of the Moscow’s Neglinka riverRussian: reka Neglinnaya or река Неглинная, is at the origin of these ponds. Both the Neglinka and the Naprudnaya rivers have been put away underground and enclosed in drain pipes, but the place where they used to merge, the Samotyochnaya SquareRussian: Samotyochnaya ploschad' or Самотёчная площадь, is very easy to find: coming from the direction of the SukharyovkaRussian: Сухаревка or the KaretnyRussian: Каретный, you’ll get to the lowland where these rivers once flowed.
Back in the Middle Ages, NaprudnoeRussian: Naprudnoe or Напрудное, a village then belonging to grand princes of Russia, was located at the source of the Naprudnaya river (present-day Trifonovskaya StreetRussian: Trifonovskaya ulitsa or Трифоновская улица). The St. Tryphon’s ChurchRussian: Khram Trifona, or Храм Трифона at Naprudnoe, an amazing piece of medieval Moscow architecture built in the 15th century, has survived to this day.
The Church of Ivan the Warrior is another church that was once located in the Ekaterininsky Park before its demolition in the 1930s. A chapel inspired by the 18th-century Elizabethan Baroque style and decorated with round windows and gables was erected on the same site in 2008. Services are regularly held there. A memorial complex dedicated to the Russian military leader Alexander Suvorova Russian military leader, considered a national hero is located next to the chapel and includes a bust and a bas-relief panel depicting battles in which Suvorov participated.
The Catherine Park offers outdoor activity lovers three playgrounds, several open-air gyms, a football field with highly modern flooring and a tennis court. Unfortunately, visitors cannot rent sports equipment in the park. The football field and the tennis court are closed in winter.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com