Serebryany Bor, literally meaning ‘Silver Pinewood’, is a picturesque 328-hectare forest in North-West Moscow, located on an artificial lake on a bend of the Moskva River. To get there, you’ll need to drive across the Khoroshovsky highway bridge. Famous for its beautiful landscape and unique flora, this island features several well-kept river beaches, children’s playgrounds, sports facilities, a path going around a lake and alleys running through century-old pinewoods. In summertime, the beaches at Serebryany Bor are among the most popular and safe in Moscow.
History of the park
Nobody knows exactly where the name of the park came from. Legend has it that one day Empress Catherine II the Great saw frost-covered pines on the bank of the river and called them Silver Pinewood. This name is also associated with the Muscovite Prince Serebryanny who owned this land. The land is also mentioned in an early 17th-century property document as Serebryany Ovrag, literally Silver Ravine. Wherever the name comes from, this territory has always been famous for its pinewoods. Dachas, or summerhouses, were established here in the 19th century, and Muscovite aristocrats and rich merchants were among the first to holiday here in the summer.
The landscape underwent some modifications during Soviet times; Serebryany Bor became an island upon completion of the Khoroshovsky channel in 1937. The reinforced-concrete Khoroshovsky Bridge and a granite-clad pier were constructed in the same year. In the southern part of the island, the semi-artificial Bezdonnoye Lake which later accommodated rowing camps was established.
Among the dacha residents in Serebryany Bor during the Soviet period were prominent Communist Party members, heads of state agencies, foreign diplomats and well-known personalities in the world of arts and culture, including V. Blukher, G. Yagoda, M. Suslov, M. Tukhachevsky and E. Furtseva. Today, members of the Soviet elite have given way to deputies of the State Duma, large-scale entrepreneurs and show biz personalities. The 100-meter-high and almost 1.5-kilometer-long Zhivopisny Bridge (Picturesque Bridge), equipped with a viewing platform, was built across Marshala Zhukova Avenue to Serebryany Bor in 2007. This structure is particularly special because it crosses alongside the river, rather than spanning it.
Serebryany bor today
Serebryany Bor is a great place for a stroll among 200-year-old tall pines. It also has well-kept, free access beaches; thousands of Muscovites come here to swim in the summer. Swimming is officially authorized on Beaches No 2 and 3. The latter features shower and changing rooms, sun loungers, cafés, venues for beach volleyball and ping pong tables, along with boathouses offering row boats, paddleboats, flyboards and wakeboards for rent. A section of this beach is taken up by Uletay (Fly Away), a paid recreation zone where you can rent a lounger and sunbathe under a snow-white canopy sipping a cocktail – the downside is that swimming is forbidden here, but it is known as a great location for banquets and corporate parties. A short distance from Beach No 3 is an area popular among nudists who come here to sunbathe and swim.
Beach No 2, with its shallow waters, is a favourite among families with children. The premises also include a children’s town with trampolines, a children’s playground, aviaries and houses for squirrels. This beach features security services, a lifeguard and a first aid post. A stone’s throw from Beach No 2 is the Veterans’ Park with gazebos, benches and gravelled paths. In summertime, the park’s concert venue hosts free music shows.
Walk deep inside the forest and you will arrive at Bezdonnoye (Bottomless) Lake. Ironically, it is fairly shallow, but artesian springs on the bottom of the lake make its waters extremely cold. Swimming is not recommended, but fishing is a common pastime here. Towards the southern part of the island, there is an area overgrown with rush and home to wild ducks; with a bit of luck, you will see a hare running by. An ecologically-themed path runs along Bezdonnoye Lake, featuring numerous information boards that describe the plants, birds and animals living in Serebryany Bor. This is a great place for wildlife photography and one of the rare locations in Moscow where you have access to rugged, natural beauty.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com