The Zaryadye Park, located on the bank of the Moskva River in the historical Kitai-gorod district, was opened in 2017. This 10-hectare recreational area features all kinds of landscapes, an Ice Cave, an educational centre and cinemas. The park’s jewel is the so-called Soaring Bridge with breathtaking views of the Kremlin.
The first park laid out in the heart of Moscow in the past 70 years, Zaryadye immediately became one of the most popular places in Russia’s capital. Built on the site of the demolished Rossiya Hotel after a long design process, the Park is a major cultural and educational project, where visitors can learn a lot about Russian nature, take part in experiments and lectures on biotechnology, microbiology, genetics, medicine, geography and ecology, get acquainted with Russian cuisine, go to concerts and other entertainment events.
Russia’s four landscape zones have been meticulously recreated here: northern landscapes with plants growing in the stony and humid tundra; woodland (temperate, coniferous and waterside forests and birch groves); meadows and steppe zones. One million plants were brought here from different parts of Russia, including permanent and annual grasses, bushes and trees. The waterside forest area features four ponds.
The Media Centre is the first pavilion as you enter the park from Red Square. The park’s main multimedia pavilion with a total area of 8,500 sq. m. features a tourist information centre, the Flight and the Time Machine media venues, a children’s media studio, an exhibition hall, a café and a souvenir shop. The Flight is a unique cinema equipped with a 13-meter-high parabolic screen and a mobile platform. During a film screening, chairs are one below the other, which, along with the shape of the screen, makes spectators feel as if they were flying. The wind and sprays in your face as well as changing odors heighten this impression even more. Here visitors can watch films about traveling throughout Russia. Children taller than 120 cm are allowed in the Flight Cinema.
The Time Machine Cinema boasts a 5-meter-high and 360-degree perimeter screen and shows interactive images on the floor. Spectators will learn about the history of Moscow from the earliest times to the present. At the same time, you won’t have to remain seated, as you get engaged into what’s going on the screen!
Lectures for adults and activities for kids
A little further from the Media Centre is the educational pavilion ‘Protected Embassy’ (Russian: Заповедное посольство). The park’s second largest pavilion with an area of 3,300 sq. m., accommodates a lecture hall and hosts a variety of activities ranging from scientific experiments to interactive quests. The subjects discussed include biotechnology, microbiology, genetics, medicine, ecology and geography. Interestingly, plants from the humid tundra grow on the pavilion’s roof.
Another experimental venue, the Florarium, is located in the hall of the Protected Embassy Pavilion, where you’ll see several dozens of aeroponic grown plants. Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air environment, without the use of soil the same way they are grown in space stations.
The park has three concert venues: the roofed Concert Hall and the open-air Big and Small Amphitheatres. With a total area of over 25,000 sq. m., the Hall features two 1560- and 400-seat auditoriums with transformable stalls.
The world’s largest transparent structure with no walls – the Glass Bark – connects the Concert Hall to the Big Amphitheatre. A part of it smoothly turns into the Concert Hall’s roof, while the other covers the upper rows of the Big Amphitheatre. Heat loving plants originating mostly from the North Caucasus (rhododendrons, juniper and yew trees) are grown in a warm microclimate on top of an artificial hill under the Glass Bark.
The Big Amphitheatre is one of Moscow’s largest venues seating 1,600. Its upper rows give wonderful views of the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Zaryadye Park. The 400-seat open-air Small Amphitheatre is located nearby.
In front of the Big Amphitheatre is the green meadows zone, which is the only place in the park to lie on the grass, relax or make a picnic. This area combines manicured lawns for strolling and relaxing and high grassland with cereals and flowering herbs.
The park’s key point of attraction is the Soaring Bridge, an elaborate engineering construction shaped as a 70-meter-high console with no support structures. It soars at an altitude of 15 m over the embankment and the Moskva River and offers panoramic views of the Kremlin, the Moskva River Embankment and the part itself. It is one of the greatest places in Moscow to take superb, memorable photographs. Bad news: you’ll enjoy no festive fireworks from here, as pyrotechnic installations are located in the immediate vicinity of the Soaring Bridge and are closed during fireworks for security reasons.
Under the bridge is an underground walkway between the embankment and the park. It accommodates the Zaryadye Underground Museum, an archeological museum dedicated to artifacts unearthed on the territory of Kitai-gorod. The exhibition’s highlight is a fragment of the 16th-century Kitai-gorod wall. The museum features the reconstructed Velikaya Ulitsa (Big Street), the main street of the medieval Zaryadye going from merchant stalls under the Kremlin’s walls down to the river port. Visitors to the museum will see the 3D model of a birch-bark manuscript discovered by archeologists in Zaryadye in 2015, weapons, horse gear, white-stone cannon balls, customs seals, coin treasures, tiles and exquisitely preserved ancient Russian footwear.
The Steppe landscape zone is located near the Soaring Bridge. Real steppe parcels exist even in the south of Moscow Region, but recreating steppe in central Moscow was a real challenge, given that such plants grow only in the chernozem soil. Near the Moskva River Embankment, the southern part of the park features the waterside landscape: aquatic plants that are typical of rivers and lakes outside Moscow grow in four ponds, and the ground cover recreates humid meadows. The waterside forest consists mainly of willows, bird cherries and viburnums. There is a playground for children near the ponds.
A unique Ice Cave with a total area of 1,000 sq. m. is located near the Protected Embassy, where tourists can get a feel of what the Far North is like. Some 70 tons of water were frozen to create this cave and the temperature is maintained at below 5˚C. In the summertime, visitors will be provided with plaids at the entrance to the cave to feel comfortable inside.
You can have a bite in the Gastronomic Centre on the territory of the Zaryadye Park. The cafés of this big, modern food court specialize in fish, meat and poultry dishes. Keep in mind that the prices here are several times higher than in food courts elsewhere in Moscow. The Gastronomic Centre offers Russian tinned food, pickled products and sweets to those who feel like buying some Russian culinary delight.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com