Gorky Park (Moscow)
Pond in Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure, 1982
|Area||300 acres (120 ha)|
Gorky Park was opened in 1928. It is located at Krymsky Val and situated just across the Moskva River from Park Kultury Metro Station. The Park was planned by Konstantin Melnikov, a world-famous Soviet avant-garde and constructivist architect. Gorky Park was created by the amalgamation of the extensive gardens of the old Golitsyn Hospital and the Neskuchny Palace and covers an area of 300 acres (120 ha) along the river.
During the post-Soviet era Gorky Park used to host an amusement park with fun fairs, various amusement rides, a Ferris wheel and one of the mock-ups (test units) from the Buran space shuttle program. During the winter the footpaths flood over and freeze, which allows ice-skating around the park.
Over the years the rides became decrepit, and the park territory was swamped with cheap attractions and cafes. In 2011 the Gorky Park underwent a major reconstruction. All amusement rides have been removed in order to transform the place into an eco-friendly recreational zone. In March, the city appointed Sergei Kapkov director of the 120-hectare, or 300-acre, Gorky Park. He canceled the entrance fee and cleared the park of outdated carnival rides and junk food stalls, while bringing back the traditional sport activities: aerobics, yoga and salsa dancing taught by educated instructors, along with creating new spaces, such as a pétanque cafe and an open-air cinema theatre. With free Wi-fi, contemporary public art projects, design fairs and a new cafe policy, Gorky Park soon became one of the most popular places in Moscow. A 15,000 square meter ice rink, with separate zones for children, hockey, dancing, and general skating, was officially opened in December 2011.
In popular culture 
- The park was written of in the novel Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith. It was later made into a film with the same name.
- The German Hard Rock band Scorpions achieved great success with their popular single, "Wind of Change", which references Gorky Park in light of the sociopolitical changes taking place in a post-Cold War era in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s.
- A Russian rock and roll band Gorky Park is named after the park.
- Gorky Park is mentioned in the song "Vodka" by Morena, which represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.
- In the First Person Multiplayer Shooter video game, Team Fortress 2, Gorky Park is referenced in the title of one of the game achievements pertaining to the 'Heavy' class.
- In the British show IT Crowd Gorky Park is mentioned as a typical Soviet-like place where everyone has to smoke now because of the strict anti-smoking policies.
- Gorky Park in Moscow, Russia Retrieved on 2009-09-27.
- Abramovich brings Midas touch to Gorky Park Retrieved on 2011-09-19
- Neumeyer, Joy (December 12, 2011). "Smooth skating". The Moscow News. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
- Scorpions - Wind Of Change Retrieved on 2009-09-27.
- Eurovision 2008 - Malta (Vodka) By Morena Retrieved on 2009-09-27.
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