Moscow's Newest Urban Park: Zaryadye
Zaryadye is Moscow's newest urban park, a wonder of landscaping, inaugurated in September 2017. It is a massive endeavor, spreading over 13 hectares a five-minute walk from the famous Red Square in the heart of Moscow. Zaryadye is one of the newest attractions in Moscow. Due to its location, close to the Red Square, it is already a popular site. But it is also worth knowing that the park is home to several religious landmarks, including:
- The Church of Barbara the Great Martyr was built in 1514 on plans by Italian architect Aloisio the New. Unfortunately, the original building was destroyed in 1795 by the Moscow metropolitan Plato who considered the edifice outdated, not in tune with the general style of the area. A new temple, designed by Rodion Kazakov, was erected on the foundations of the former church in 1796-1804. The church suffered damage in 1812 when Napoleon's troops used it as a stable. It was restored in 1820, then several times again in the 1990s.
- The Old English Court - Staryy Angliyskiy Dvor - is a 16th-century mansion and museum dedicated to the Anglo-Russian trade. It is one of the earliest surviving specimens of Moscow's secular architecture.
- Church of Maximus the Blessed, or St. Maxim the Confessor, is a historic temple that traces its roots back to the 16th century although the layout of the present building dates from 1737 with restorations from 1965.
- The Znamensky Cathedral (Cathedral of the Virgin of the Sign) traces its roots to the first half of 17th century when the current building replaced a former construction. The cathedral was built in 1679-1684 by architects Fyodor Grigoryev and Grigory Anisimov. After being plundered in 1812 by Napoleon's troops, the cathedral survived and was restored in 1913. For a while, the temple functioned as a cultural center. In 19962, divine services were resumed, and in 2016 the temple was fully restored, and it now works as a parish church.
- The Church of St. George traces its history back to 1462, but the five-domed church was built in 1658. Like most temples in the area it was badly damaged during the 1812 Napoleonic invasion, but it was rebuilt in 1818. In the 1930s the church was closed for religious service, and the building was used as a warehouse. In 1991, the church was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church, and it's now a working temple again.
- The Church of the Conception of Anna in the Corner is one of the oldest churches in Moscow. It was mentioned as early as 1493 when a fire burned down the wooden temple. The next stone church erected on this site was destroyed by fire in 1547. A new temple was erected in 1617 by Prince Dmitry Mikhaylovich Pozharsky, and the north side chapel of the church was built in 1658-1668. It was closed in the 1920s, restored in 1955-1958, and gave back to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1994, when it was also consecrated.
Besides the religious landmarks, Zaryadye boasts many other attractions, including the pedestrian "floating bridge," a unique construction, that towers over the embankment and seems to hover over the Moscow River. The bridge has a 70-meter console without a single support. It is a beautiful observation platform which boasts incredible views of the Kremlin, the embankments, and Chinatown. The bridge is 250 meters long, 60 meters wide, and stands 13 meters above the water surface. A massive Media Center is planned to open in the Zaryadye Park too. This will stretch over 7.9 thousand square meters, offering all kinds of cultural attractions relating various topics of the Russian History. The main attraction is called "Flight over Russia," in fact, a 4D-cinema with multichannel surround sound. Viewers will be able to fly over the Far East, Siberia, the Urals, the Far North, the Caucasus, the Baltics, and Central Russia. A second attraction called "Time Machine" will allow viewers to see historical events, witness the geographical discoveries, participate in the construction of architectural structures and "meet" the most celebrated Russian figures of the past.
There are also plans for a Philharmonic Hall in Zaryadye, with cutting edge technology and special acoustics designed by Japanese sound engineer Yasuhisa Toyota. The hall, designed to sit about 1500 people, has a maximum capacity of 4000 spectators.
Last, but not least, the "Ice Cave" attraction in Park Zaryadye is an artificial glacier that mimics the atmosphere of the coldest region of Russia: Yakutia. The attraction will stay open year round, with temperatures below zero degrees Celsius regardless the season. The Ice Cave opened officially in May 2018.
The flora of the park is noteworthy too. The park is designed to remind of four Russian landscapes: taiga, tundra, steppe, and the flooded meadows. For this purpose, landscaping artists employed pver a thousand deciduous and coniferous trees, six thousand shrubs, and 718 thousand perennial flowers.
According to various media reports, the park cost $480 million to build. For more information you can visit the official site of the park (in Russian).