Gorky Park

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure  is an amusement park in Moscow, named after Maxim Gorky

Amusement rides and the Buran space shuttle test vehicle.
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History

Gorky Park was opened in 1928. It is located at Krymsky Val and situated just across the Moskva River from Park Kultury Metro Station.

Gorky Park of Culture and Recreation. Moscow, 1931
pinterest button Gorky Park of Culture and Recreation. Moscow, 1931 Branson DeCou (1892–1941), Public Domain

The Park was planned by Konstantin Melnikov, a world-famous Soviet avant-garde and constructivist architect.

Pond in Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure, 1982
pinterest button Pond in Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure, 1982 Valeriy Shustov, CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

Transformation

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.

Gorky Park Roller Coaster
pinterest button Gorky Park Roller Coaster A.Savin, CC BY-SA 3.0

During the winter the footpaths flood over and freeze, which allows ice-skating around the park.

Girl with an Oar
pinterest button Girl with an Oar   shakko, CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

Celebration of Victory Day in Moscow. Veterans of the Great Patriotic War during the meeting of the 4th shock tank detachment on the Victory Day at the Gorky Day
pinterest button Celebration of Victory Day in Moscow. Veterans of the Great Patriotic War during the meeting of the 4th shock tank detachment on the Victory Day at the Gorky Day Vladimir Vyatkin, CC BY-SA 3.0

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 He canceled the entrance fee and cleared the park of outdated carnival rides and junk food stalls, while bringing back the traditional sport activities: aerobics, yoga and salsa dancing taught by educated instructors,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, beach volleyball courts and an open-air cinema theatre.

Russian Border Guards' Day. Moscow's Gorky Park on Russian Border Guards' Day
pinterest button Russian Border Guards' Day. Moscow's Gorky Park on Russian Border Guards' Day Vladimir Vyatkin, CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

Useful Information

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure
Russian: Центральный парк культуры и отдыха (ЦПКиО) имени Горького

Admission

free

Opening hours

  • Gorky Park is open for visitors 24/7

Contacts

Krymsky Val Ulitsa, 9, Moscow, 119049

info@park-gorkogo.com
www.park-gorkogo.com

How to get

Metro

  • Park Kul’tury (circle line)
  • Oktyabr’skaya
  • Leninsky Prospekt
  • Vorob’evy Gory 

The central entrance can be accessed via the ‘Garden Ring’ road (Sadovoye Koltso). Gorky Park can also be accessed via Leninsky Avenue (Leninsky Prospekt), and via Neskuchny Garden and Vorob’evy Gory.

Services

  • Fast Wi-Fi is provided for visitors of Gorky Park.
  • ATM at the main entrance;
  • Plug sockets for charging mobile devices and computers;
  • Baby changing facility (in the green toilet on Central Alley);
  • Medical station in the sports centre building;
  • Cycle lanes;
  • Children’s playgrounds;
  • Parking.

Visitors with disabilities

All steps are fitted with wheelchair ramps.

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 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, the bleak and Soviet-like outdoor employee smoking area is compared to Gorky Park
  • In the film Police Academy: Mission to Moscow there is a scene featuring the park.