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A Gorky Park Photography Picnic

The central fountain of the Gorky Park
Gorky Park photo shoot
The central fountain of the Gorky Park (Vladimir V. Samarin)

Gorky Park is a special enclave inside Moscow’s thriving and often maddening urban landscape. Named after Maxim Gorky, the wonderful green space here is often compared with Central Park in the US. For my part in “Our Russia” it seems fitting to revisit this magical place in our great capital.

Gorky Park photo shoot
A group of journalists and bloggers at the building of "Rossiya Segodnya" (literally, "Russia Today"; not to be cofused with RT TV) internatinal press agency and Russian Union of Journalists on Zybovsky Boulevard, ready to go to the Gorky Park. (Vladimir V. Samarin)

It’s been some time since I actually visited Gorky Park, so I thought I would share with you this magical spot via an event I attended earlier this week. In line with the official launch of a new Olympus camera (the OM-D E-M10 Mark II), the company sponsored a photo-travel event within this favorite place of rest for Muscobites. Here’s a photographic visit to one of Russia’s most famous places. 

Family at Moscow River.
Photo session of a young family in the sun by the Moscow River. By the way, the girl enjoys using a Nikon D3. (Vladimir V. Samarin)

Opened back in 1928, Gorky Park is located at Krymsky Val across the Moskva River from Park Kultury Metro Station. Planned by world famous Soviet architect Konstantin Melnikov, the park covers an area of 300 acres along the river. 

Mothers in Gorky Park
A pregnant Moslem woman, under a loving sight of her husband, discusses maternity with a mother of twins,.(Vladimir V. Samarin)

In 2011 the park had a major face lift. The new director, Sergei Kapkov, order the demolishing of roughly 100 attractions and illegal objects in order to lay the groundwork for the Gorky Park we see today. Some two thousand square kilometers of asphalt and roads were laid, and a total of almost two hectares of new lawns and flower beds were laid out for the park renovation. In keeping with the new "eco-friendly" design, all but one of the myriad amusement rides were done away with to transform this majestic green space. 

Gorky Park in Summer
The park is literally full of flowers in Summer (Vladimir V. Samarin)

The park I visited this week is honestly a leap in the right direction for the good of Moscow residents. In addition to the wonderful flora already mentioned, the park now has a 15,000 square meter ice rink, and newly renovation monuments, purified ponds, and many other innovative improvements. 

Central promenade of the Gorky Park
The Central promenade of the Gorky Park. (Vladimir V. Samarin)

As you can easily see in the images I took the other day, Gorky Park remains an integral destination for Moscow society. The green space represents now, as in the past, a reflection of Russia's time and spirit, not to mention social values. A move away from the early commercialization that took place in the 1990s, is clearly visible in the natural space amid a burgeoning urban landscape. The short version being, Gorky Park is a wonderful respite in a glass and concrete jungle of modernity.