When most non-Russians hear the words Gorky Park, they think of Martin Cruz Smith's famous novel. Gorky Park is much more and it is celebrating its 75th birthday.
The Tatar cemetery, the city dump, the Neskuchny Sad – this is the territory of 100 hectares where the Culture Park appeared in Moscow in 1928.
Four years before the park opened, the cemetery and the dump were liquidated, part of trees of the Neskuchny Sad were cut down. The cleared territory was first occupied by the all-Russian exhibition of agricultural products and artisan works, later a park was laid out there. It opened on August 12, 1928. Visitors could see the Green Theatre, a cinema hall in the open air, a dance pavilion called "The Dance Island" and a parachute tower. In winter, Moscow's best skating rink was found in the Culture Park.
In the early 1930s the park was named after the famous Soviet writer Maxim Gorky. In the mid-1930s a path lined with gypsum figures appeared in the park; the figures were made by the best sculptures of the Soviet Union. A sculpture called "The Girl with an Oar" by Ivan Shadr became the most popular figure in the park collection. Vera Volosina, the woman who posed for sculptor Ivan Shadr for the figure died in WWII; the statue itself was destroyed in an air raid in 1941. Military technique will be introduced into the park during WWII. Right after the war construction of Koleso Obozrenia (the Big Dipper) was started in the Gorky Park.
The part of the city is a favorite recreation site of Muscovites and guest; about two million people visit the park every year. This is the first place in Russia where mass side-shows appeared. The famous Koleso Obozrenia has become one of Moscow's symbols.
There are exhibition pavilions, artificial ponds, sports grounds and dance pavilions in the park; meetings and concerts are regularly held there. The territory of the park was several times chosen for making films, for example the popular Soviet detective Place of Meeting Cannot Be Changed with brilliant Vladimir Vysotsky in the main role.
The 75th anniversary of the Gorky Park will be widely celebrated with a dramatized parade during the festivities dedicated to Moscow's birthday, at the beginning of September.
Based upon publications in the Russian press
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