Categories
Russian Culture To Do in Moscow Top Travelers Advices Traveling in Russia

Top 3 best parks to enjoy summer in Moscow in 2020

If you wonder what parks to visit in Moscow in 2020 and spend an amazing time outside, hereunder you find the best answer.

Parks of culture and leisure became a real thing in 2010s when Moscow government decided to invest money in landscape gardening of the city and its image of a “green capital”. Right now, in Moscow parks are the most popular places to hang out for the full day with lots of activities: walking, cycling, playing basketball and volleyball, laying on the grass and having a picnic etc. If you don’t know where to go on weekend in Moscow – parks are best options to spend time.

Gorky Park in Moscow
Gorky Park in Moscow

 

Hereunder you will find the 3 best parks to visit in Moscow:

  • Gorky Park of Culture and Leisure

Gorky Park is the most famous park in Moscow, about which you could have heard in the song “Wind of Change” by Scorpions. Back in the days it was an amusement park with biggest rollercoasters in Eastern Europe. Nowadays this park is loved by hipsters, youngsters and families for its number of activities. In Gorky Park you can practice sports like basketball and volleyball on pitches made by biggest sports brands Nike and Adidas. You can do yoga classes, dancing classes and many more. What to eat while in Gorky Park? In food-courts, of course! There are a lot of different restaurants with numerous cuisines – Greek, Chinese, Thai, Italian and Russian. We recommend you to sit on the terrace near the Moscow River bench and enjoy the moment. Also, in Gorky Park you may go to a concert or a show, which are held almost every day!

If you want to know what is Gorky Park and how it changed the image of Moscow, follow Leo, young French journalist and guide living in Moscow for his Gorky Park private tour, during which you discover the history of this place, walk around best sights and get to know how to spend great time on fresh air in in Moscow.

address: Krymsky Val, 9

open 24 hours a day

Center of Gorky Park in Moscow
Central Fountain of Gorky Park in Moscow

 

  • Zaryadye Park

The most recently opened park now in Moscow is Zaryadye Park right in the heart of the capital near Red Square and Kremlin.

Park Zaryadye in Moscow has numerous installations, created by very famous Russian artists, and many things to visit – the Ice Cave made of 70 tons of frozen water, Florarium with more than 200 plant species, Media Center with interactive walls and floor to watch stunning 360-degrees videos, etc.

Zaryadye Park in Moscow
Zaryadye Park in Moscow

 

But the most symbolic and impressive sight in Zaryadye is definitely the River Overlook Footbridge from which you can amazing views on Kitay-Gorod, Kremlin, St.Basil’s Cathedral and Stalin Towers.

River Overlook Footbridge in Zaryadye Park
River Overlook Footbridge in Zaryadye Park

 

If you want to discover more Zaryadye Park with Kremlin and Red Square, take part in Walking Tour in the Center of Moscow of Tsar Visit and explore Moscow deeper with professional guide.

address: Ulitsa Varvarka 6, building 1

open 24 hours a day

  • VDNKh Park

VDNKh Park (or VDNH, which stands for Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) in Ostankino District of Moscow is at the moment the biggest and the most developed park in Russia.

If you want to receive all at once – VDNKh park is the best choice. It contains a lot of worldwide famous symbols of Russia and USSR – pavilions of former USSR republics, the People’s Friendship Fountain, Ostankino TV tower, Moscow Monorail and Museum of Cosmonautics.

Ostankino Tower in VDNKh park in Moscow
Ostankino Tower in VDNKh park in Moscow

 

VDNKh Park was recently renewed and now it has one of the biggest Aquariums in Europe with more than 12000 water animals. In VDNKh you can play any sports, rent a bike or a scooter, walk the eco-trail, go climbing or do yoga.

VDNKh Park in Moscow
VDNKh Park in Moscow

 

If you want to explore VDNKh Park fully, join the tour of VDNKh and Cosmonautics Museum by Tsar Visit and learn about these impressive sights with a professional private guide.

address: Prospekt Mira, 119

open 24 hours a day

Cosmonautics Museum in VDNKh Park
Cosmonautics Museum in VDNKh Park

 

All in all, in Moscow more than anywhere else in the world, parks are sights definitely worth visiting. They contain a lot of worldwide famous attractions and they keep developing every day. If you want to know Moscow better and to spend amazing time in Russia – visit the famous capital parks.

Categories
Top

Top 5: influential women in Russian history

Russia has a rich and complex history in which women have always played a significant role. Numerous Russian personalities (and sometimes foreigner ones) left a permanent mark on Russia. You may know some of them (or may not, I’m not here to judge), but just in case here are some of the most influential women of Russian history, let’s go!

  • Olga

Also known as Olga of Kiev, she was the regent of the Kiev principality. She started her reign by avenging the death of her husband Igor who was killed by the Drevlian tribe while collecting taxes ( Sweet vengeance). Baptised in Constantinople, she became a Christian in a kingdom that was mainly pagan at the time and tried to convert her son but without success. She is also the first woman saint of her country and is celebrated on the 11th of July (24th of July in Gregorian calendar).

Helga_Olgacredit: Wikimedia Commons
  • Sophia Alexeïevna

Sophia was a very intelligent and cultivated woman, she was probably as ambitious as she was smart (which is a good combo). When her brother Fedor died without an heir, a new Tsar had to be chosen, her brother Ivan was the rightful heir, but he was weak, many nobles preferred his (and her too) stepbrother Peter. Sophia disagreed, she used the streltsy (A Russian military corps) to impose her point of view and … two co-Tsars !!! Ivan and Peter. And of course, she was named regent for her brothers. She pursued in her brother’s politics of opening to the west and fought two wars against the Ottoman Empire (With not much success). Unfortunately for her, her step-brother Peter was no one else than Peter the Great. After a little less than ten years, Peter put an end to his sister’s carrier and made her retire in the Novodevichy Convent where she lived the rest of her life.

Sophia_Alekseyevna_by_anonim_(19_c.,_Hermitage)credit: Wikimedia Commons
  • Catherine II

This is certainly the best part, Catherine is by far my favorite Russian ruler of all time. Not only did she managed to get to the top power position as a woman in a world mainly dominated by men, but she was not even Russian, nor born in Russia.

Catherine was born of the minor nobility in Prussia, nowadays Germany. She got married to Peter (not the great unfortunately), heir of the Russian Empire, and quickly learned Russian and the Russian way of life, she also converted to Orthodoxy. When the tsarina Elisabeth I (You should also check her out) died, her son, Peter III (Catherine’s husband) took the throne. To be polite, he was not a well-appreciated ruler and Catherine, helped by officers of the guard, organized a coup ( and possibly had her husband killed). She then became Empress of all Russias until her death.

Her reign is full of military victories and art creation. She had a lot of talented counselors and was open to new ideas such as the enlightenment ( she used to converse with Voltaire).

Katharina-II-von-Russlandcredit: Wikimedia Commons
  • Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlova was a Russian Prima Ballerina in the late 19th and early 20th century. Those who like ballet probably already know her and won’t learn much more than they already know here (really sorry guys). But for every body else, Anna Pavlova was one of, if not the, best ballet dancer. She learned from the best in St Petersburg where she danced in the famous Mariinsky theater. She then started an international career, leading her own dance company and she became the first ballerina to make a world tour with the choreography The dying swan. She inspired many other young artists with her performances.

Anna_Pavlova_as_the_Dying_Swancredit: Wikimedia Commons
  • Valentina Tereshkova

Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman in space. For those who will say that it was just propaganda… well, you are right, Soviet Union saw women in cosmos mainly as propaganda. But this shouldn’t cloud your judgment, she was chosen for a reason. During her training, she flew many times on Mig 15 fight aircraft and had courses on spacecraft engineering. She flew the 16th of June 1963, two years after the first human inhabited flight, she was 26 at the time. She is still the youngest female cosmonaut and the only female cosmonaut to fly alone. After her flight, she achieved a degree in engineering and she started a political career.

RIAN_archive_612748_Valentina_Tereshkovacredit: Wikimedia Commons

Let’s also remember that the Russian revolution was initiated the 8 of March 1917 (23 February in the Julian calendar) by a demonstration of women workers asking for bread. Women can change the course of history.

Want to discover more about these women? Book a guided tour on Tsar Visit!

Categories
Cultural Fact

Rasputin

Before being this good song by Boney M, Rasputin was a man, a priest, a healer, a prophet… or a sinner, a charlatan, a liar, a spy… In a good or in a bad way, he always made a very strong impression on the people he met (especially the ladies of the court apparently). Adored by the imperial family, hated both by the nobility and the Soviet regime, this character is still fascinating nowadays. Have you ever wondered who was this man? How did he become so famous that he got his own song? So put on your headphones and listen to it while I tell you the story (and legend) of ‘The Mad Monk’ Rasputin.

RasputinPhoto
A Photo of Grigori Rasputin (source: Wikicommons)

Grigori Efimovitch Rasputin is probably born around the year 1869 in Pokrovskoye, a small town in Siberia. He got interested in the Bible very early, and he made several pilgrimages. He was known for having some mystical powers such as prediction but most importantly a healing gift.

This gift brought him to St Petersburg. The Tsarevitch Alexei is hemophiliac (a blood illness that can make any bleeding mortal) and in this time, doctors were powerless against this illness. Introduced to the family by nobles he met during his pilgrimages, he was able to calm the Tsarevitch pain after he got hurt. It impresses the imperial family so much that they decided to keep the monk with them since he seemed to be the only one able to calm their son’s pain. His “powers” were probably a mix between his extraordinary charisma and … defying the doctors by preventing the patient to take aspirin an anticoagulant (they didn’t know it then) making the disease even worse. Progresses were made till then so if you are hemophiliac no need for a strange Siberian monk!

Ww_nicholas_01
Nicolas II, his wife Alexandra Fedorovna, their 5 children (source: Wikicommons)

Rasputin became a very important counselor of the imperial family and an attraction for the capital’s elite (especially with women ). This charismatic character really made an impression on everyone he met, his eyes were said to be fascinating and even hypnotizing. His political views, pleading for peace, and its… let’s say… quite immoral behavior, made him many enemies amongst the nobility. After the start of the first World War he was seen as a danger for Russia as well as the Tsarina who had German origins.

Rasputin-PD
Another photo of Grigori Rasputin (source: Wikicommons)

 

His death is certainly the most controversial part of his story. It’s hard to know where the legend starts. He was killed by a conspiracy of monarchists who disliked the influence he had on the Tsar and feared he would bring him to make peace with Germany. Felix Yusupov, one of the richest noble of St Petersburg, invited him to his Palace (by the way you can visit it with a guide just here). He was given poisoned food and wine but it did not seem to affect him, they hence shot him. Seeing that the monk was still not dead, they beat him up, shot him several times (again), wrapped him into some piece of clothes to throw him into the river. His body was found a few days later, a doctor who examined the body claimed that he didn’t die because of the poison nor the gunshot but by drowning (Russian Die Hard).

As cool and incredible this story is, it is probably false. The doctor who gave the poison later said he gave some harmless product because he had remorses. The doctor who examined the body also remade his statement saying that most of the contusions and wounds were made post-mortem (meaning he was already dead when they threw him into the river).

Rasputin_listovka
Caricature of an “Evil” Rasputin – 1916 (Source: Wikicommons)

 

Another very important part of his legend is the letter he wrote and in which he predicted his death, and with it the death of the imperial family within two years!!! (he died in 1916 and the imperial family was killed in 1918 in Ekaterinburg) This is another mystical stuff but let’s focus on the most important… he may not have written it!!! Again? you would say. So what’s the point with this guy if nothing is true? I’ll answer you that it’s how a legend works, no one knows the truth, but it could be true.

With the fall of the monarchy and the rise to power of the Bolsheviks, Rasputin was used as the symbol of the moral decay of the Tsars. They greatly participated in the edification of the myth of the “mad monk”.

 

Now that you know more about this central character of Russian history why not come to Russia and visit the places he has been! Book your guided tour on Tsar Visit!