2019-01-09 / Front Page

Off the Beaten Trail: Moscow’s Gorky Park During Holiday Season

By Catherine Tsounis

Irina Chetina, my Moscow correspondent/former guide/intellectual/ice skating in Gorky Park.

All photos by Irina ChetinaIrina Chetina, my Moscow correspondent/former guide/intellectual/ice skating in Gorky Park. All photos by Irina Chetina“Hello, Cathy! This is Gorky Park, Moscow,” said Irina Chetina, my Moscow intellectual guide from my previous Russian trip, in an email. “It’s the very first recreation area founded in 1928 for working people. Every winter the central alleys are turned into a big skating rink visited by thousands of people. My mother remembers how she used to come there with her friends when she was at school. They were eating ice cream (in winter!) and skating.”
Irina is a devout Russian Orthodox Christian who was baptized shortly after our trip in 2016. She is the mother of three adult sons. Irina had a 97+ average that entitled her to a university education. Her English is great. A humble, friendly person, she made our stay in Moscow very enjoyable. Irina continues to send news of Moscow.

“I'm not used to skates,” she said. “My favorite winter entertainment is skiing. But one day I The icon of Our Lady from the Church of Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem
The icon of Our Lady from the Church of Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem accompanied my friends to Gorky Park and they insisted that I should try. I found it exciting. Very good ice surface, safe and comfortable for beginners. Banisters (or rails) along the walls. It's possible to rent skates at a cheap price for all day long. They seem to have unlimited number of new skates in all sizes. Besides, there are kiosks with hot meals and drinks, and places to sit down and rest. I was surprised to see a lot of foreign guests. Some of them were obviously first time in their life on skates. They were enjoying the process. I observed only smiling faces around. So, the rink proves its name "The Factory of Happy People". The biggest skating rinks has different names. There is a total of over a thousand skating rinks in Moscow this winter.

“I had no opportunity to send you a proper Christmas card, she said. “Among photos on my phone I found the icon of Our Lady from the Church of Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem. I decided it would suite the theme. I was to Israel in November on a pilgrimage tour organized by my church. A Moscow flower is enclosed.”

The photo with shiny gate is the main entrance to Gorky Park.
The photo with shiny gate is the main entrance to Gorky Park. What is the largest country in the world? “Covering an expanse of over 6.6 million square miles, Russia is the world’s largest country by landmass, beating out runner-up Canada by around 2.8 million square miles.

Main entrance of Gorky Park in Moscow, Russia (Night view). Written in Russian on the arch: the Order of Lenin Central Park of Culture and Rest named A. M. Gorky and many inscriptions with the names of exhibitions in the park.
Main entrance of Gorky Park in Moscow, Russia (Night view). Written in Russian on the arch: the Order of Lenin Central Park of Culture and Rest named A. M. Gorky and many inscriptions with the names of exhibitions in the park. It includes nine different time zones and shares land borders with 14 neighboring countries. Russia’s origins began with the Viking establishment of Kievan Rus in the 9th century. It expanded under the leadership of Viking chieftain Rurik and his ancestors but was broken up by Mongol invaders in 1237. Beginning with the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which was less vulnerable to Mongol attacks due to its remote, forested location, the remnants of Rus unified and expanded, most notably during the reign of Ivan the Terrible from 1533 to 1584.

As its first official tsar, Ivan established the central Russian state and doubled its size by Moscow flower.
Moscow flower. conquering the regions of Kazan, Astrakhan and Siberia. It expanded into the third largest empire in the world by the 1700s, and as the post-revolution Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, it was the largest part of the Soviet Union. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Russia, also known as the Russian Federation, was officially established on December 25, 1991.

Although it covers around 17 percent of the world’s inhabited land, Russia is only home to around 2 percent of Earth’s inhabitants.”1 Russian Orthodox Church, largest autocephalous, or ecclesiastically independent, Eastern Orthodox church in the world. Its membership is estimated at more than 85 million.2

 


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