Friendship of Peoples at VDNKh and the complex on the Vodootvodny Canal: preparing the capital's fountains for winter

November 2
Municipal services

On October 1, the fountain season ended in Moscow. There are about 600 of them in the city: among them are traditional, flat, floating, musical and those with dynamic lighting. All of them were shut down until the spring of 2022. Employees of the municipal economy complex immediately began preparation for winter and for the next season too. Conservation work was completed last week, and during the winter specialists will carry out the necessary repairs.

Fountains winterizing means an entire range of technical activities. They are aimed at protecting structures and decorative elements from low temperatures and adverse weather conditions.

Girls - Republics wintering

Specialists of the State Budgetary Institution (SBI) ‘Gormost’ prepared for winter the Friendship of Peoples fountain — one of the VDNKh symbols. They drained water from the fountain bowls and rinsed it using a high-pressure device with detergent, purged pipelines, and dismantled jet-forming elements.

Preparation of each fountain for winter has its own peculiarities. For example, when winterizing the Friendship of Peoples fountain, specialists pay special attention to sculptures.


The sculptures are made of gold leaf. In summer, lime deposits are accumulated on gold due to effect of water splashes. Therefore, specialists work with sculptures as carefully as possible, manually clean them with soft brushes, and then rinse by pressurized water. In winter, sculptures of Girls-Republics will decorate the skating rink at VDNKh.

Decorative fish figures were covered by wooden boxes to protect them from snow and dirt. The bowl and granite parapet of the fountain were treated by a special detergent, and the resulting foam was washed off with water.

Preparation for cold weather

The light and music fountain in the Tsaritsyno Open-Air Museum is also ready to welcome winter. This is one of the most unusual hydraulic structures in the capital. The fountain is located on the island and consists of 80 pumps, about four thousand lamps and a musical installation.

Since it takes too long and is economically unprofitable to dismantle this huge structure every year, experts found another way out. The fountain, along with all the equipment, is covered with a special air-supported dome. It consists of eight sectors weighing over three tons, and a central connecting part — a washer. All sectors are fastened together by several thousand bolts and plates.


Almost 20 people were engaged in the installation of the dome. Throughout the winter, its condition is monitored by the operator on duty. He cleans the structure from snow and controls the operation of the fan that maintains the air pressure under the dome.

In addition, the conservation process includes checking pumps, nozzles, waterproofing and fountain lighting. All faulty parts are dismantled and sent for repair.

One of the oldest fountains in Moscow, Petrovsky or Vitali on Teatralnaya Square, was covered with a transparent dome made of polymer organic glass for winter. Thus, sculptures of four bronze cupids can be seen even in winter. They will be decorated with illumination inside the bowl.

The neighbor of the Petrovsky Fountain, the Teatralny Fountain, located in front of the main entrance to the Bolshoi Theater, is also ready for wintering. At the beginning of October, specialists drained water, washed the bowl and vase of the fountain, and also dismantled the underwater lights and jet-forming elements.


In addition to standard fountains with bowls, conservation is also necessary for floating fountains on the Vodootvodny Canal of the Moskva River. This complex is located on the water surface on both sides of the pedestrian Tretyakov Bridge, between Kadashevskaya and Bolotnaya embankments.

Early October, experts dismantled 16 floating fountain modules. Each is about 300 kilograms, so the dismantling was carried out from a specially designed self-propelled pontoon with a crane installed on it. The modules will be stored in the workshops of the Gormost.


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