Sergei Sobyanin opened the fountain season in Moscow

May 5
Municipal services

Fountain season in Moscow has started. The ceremony was held in Khodynka Field Park. One of the biggest dry fountains has been launched at its main alley.

“Today, fountains at VDNKh, on Poklonnaya Hill, and Manezhnaya Square have been simultaneously launched. Apart from traditional fountains located in the city, 80 more fountains have been constructed lately, with 18 of them being rather big. One of those is located in Khodynka Field. A so-called “dry” fountain which is unique due to its design has been launched here. In my opinion, it will be a magnet for Muscovites coming to Khodynka Field Park”, Sergei Sobyanin said.

Fountain season in Moscow usually lasts until 1 October, but it could be extended if the weather is good.

245 jets and mist effect

The dry dynamically lit musical fountain in Khodynka Field consists of 245 jets located in four rows at a distance which allows walking between them without being wet.

Photo by Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

Fountain nozzles are located under sidewalk grills so that water jets stream up as if out of the ground. When the fountain is idle, its area stays dry. That is why such fountains are called “dry” ones. They are also called sidewalk or pedestrian fountains.

Khodynka Field fountain has automatic control system which allows to alter jet height, it can reach up to two meters. Steam generating unit creates mist effect. Due to illumination, the fountain resembles a runway which refers to the history of the place.

The fountain preparation to new season lasted throughout April. Firstly, the Gormost State Institution specialists cleaned the fountain grills and ducts from snow and mud. Afterwards, they flushed out pipe locations and the adjacent area with the help of high pressure water, adjusted jet elements, checked illumination and pumping stations.

Photo by Vladimir Novikov, Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

The youngest park

Khodynka Field Park was opened in 2018. It is the capital’s youngest recreation park. Its area amounts to 29 ha. Over 100 thousand people relax there.

“The park itself is the one of the best ones in the city. A unique park of high, world-class level took place of the gloomy runway area and mud which had been here for many years. Apart from improvement, creating playgrounds, sports fields, artificial hills, landscaping, large-scale restoration works were carried out here to create unique pavilions made of mobile structures (which are also part of this park) where one can work out”, Moscow Mayor added.

The park is located to the south of Khodynka Field, between Khodynsky Boulevard and the former runway of Frunze Central Aerodrome. After the runway was liquidated, its area represented open spaces, construction sites, paved areas of roads and pavements. At locals request, Sergei Sobyanin decided to create a city park here.

Rugged topography of the park has made it possible to create half-open and closed areas which attract different types of social groups: children, young, middle-aged and elderly people. One of the four hills locates a platform with panoramic swings and hammocks for rest.

Another hill accommodates a house of mirrors, an optical amusement which consists of several square mirror structures. The heart of the park is a small artificial pond with an islet, landscaped embankment and foot bridges. Due to water treatment system, the water in the pond stays transparent during the whole summer season.

Little guests can enjoy two playgrounds — a “Sand farm” with quartz sand and original play equipment in the form of excavator buckets, and “Aviator” with a play structure resembling an Il-18 airplane.

Outdoor enthusiasts are offered a developed infrastructure of Khodynka Field, including a skate park with railings, pyramids, ramps, fanboxes, volleyball and basketball courts, tennis courts, ping-pong tables, courts with trainers for workout and parkour. A skating rink with artificial surface and ski slopes are opened in winter. A dog walking area with fencing and special equipment was created in the park upon the request of residents.

The children's leisure center offers classes in various clubs and sections (ballroom dancing, English conversation club, capoeira, yoga, zumba, qigong) not only for children, but also for older Muscovites within the Moscow Longevity project which now functions online.

The trampoline center is also popular with visitors, with 19 trampolines and a foam pit. A child’s birthday or a corporate event can be celebrated here.


Dry, floating, musical

To date, Moscow totals 600 street fountains, swimming pools and other water systems, 362 of which are operated by municipal services and housing organizations, and 238 — by businesses (restaurants, shopping malls). 92 most significant fountains having architectural highlighting are operated by the Gormost State Institution.

Apart from traditional ones, there are also floating fountains in Vodootvodny Canal as well as five dynamically lit ones — in Gorky Park, Tsaritsyno, on the square before Kiyevsky railway terminal, on Manezhnaya Square and Khodynka Field.

In recent years, dry fountains without bowls and fencing become more and more popular. One can see them, say, on Birzhevaya Square, Krymskaya and Bolotnaya Embankment, Khodynka Field. They are especially popular with children and young people.

Every year the opening of the fountain season is preceded by a lot of preparatory work. Employees of the Gormost and other operating companies clean fountains’ bowls from snow, ice and debris, check the lighting lamps and pipes. Before starting fountains, the bowls are washed with a mixture of water and special shampoo. Supplied under high pressure it is harmless to mosaics and granite. The next stage is the installation and adjustment of equipment, lamps and nozzles. And finally — checking and adjustment using clean water. The process of preparing large fountains for launching takes up to 20-25 days.

“We have finished the general cleaning of the city after harsh winter. Within a month the city was cleaned and painted, and trees were planted. Tens of thousands of people were engaged in general cleaning. And on top of this work is the traditional launching of Moscow fountains that make up a significant and soulful part of Moscow's public spaces," Sergei Sobyanin added.

The technical condition of the fountains that are operated by the Gormost State Institution is checked daily. From one to seven times a month, depending on the design and size of the fountain, the bowls are flushed and water is replaced. Once every summer water samples from the fountains are sent for chemical analysis.

From “The Abduction of Europa” to “Princess Turandot”

One of the most famous fountains of the capital is located on Manezhnaya Square. The main fountain is called “Geyser”: its jets shoot out like those of a geyser. The fountain, which water streams wash the figures of four horses, is called the “Four Seasons”. Behind the horses’ powerful rumps the “Veil” fountain is jetting water directly above the track. Heroes of fairy tales — Ivan Tsarevich with Vasilisa the Beautiful and the sleeping mermaid — are settled in the mosaic imitation of the Neglinka riverbed.

At the Nikitsky Gate there is a fountain “Alexander and Natalie”. It was built to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth. It is located near the Great Ascension Church where the poet and Natalya Goncharova were married. The fountain is notable for water passing through carbon filters to purify it, to make it like spring water. Drinking from the bowl is not recommended but washing a face on a hot day is safe enough.

“The Abduction of Europe” fountain by the Belgian Olivier Strebel on Europe Square in front of the Kievsky railway terminal next to the crystal palace looking pedestrian bridge over the Moscow River, pleases the eye. And fountains “Peoples’ Friendship”, “Stone Flower” and “Golden Ear” are at VDNKh where millions of residents and guests of the capital have been spending their leisure time for almost 70 years.

One of the largest fountains in Europe — the “Music of Glory” — is located next to metro station “Kuzminki”. It is full of meanings and symbols. Here are the “Fanfare of Victory” (21 meters high), and the “Pyramid of Memory”, and the falling jets — a symbol of tears and memory, and jets shooting up symbolizing the festive salute.

The monument “In commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Fleet” is located at the arrow of the Moskva River and the Vodootvodny Canal on an artificial island. It is known to Muscovites as Zurab Tsereteli’s monument of Peter I. The gushing fountain at the foot of the ship creates an illusion of running waves. It doesn't have a bowl and water falls into the Moskva River.

There is a fountain on Pushkin Square behind the monument to the poet where meetings are often scheduled. It was built in 1950 and named after the location — the Pushkinsky fountain. And in 1980, the Novopushkinsky Fountain was erected in honor of the public garden of the same name, on the other side of Tverskaya Street. It is made in the form of a bowl, around the circumference of which water is jetting up converging in the center. That same year the Figure Fountain in Gorky Park was equipped with lighting. This was done according to the project of the German company Siemens for the Olympic Games held in Moscow.

“Tsaristsino” State Museum-Reserve has a light-dynamic fountain. It was opened in 2007 to mark the 860th anniversary of Moscow as a gift to citizens. The fountain has 74 pumps, 878 jets, 2980 lamps and a music system. The fountain's acoustic system is designed so that one can hear the music from almost any shore of the pond. The “Adam and Eve” fountain was opened the same year in the public garden near Novokuznetskaya metro station.

There is a fountain “Princess Turandot”in Old Arbat Street. A gilded sculpture of a beautiful woman sits on a throne under a canopy near the Yevgeny Vakhtangov Theater. And here is a fountain “Old Circus” in front of the Nikulin Moscow Circus at Tsvetnoy Boulevard — in the center of its bowl-arena a clown with umbrella balances on a monocycle.

Floating fountains were made in 1995 in the water area of the Drainage Channel between the Maly Moskvoretsky and Maly Kamenny Bridges. They are pontoons with pumps producing high beautiful jets of water. Nearby is the Repinsky Fountain — in the public garden opposite the famous House at the embankment next to Bolotnaya Square. It was built in 1948 according to the classical design — with a bowl and jets directed up and to the center of the fountain.

The oldest Moscow fountain — Vitali was created in 1827 on Teatralnaya Square. In the 19th century it served as a water supply point— queues of water carriers lined up in the morning, local residents came here with tubs and buckets, and horses were watered here. Later it was decided to decorate the fountain and sculptor Ivan Vitali did the job in 1835. Development of the central water supply system in Moscow deprived the fountain of its function and the latter became an ornament of the city. The Vitali Fountain was restored in 1995 — it was one of the first in Moscow to receive winter LED lighting.


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