I'll fill in for peach since shes not here
Fri, 2000-07-07 21:00 — admin Issue Number:
Text by Dmitry Mozheitov	Photos by Oleg Semyonov
The Russia Journal
The garden's address is 30 Leninsky Prospect and its administration's telephone numbers are 159-3422, 236-1462. The nearest metro station is Leninsky Prospekt - exit the metro toward the Spartak sports store and walk just five minutes. As an alternative, you can ride the metro to station Oktyabrskaya (ring line) and go several stops by bus #111 or 196 or trolleybus #4, 33 or 62.
The garden owes its name, ‘Neskuchny,' to the Demidov's family estate. The estate once belonged to Count Orlov, who went down in history as Catherine the Great's not-so-secret lover. He then bequest it to his niece, the daughter of Gen. Alexei Orlov-Chesmensky, whom records also name as Catherine the Great's lover.
Before the 1917 revolution, Neskuchny Garden belonged to the tsar's family. Back then, there were greenhouses and farms. Quite a few of the park's structures have been preserved, specifically the Summer House on the Moscow River's steep bank, several bridges and grottos, and ‘Nizhnyaya Vanna,' a small mansion with rotunda standing on the bank of the Yelizaveta Pond.
This rotunda was erected
in honor of the 800th anniversary of Moscow's founding and the victories of Russian and Soviet troops. It was built on the place once occupied by
the Hermitage Palace.
Near the park's entrance, there are several outdoor tennis courts and ping-pong tables, and in the evenings, the area is taken over by chess players. Time flies in Neskuchny, especially if the weather is fine and you're having fun.
Inside the park, there is one of the world's famous mineralogical museums — the Fersman Museum of Minerals. Its address is 18 Leninsky Prospekt, Bldg. 2 and its administration's telephone numbers are 954-1859 and 954-3900. The museum is open daily, except Monday and Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum's collections include over 135,000 exhibits from all over the world — crystals, precious stones, meteorites and artworks of ancient and modern craftsmen.
Another interesting feature of Neskuchny Sad is its ‘Vesyolaya Arena' (‘Merry Arena') circus, tel. 954-7275. Tickets cost 40 rubles. Currently showing is the ‘French Gypsies' program with acrobats, clowns, bears, horses, dogs and monkeys. The program runs 135 min.
Not far from the circus, there is a horse stable. It is open daily, except Monday, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., tel. 958-5255, and offers horseback riding for 250 rubles per hour.
In addition to being a popular place for strolling and entertainment, Neskuchny Sad has become a hangout for the city's teenager association of Tolkienists — fans of famous British writer J.R.R. Tolkien. They turned part of the park into ‘Eglador,' the fancy world featured in Tolkien's novels, and organize real knight tournaments there - though using wooden swords. They chose Neskuchny for one simple reason — it is the only forest-park in the center of Moscow.
Going down Pushkinskaya Nab. from Neskuchny, you can quickly reach Gorky Park. On the way, you can visit the Green Theater and climb the fancily decorated Novoandreyevsky bridge.
If car exhaust and factory smoke are doing your lungs damage, take a stroll in the clean, relaxing atmosphere of Neskuchny Sad. Literally translated as ‘Non-boring Garden
, this lush of green is also a great place for romantic walks. Around its shady groves, beautiful flowerbeds and pedestrian alleys are comfortable benches where you can take a rest and cuddle. Established in the 1840s by a merger of the estates of Russia's three famous noble families, Golitsyn, Demidov and Trubetskoi, the place has lived up to its name.