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Entries / Central Park of Culture and Recreation

Central Park of Culture and Recreation

Categories / City Topography/Green Areas/Parks

CENTRAL PARK OF CULTURE AND RECREATION was opened on Elagin Island in 1931 on the basis of a park which existed from the second half of the 18th century. The park was named after S. M. Kirov from 1934 until the beginning of the 1990s. The total area is 95 hectares. The island was covered with a waterlogged forest and was uninhabited. It had an indented coastline and was surrounded with islands and shoals before the foundation of St. Petersburg. Improvement work and drainage started in the 1760s. The coastline of the western part of the island was completely changed, two systems of ponds connected with canals were arranged (a northern and southern pond with a total area of 20 hectares, over the course of the next 60-70 years. The territory of the island was enlarged and surrounded with an embankment of up to two metres, made from the earth excavated during the construction of the canals and ponds. A series of alleys was also made. The vegetation was almost completely transformed. It is remarkable for its large variety of trees and bushes, including exotics. Plantations of deciduous species of various ages prevail (linden, maple, oak etc.). There are many conifers in the park (European fir and thorny fir, silver fir, larch, Weymouth pine and thuya). Banks of the ponds are surrounded by weeping willows and old trees of black alders are very picturesque. The landscape park was laid out in 1818-26 (architect K. I. Rossi). It was replanned at the beginning of the 1930s (architect E. I. Katonin was in charge of the project). There is a vast Maslyany meadow with the area 1.5 hectares in front of Elagin Palace. The main alley cuts almost the entire park from the east to the west, there are sculptures executed by sculptors E. V. Yanson-Manizer and M. G. Manizer along its axis. There is a granite terrace with sculptures of lions (1928, architect L. A. Ilyin, engineer B. D. Vasilyev) on the Western cape (the Point of Elagin Island). There are numerous pavilions in the park. The historical plan was partly restored in 1977-99.

References: Демидова Д. А. Центральный парк культуры и отдыха им. С. М. Кирова // Сады и парки Ленинграда. Л., 1981. С. 138-159.

G. А. Isachenko.

Ilyin Lev Alexandrovich
Katonin Evgeny Ivanovich
Kirov (real name Kostrikov) Sergey Mironovich
Manizer Matvey Genrikhovich
Rossi Carl Ivanovich (Carlo Giovanni)
Vasilyev Boris Dmitrievich
Yanson-Manizer Elena Alexandrovna

The subject Index
Elagin Palace