I discovered the art public park near Sakharov Center on Moscow’s Garden Ring (not far away from Zemlyanoy Val street) more than two years ago, quite soon after my visit to Berlin. Ever since it’s been one of my favorite places in town to take a break and relax. One may pass it by easily, and not pay any attention because it’s situated in quite a noisy district where traffic is intense, even on a weekend. Surprisingly, when you step down here, to a bench, you feel the noise is distant, and it’s peaceful here.
This place is significant in many ways. First of all, its closeness to Sakharov Center makes it a little bit melancholy, because here people think over exhibitions which take place in this unique museum dedicated to political prisoners, Alexander Sakharov’s life, and other important things, which are very crucial for the current cultural and social world scene. Second, as an addition to the aforesaid, here I found the Berlin wall piece given to Moscow by Checkpoint Charlie Museum in 1990 – it’s decorated with metal butterflies who fly to freedom. Third, in 2004, the ‘Pierced Pegasus’ monument was opened here – it’s the tribute to Russian intellectuals who suffered from totalitarianism.
When evening falls, the area is illuminated with modern streetlights. But personally I’m fond of the squared clock which also becomes a lantern once it’s dark outside. Many people sit here, having a snack, or just talking. In my opinion, it’s romantic and sad at the same time.