Samarans call this place a “helicopter pad” or “vertolyotka.” It really was one many years ago. The office helicopter of Nikolai Kuznetsov, the Soviet aircraft and rocket engineer, two-time Hero of Socialist Labour, used to land here. Transferred to Samara (then named Kuibyshev) from Ufa in 1949, Kuznetsov was put in charge of the National Experimental Factory No. 2 in Upravlenchesky near Kuibyshev. The enterprise would later be renamed the Nikolai Kuznetsov Samara Science and Technology Complex in honour of the legendary rocket scientist. Vertolyotka was given its present look in the early 2000s, when the pad was paved with slabs, some trees were planted and benches built around it. There is a café, a small pond and parking by the “helicopter pad.” Vertolyotka offers an unforgettable view of the Volga. It is customary among local couples to propose here.
The panoramic view from here takes in the Volga, its right bank and embankment. In summer you can observe the “singing” fountain by the CSK VVS swimming pool from here, or watch the boats sailing up and down the Volga. This observation deck was not here until quite recently: November 2015. It was built as part of the landscaping and improvements on the slope at Ploshchad Slavy. The deck is accessed by stairs with safety railings. There is also a ramp for wheelchair access.
- Ploshchad Slavy
Yet another place offering a great view of the Volga expanse and beyond is the boat-shaped stele on the fourth tier of the embankment. The twenty-meter ferroconcrete sailboat, designed by Samara architects Anatoly Yankin and Igor Galakhov, was built for Samara’s 400th anniversary. It is now one of the symbols of Samara. The plaza in front of the stele is the customary ground of town festivals, youth events and sports competitions.
- Embankment, line 4