Northern River Boat Station

Marina Lystseva/TASS
The Northern River Boat Station was built on the bank of the Khimki Reservoir in 1937, concurrently with the Moscow Canal, before the reservoir was filled with water. The shape of this Stalin's Empire building resembles a ship, decorated with a majolica mural, a hammer and sickle encrusted with semiprecious stones from the Urals, a chiming clock, a gorgeous staircase, and a high spire, the tip of which bears the star from the Moscow Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower, moved here in 1937. The spire can be raised or lowered, signifying the beginning and end of the navigation season, respectively. But the mechanism that manipulates the spire has only been used a few times in history. The "North" and "South" fountains at the sides of the building are a reminder of Moscow's two riverboat stations: the Northern and Southern ones. Boats from the Northern Station sail to Saint Petersburg, Astrakhan and Rostov-on-Don. Small cruise boats, the so-called "river trams," also dock here. They sail up and down the Moscow Canal, putting in at Bay of Joy, a popular picnic spot. Adjacent to the Northern River Boat Station is a large park that covers both sides of the Leningradskoye Shosse (Leningradskoye Highway). It is a great place for biking and rollerblading in summer. There are some rides for kids, too. The park next to the Northern River Boat Station is one of Moscow's spots where official fireworks are set off in the evening on major holidays.