Sokolkini

Artyom Geodakyan/TASS
Sokolniki is a massive park in the north-east of Moscow. This was all wild forests in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Tsars Ivan the Terrible and Aleksey Mikhailovich went falconing here. But wild nature was pushed out with every passing century: the thickets were cut down, clearings and vistas were carved until, by the 1930s, Sokolniki became a real "park for culture and recreation," in the parlance of the time, which it has remained to this day. You can stroll for hours amid the old vistas and ponds, overgrown with rosehip, and never meet another human being. There is a "quiet zone" in the park, where visitors are asked to turn off their cell phones, their music, and generally try to not make a sound. The amusements and facilities at Sokolniki include a children's "Science Innopark," astronomical observatory, calligraphy museum, rock-climbing wall, go-cart track, bike and segway rental, Pioneer summer cinema, some dance-floors and numerous cafés, scattered across the whole park. They make a skating rink in the park in winter, and build artificial sandy beaches in summer.