Gagarin Central Park
As a result of a five year plan set in the 1930’s, Chelyabinsk experienced industrial growth. In addition to this, during WWII Stalin moved parts of the Soviet production factory here. Evidence of this industrial past is still shows today. However, in contrast to the busy surroundings, this is complimented with many parks and green spaces across the city. The most important of these is Gagarin Central Park, a large recreational space located in the heart of the city. The park gets its name from Yuri Gagarin, the soviet cosmonaut, and the first person to enter space.
An Urban Retreat
The twelve hectare park is a vibrant space full of forest walks, lakes, and a combination of rugged, natural grounds and landscaped gardens. As you enter the main park gates you are greeted by an avenue which runs the length of the park through the centre. Residents enjoy this city retreat on a daily basis whether it is for strolling through the park, jogging, biking, roller blading or even horse riding. It is the ideal place to lay down your blanket and enjoy a family picnic.
More than just a Park
The parks boating pond is also a great place to feed the ducks. On one side of the park is Shershnevskoe water reservoir, a favourite amongst bathers in the summer. In winter, part of the park is transformed into a winter paradise frequented by skiers. There is a summer stage for holding various events, and a show ground with rides and amusements for those who are brave enough. Surrounding the park are other recreational facilities including the Traktor Ice Hockey Stadium and the Central Football Stadium. You will find the city zoo on the edge of Gagarin, a great attraction for children.
Although it is easy to forget that you are surrounded by industry, there are small reminders within the park boundaries. Throughout the park there are several quarries that were primarily used to extract granite, which are possible to explore.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Chelyabinsk is located on the north-east corner of the park, offering stunning views over its lakes and forest. It also places you centrally to other attractions and business areas.