Luzhkov Bridge in Moscow
Did you know there is Luzhkov Bridge in Moscow? Up until recently I didn't. In fact, after somebody told me about it, I couldn't stop laughing.
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You see, Muscovites call Moscow "Luzhkov-City" sometimes, because Yuri Luzhkov has been our mayor for many years. We also call Moscow "Baturinsk", as for Luzhkov's wife Elena Baturina that used to own one of Russia's biggest construction companies.
Later on, Luzhkov was fired by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and replaced with Sergey Sobianin, so I guess now we should call Moscow "Sobianinsk". However, the memory of the previous mayor is still strong, so the first thought that crossed my mind when I heard about the bridge was "they must be kidding".
Well, no, they were not kidding, Luzhkov Bridge does exist and it's one of the places you should definitely visit. However, its name is probably not connected to Moscow mayor. You see, long time ago the place was called "Tsaritsyn Lug" - "Tsaritsyn Meadow". Hence, "Lug" was transformed to "Luzhkov". Don't ask me how it works because Russian language is complicated.
Entrance to the bridge
It's easy to get to the place when you're coming from Tretyakovskaya metro station. Just follow Lavrushinsky Pereulok, and you will get straight to the bridge. Well, here you are. Now tell me, isn't it something?
Luzhkov Bridge is for pedestrians only, which is great because it means there will be no noisy cars around. The river you see is actually one of Moskva River's bypass channels, but it doesn't really matter if you ask me.
See those fountains that were placed right in the water? I remember I was so delighted to see them! After all, you have to admit you don't see such things in every city.
Kadashyovskaya Embankment as seen from the bridge
(note the fountains)
Everything is clean and tidy, and in the distance you can see beautiful historic houses that have those Western European looks. Say hello to Kadashyovskaya Embankment!
Unfortunately, those houses are not very real. Well, they are, but the problem is you are looking at the architectural copies. The originals were torn down gradually during the 90's, and the final blow was dealt by nobody else but Yuri Luzhkov himself.
View on Bolotnaya Embankment
He believed the old houses disrupted the view with their tacky facades, and it was much easier to rebuild them from scratch then to renew the original buildings. So, Moscow mayor was the one that put an end to one of Moscow's historic places.
When I think about it, I realize that all the jokes about Luzhkov-City and Luzhkov Bridge may not be far from the truth. Who knows, maybe Luzhkov did want to sort of immortalize his name by re-building the place? Those politicians, you never know what they are really up to...
Anyways, although the houses were rebuilt, they still look like the original ones, and they are surely no less beautiful. Plus, the view on Kadashyovskaya Embankment is not the only great thing about the bridge, so let's see what else it's got to propose.
See those metallic trees? They may look like a part of the design, but in fact many of the newlyweds come to the bridge to put a special "happiness lock" on one of those.
A "happiness tree" from up close.
In the beginning there was only one tree, but since the place for the locks ran out quickly, new trees were added. Now, there is a whole forest of those, spanning as far as Kadashyovskaya Embankment itself.
Seems strange? But that's how we Russians are, religious and superstitious at the same time. After all, fighting us wouldn't be so much fun if were predictable, right?
If you haven't been to Tretyakovskaya Gallery before and you still have some energy left, you can cross Luzhkov Bridge and get to Bolotnaya Square. That is the place that deserves its own special article, and I will write one for sure in the future.
So far, I should tell that Bolotnaya Square is a very nice place where you can walk around, take photos or rest on one of the benches. After you're done with the square, you have two options.
You can walk across the square past the fountain and get to Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge. Its name is translated as "Big Stone Bridge", and it probably can't get any simpler. Anyways, using that bridge you can cross Moskva River and get to the Kremlin through Alexander Garden.
Another option is to cross Bolotnaya Square in the opposite direction towards Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, cross it and get to Vasil'evskiy Spusk square which is right next to St. Basil Cathedral.
It may sound complicated, but in fact it's all very simple if you look at the map I attached above. Don't worry - with my help and with the help of Google, Moscow will tell you all its secrets.
See you on the bridge!
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