Russian President Putin visits new Moscow park to celebrate capital’s anniversary

MOSCOW (AP) – With a visit from President Vladimir Putin, Moscow inaugurated an innovative 13-hectare park that mimics features of Russia’s landscape on a land where a notoriously unsightly hotel once sprawled.

The Zaryadye Park’s opening Saturday came as part of observances commemorating Moscow’s 870th anniversary.

The park includes artificial micro-climate areas with plants representing Russia’s steppes, tundra, wetlands and forests.

The site, 200 metres east of the Kremlin along the Moscow River, once held the immense Rossiya Hotel, a 1960s Soviet hulk that once was the world’s largest hotel with 3,000 rooms.

The new park was designed by American architecture practice Diller Scofidio and Renfro, which called the park’s concept “wild urbanism.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin visit the Zaryadye Park in Moscow, Russia on September 9. – AP