Chistye Prudy (lit. Clean Ponds) is a beautiful recreation zone in the center of Moscow, in the middle of Chistoprudny Boulevard. It’s a favorite place for many Muscovites — there is even a song with the same name dedicated to it.
Although the place is called “Clean Ponds”, there is actually only one big pond there. Wondering what happened to the rest of them? Well, they have gone underground over time. After all, the place has a long history that dates back to the 17th century. Interestingly, at that time the ponds were actually dirty, not clean, because of the garbage thrown into them. It was later, in the 18th century, that Prince Menshikov had the ponds cleaned and gave them the current name.
Today the place is like an oasis of nature, calm and peaceful, in the heart of a busy city. You can sit on a bench and look at the water and the beautiful flowerbeds, and feed ducks and pigeons that literally eat out of your hand. There is also a variety of cafes and restaurants nearby, including the one on water.
Active visitors can hire a boat or a bike.
At night, the park is beautifully illuminated, and in winter the pond turns into one big skating rink.
Chystye Prudy are highly recommended for those who want a “spiritual” break from the craziness of the mega city while staying in its center within easy reach of other major sites and public transportation.