Garden Ring in Moscow

Garden Ring (Russian: Садовое кольцо) is a circular arterial system of streets in the center of Moscow. Length – 15.6 km, width – 60-70 m. The Ring consists of seventeen individually named streets and fifteen squares.

The Garden Ring is a direct descendant of the Skorodom and Earth Rampart fortifications, respectively. Said fortifications were erected in the reign of Feodor I of Russia after a disastrous raid by Ğazı II Giray (1591). Although Boris Godunov, then the de facto regent of Russia, was able to prevent Crimean Tatars from taking the city north of Moskva River, he anticipated future raids and arranged construction of another ring of defenses.

At its narrowest point, Krymsky Bridge, the Ring has six lanes. After finishing reconstruction, all sections of the Ring will not have more than 10 lanes. In 2018, more than 50 % of sections of the Garden Ring are reconstructed, including Zubovskaya square, which was the widest section, there were about 18 lanes before. The Ring emerged in the 1820s, replacing fortifications, in the form of ramparts, that were no longer of military value.

In the 1930s, in accordance with Kaganovich’s plan to redevelop Moscow, the Garden Ring was connected and paved. The section from Sadovo-Zemlyannaya Street to Vosstaniya Square was reconstructed and paved in 1936.

New bridges were thrown across the Moscow River – the Crimean and Bolshoy Krasnokholmsky bridges. In 1936-1937, line B trams were replaced by trolleybuses. Fully ring traffic was organized only in 1963.

In 1941, powerful defensive fortifications and centers of resistance were erected in some sections of the Garden Ring. On July 17, 1944, after the defeat of German troops in Belarus, a march of German prisoners of war passed along the Garden Ring.

After the war, the reconstruction of the Garden Ring resumed on an even larger scale. In 1948-1954 three of the seven Stalinist skyscrapers were erected on the Garden Ring (the Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the Residential Building on Kudrinskaya Square and the High-Rise Building on Red Gate Square).

In the early 1950s, the Moscow Metro’s Circle Line was built, the southern part of which (from the Kurskaya station to the Park Kultury station) passed under the Garden Ring. Since the 1960s, the streets have gradually turned into avenues with tunnels, interchanges, overpasses and underpasses in the busiest places – on Krymskaya, Samotechnaya, Taganskaya, Dobryninskaya, Oktyabrskaya squares, Mayakovskaya (Triumfalnaya) square and at the intersection with Kalinin Avenue (New Arbat Avenue).

Metro stations

The first stage of the Koltsevaya metro line runs along the Garden Ring, and there are exits to the Garden Ring from six of the twelve stations of this line, as well as from some stations of the radial lines.

Clockwise (from Tverskaya Street):

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