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Yusupov Garden - the Cradle of Soviet Figure Skating

The garden on the site, granted by Emperor Peter the Great to Prince Yusupov, appeared here even before one of the Yusupov Palaces. It was a modest park with two alleys, ponds and a flower garden. In the late XVIII century, when the Yusupov Palace was already built and even rebuilt on Sadovaya, the park was expanded. Here appeared a huge pond with fish with golden rings on the fins, bulk hills, grotto, marble sculptures and gazebos. The greenhouse at the garden yielded harvests of watermelons, pineapples and various berries. The yield was so high that even announcements of the wholesale of these delicacies were published in newspapers. Ordinary people were allowed to visit the garden on certain days.

In 1810 the Yusupovs sold the estate to the treasury, and the Garden passed into the possession of the Institute of the Corps of Railroad Engineers. Half a century later, Alexander II ordered to open part of the Garden to the public, and carried out large-scale reconstruction prior to that. The ponds with islands in the southern part of the park were connected by bridges, a boat station was built and fountains were installed. Later, a shooting gallery and other attractions appeared there. In 1865, the Garden leased a yacht club, and in winter one could go downhill skating and build snow fortresses here. Twenty years later, the Yusupov Garden was fully owned by the Society of Skating Fans, and a figure skating school was opened here. This sport was in good progress here, so in the late XIX century the Yusupov Garden started to host national figure skating championships, and in 1924 there was held the first Soviet Figure Skating Championship. The first Olympic champion from Russia, Nikolay Panin-Kolomenkin, studied in this school. In the Soviet era, the Yusupov Garden was called "Children's Park", where a monument to Lenin was installed. In 1989, the Garden was given back its historical name, and the monument was removed. Like 200 years ago, the Yusupov Garden currently belongs to the educational institution - the University of Railway Communications.

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