The City Park
The City Park is situated in the eastern part of the city, along the Shkolnaya Street, next to the bridge across the Pissa River. Until the start of the 20th century, a part of the park was the old city cemetery, which was divided into some sectors like Catholic cemetery, Lutheran cemetery, and Judaic cemetery. There was a special area set aside for the graves of those who had served at the Gumbinnen Garrison. The place of honour in the cemetery was given over, in August 1914, to the Russian and German soldiers who died in the Battle of Gumbinnen.
At the start of the 20th century, the city bought the swampy flood-lands by the river and drained them so that they could be used for sporting events. First of all, four tennis courts were established. In the 1930s, an open swimming pool was added. In the late 1960s, this land was transformed into the City Park of Culture and Rest, with other attractions added. The park remained popular well into the 1980s.
In the new century after a major public effort organised by the city administration, the Park’s renaissance began. In 2005, the craftsmen of the Gusev Kuznechny Dvor gifted the city with a 7-metre-high scale model of the Eiffel Tower made by them under the tutelage of Sergei Filippov. In 2010, the E.M. Popov Sports and Health Complex opened its doors for city residents and visitors, and, once again, the park became one of the city’s favourite places to relax. Nowadays, the City Park continues to be improved: modern children’s playgrounds and sports arenas, a boating lake and walking and cycle paths are being developed there.