This once has been the showpiece of the Soviet achievements, but nowadays it's just a huge marketplace where you can buy all kinds of goods.
Initially built in the 1930s and expanded in the 50s and 60s it consists of different pavillions which were dedicated either to a Soviet Republic or an economical sector. If you're interested in architecture, these pavillions are well worth looking at.
After the fall of the Soviet Union it the exhibition ground was turned into a commercial centre.
In 1961 the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first person to fly into space.
A 100 m high titanium Space Obelisk which is topped by a rocket commemorates this event. The Soviet style Obelisk was unveiled in 1964.
The Space Obelisk can be found just south of the VVT grounds (Metro: VDNKh).
The All-Russia Exhibition Centre was formerly known under its Soviet title: Exhibition of Economic Achievements (VDNKh).
Under the Soviets the area used to be a display of the achievements of Socialism including Stalinist architecture.
Nowadays the area is used as a large recreation park with a funfair. In the the former exhibition pavillions all kinds of shops and stalls can be found.
The VVT is located north of the city centre in the suburb Ostankino. The nearest metro stop is VDNKh (orange line).
The main entrance is a triumphal archway surmounted by towering statues of a tractor driver and a farm girl brandishing sheaves of wheat, which sets the scale for the avenue of fountains that leads to a Lenin statue and the Central Pavilion
The VDNKh's genesis was the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV) of 1939. This display of the fruits of Socialism and showpiece of Stalinist monumental art was intended to open two years earlier, but was delayed by the purging of many of its leading participants.
The exhibition was so successful that it was revived on a permanent basis in 1954, with some eighty pavilions spread over 578 acres.
Gradually, Western goods started appearing and the Soviet pavilions lost whatever conviction they might once have possessed. Shorn of ideological pretensions, it has now been renamed the All-Russia Exhibition Centre (VVTs) - but everyone continues to call it the VDNKh.
Conceived as a cross between World Fair and Theme Park, with monuments to Soviet science, fountains, amusement-park rides and national pavilions for all the republics of the USSR, the former Exhibition of the Achievements of the People's Economy has been denuded of most of its original exhibits and filled with goods for sale
This Space obelisk statue is in a similar vein to the Uri Gagarin statue. This one can be found at the USSR Economic Achievements Exhibition which is commonly abbreviated in Russian to VDNKh.
VDNKh is the country's largest museum, and is a huge park containing pavilions, aircraft and rockets amongst other things. I like the grandiose sculptures that were created in the Soviet era as I feel they have a certain style to them, even if a lot of them appear to be created for a megalomaniac!
This little museum is situated in one of the pavillions of VDNKh (straight down from the main entrance). It features things from all over Russia and you can dress yourself in ethnic clothes and photograph yourself.
Entry fee in 2005: 40 Roubles
I have always been fascinated by the space race, so it was really exciting seeing the Cosmonaut museum in Moscow. The building is a magnificent piece of architecture recreating Vostok 1's launch into the stratosphere. Inside I have to admit I was disappointed by the small size of the museum, although the displays, models and memorabilia are very good, there is nothing in English, except for one short badly dubbed documentary. Still, a must see for a space enthusiast
The All Russian Exhibition Centre (VVC) was opened in 1959 and was originally opened to display exhibitions about all the Soviet states (Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan etc).
Today, it is the largest and most frequently visited place in Moscow.
The website is only in Russian but I've linked to the photos page so you can see what the place is like at it's best.
If you are going to the VDNKh / VVT then go to the Space Musuem. Its only 20 rubles to get in and you can wear a replica of Iuri Gagarin's space suit - which is a laugh for about 2 minutes!
Its a very basic and small musuem - everything is in Russian and don't go expecting amazing multi-media stuff (like the London Science Musuem), but if you understand a smattering of Russian or are extremely knowledgeable about the Soviet Space programme then knock yourself out and visit the place.
VDNKh or the All Russia Exhibition Centre is worth a visit for it's homage to economic & scientific accomplishments of the former Soviet Union. The displays represent different fields such as space, eduction, agriculture, technology etc. with outsized monuments depicting idealized Soviet Comrades. Some of the pavilions are now closed & others have been turned into kiosks or shops, but nevertheless still interesting. The picture taken is of a relief on the side of the Space Obelisk which stands outside VDNKh metro station.
In early 30-s (of XX c) an agricultural exhibition appered on this territory. Later agricultural subject-matter was replaced with general exhibition concerning all industries. Abbreviation VDNKh means - Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy.
But one can still see agricultural subjects in architecture and sculpture.
This fontain is called - "Freindship of Nations" and those women in folk dresses symbolize all republics of the USSR. Many of you knows that after the WWII there were 15 republics, but there are 16 figures! 16-th is Karjalo-Finnish SSR that was dissolved in years. There was an old joke: "Why there is no more Karjalo-Finnish SSR? Because there are only 2 Finns left there - FINancial inspector and FINkelstein. But more thorough investigation found out that those 2 appeared to be the same man." ;-))
This is a massive park built by Krushchev, I believe, in order to wow Nixon on his official state visit to Russia of the technological prowess of the Soviets.
The space museum is there with a huge 100-metre high statue with a rocket on the end of it. I tried to climb it but slid off all the time!
The park had various Soviet rockets and airplanes and has beautiful gardens with fountains. Loads of people hang out there and it is easy to just chat to people and make friends with Russians. There are market stalls selling souvenirs too.
This is another classic examples of Soviet architecture from the 30s-50s period. The present Exhibition Complex is the former Exhibition of National Economic Achievements (ie VDNKh).
The monument "Worker & Collective-farm Woman" standing in front of the main entrance is one that expressed the once Soviet ideal.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the 2 fountains "Friendship of the Peoples" & "Stone Flower".
Why? 'coz I only caught a glimpse of this place from my hotel window!!! We were staying around its vicinity, at the Cosmos!!! ;-)
Stalin has entrusted building of the All-Union agricultural exhibition to architect Vyacheslav Konstantinovichu Oltorzhevsky. It is curious that nobody knows, why for the exhibition centre the form of nine planets of Solar system has been chosen. It was the general layout. The central square carried the name «Area of mechanisation» and was "Sun", and other planets have settled down round it in the form of nine pavilions.
Unfortunately Oltorzhevsky couldn't realize all plans and ideas. Him have arrested for the unknown reasons and have banished in camp near Vorkuta.
After arrest Oltorzhevsky the construction plan has cardinally changed. For example, from the Mechanization area Lenin's statue has been cleaned, and instead of Stalin's sculpture the fountain of Friendship of the People is put.
Quite probably that among Joseph Stalin's confidants there were the people having access to occult, esoteric knowledge. That they have convinced Stalin to construct a huge cult complex which somehow could increase the party power. That such difficult system worked, all its parts should be ideally coordinated.
These can explain, why in ВДНХ there are no sculptures of leaders of proletariat. They broke an order of an arrangement of cult elements. Can be the first architect have ousted because it interfered with ground plans and much changed. It is interesting, what would happen with Soviet Union if building went according to the primary general layout?
All-Russian Exhibition Centre is a permanent general-purpose trade show in Moscow, Russia.
The exhibition was established February 17, 1935 as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV) (Vsesoyuznaya Selsko-Khozyaystvennaya Vystavka). Existing site was approved in August, 1935. Master plan by Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky was approved in April, 1936, and the first show season was announced to begin in July, 1937.
However, the plans didn't materialize, and 3 weeks before the deadline Stalin personally postponed the exhibition by one year (to August 1938). It seemed that this time everything will be ready on time, and again the builders failed to complete their work, and regional authorities failed to select and deliver proper exhibits. Some pavillions and the 1937 entrance gates by Oltarzhevsky were torn down to be replaced with more appropriate structures (most pavillions were criticized for having no windows). According to Oltarzhevsky's original plan, all of the pavilions were to be constructed from wood. In 1938, a government commission examined the construction and decided that it did not suit the ideological direction of the moment. The exhibition was considered too modest and too temporary. Oltarzhevsky was arrested, together with the Comissar for Agriculture and his staff, and eventually released in 1943. Later, he worked on the 1947-1953 Moscow skyscraper project.
In 1992, VDNKh was renamed, receiving its current name VVC. It occupies 2,375,000 square metres of which 266,000 square metres are used for indoor exhibits. The territory of VVC is greater than that of the Principality of Monaco and has approximately 400 buildings. Inadequate maintenance of Vera Mukhina's statue caused such disrepair that the statue was disassembled