Gagarin Statue in Moscow
Gagarin statue in Moscow is one of the less known Moscow monuments, and that is a pity, really. Well, I can understand why it's less popular - mainly because it's located outside of Moscow center.
You won't see Gagarin's monument somewhere near the Kremlin - you will have to travel quite far to get to it, and that's something I could never understand.
I mean, here it is, the statue of probably the most known Russian in history - and you just put it away, as far as the 3rd transport ring? Come on!
The only thing that can justify Russian bureaucrats at least to some extent is the fact that a whole town in Moscow region was called after Yuri Gagarin. In fact, it was the place where he was born. Well, I can't say that's nothing, but it's only really a start. In short, I think that Moscow should have paid more tribute to Gagarin then just installing his statue in the outskirts of the city!
(by Dieter Karner)
While the monument is quite far from the usual tourist routes, I hope you'll find some time to visit Yuri Gagarin statue. I'm not trying to diminish the accomplishments of other nations, but Yuri Gagarin was the pioneer, the man who risked his life to pave our way to the stars.
I remember I saw a piece of old Soviet TV program that showed the celebration that took place in Moscow after Yuri Gagarin successfully made it to Earth's orbit. Unlike the "official" demonstrations held on dates like May, 1st, that one was not planned. In fact, it was one of those rare moments when people became genuinely proud for their country.
Yes, we were proud. Forget the Cold War and all the hostilities - on that day, I think it was safe to say the mankind was united. Another such celebration I believe took place only on July 21st, 1969, when American astronauts landed on Moon.
Since then there weren't many reasons to celebrate. The space programs slowly died away, and now we estimate to return to Moon's surface somewhere around 2020, which I doubt will happen. Well, who knows? Maybe one day the spirit of our past achievements will come back?
But let's get back to Gagarin statue. I'm not sure about its height, but it's surely huge. Just recently I've seen on TV about how the monument was made - and I must say I was amazed.
The statue itself is made from stainless steel, just like the monument of Worker and Kolkhoz woman on VDNH. While it consists of blocks, creating Gagarin's face was still a very complicated task because of its huge size and weight (300 kilograms if the memory serves, more than 660 pounds!)
It was also complicated because the objects of such size are rarely casted in metal, so the architects had quite a few problems to deal with. Well, I can honestly say that they've done their job well.
in Alley of Cosmonauts, VDNH
(by Vladimir OKC)
Look at the monument closely. It symbolizes the might of the humankind, the daring strength of our fathers. Do you see that Gagarin is actually taking off, like a space rocket? Do you feel all that willpower and might in his figure?
Just like with Pushkin statue, there are at least two Gagarin monuments in Moscow and much more in Russia. The second Moscow monument is located in the Cosmonauts alley, but it's really only a small obelisk.
A much better Gagarin statue is located in his hometown called Gagarin (the one that was named after him). Too bad there's nothing more to see there...
You know, every time I pass by this or other space-dedicated Moscow monuments, I feel slightly guilty. I feel guilty because we failed to stand to our fathers and grandfathers dreams. In 1960s people believed that by 2000, the flight to the Moon will be as comfortable and affordable as a trip to a nearby town. What would they say if they saw what has become of us?
They believed there will be no wars, poverty and hunger - and look at our world today. I think the only things that really made some progress are computers and communications, but we could achieve so much more!
But I don't fall into despair. Yes, we might have changed our ways in the past - but that means we can do so again in the future! Who knows, maybe my son will take me on a trip to see Gagarin statue on Mars or Jupiter some day?
...better buy him a piggy bank!
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