VDNKh....the famous All-Russia Exhibition Centre. The magnet for any fan of the Soviet legacy and a great place to spend your free time. The sanctuary of the communist symbolism.
View Larger Map
Recently I decided to revisit that place and post another article on the subject. I did this because VDNKh is constantly changing and improving. You can say that All-Russia Exhibition Centre is a one, big living organism, and even if you did manage to capture it once, it's still going to change a lot with every coming year.
It was a very nice Summer day, so me and my wife had a lot of fun walking around. You know, each time I'm there, I can't help comparing VeVeTse (the modern name of the place that didn't really catch) to the ruins of the Roman empire. All those huge pavilions, rich ornaments and mosaics....and yes, there is life among the ruins, but it more looks like they are populated by pygmies who have no idea they are sitting on the remnants of a once mighty empire.
One of the pygmies loading his carriage with the loot
In my opinion, the place needs a serious restoration, plus I think we need to remove most of the shops from there. There's too much trade going on, and that's a pity because VDNKh was not built for it. It was created to stun, to show the world the achievements of the Soviet people, not to be another shopping mall.
However, with all its problems, the Exhibition Centre always manages to surprise us. There are all kinds of exhibitions going on during the Summer, and my wife just loves the flower shows that take place there from time to time.
The day we went there, for example, we stumbled upon a sand sculpture portraying Romulus and Remus fed by a she-wolf. If I'm not mistaken, the same is portrayed on the crest of Rome. I can honestly say that the sculpture was something completely unexpected, but it was one of those pleasant surprises the place is known for. Turned out this thing was dedicated to the so-called "Year of Italy" in Russia. Well, you can never know...
The wolf looks like the twins caught her completely off-guard
Later on, when we were passing the old Yak-42 jet right near the space rocket (pavilion #32), we noticed it was colored differently. When we got closer, we saw that the plane is covered with a high-quality painting dedicated to Soviet victory in World War II. That was no less expected than Romulus and Remus sculpture, but I must say that painting brought some charm to that Soviet veteran of the skies.
The repainted Yak-42
By the way, couple of years ago there was also Tu-154 plane on that square, but it was torn down. It was a real tragedy, some of the old people even cried. No one knows the exact reason why it was done, but the administration explained that the plane was so old it became dangerous keeping it in a public place. Well, that's a valid reason for sure, but I guess those guys never heard about something called "renovation"...
When we left the plane behind us, we walked around until we saw the "meat industry" pavilion. I immediately joked there was no reason having the Year of Italy because we've already got all that Roman style right on VDNKh. I mean, look at the picture. Do you know anything that looks more imperial and Roman than that? I don't think so...
The meat pavillon (that doesn't sound right...)
The All-Russia Exhibition Center also has botanic gardens right next to it. In fact, those are not simple gardens, but the gardens where the legendary Soviet breeder Ivan Michurin created his famous sorts of apples. One of them, "Antonovka", is widely available these days, and every Russian with dacha will almost surely have an apple tree of that sort right in their garden.
Despite their name is very similar to my own, I'm not a big fan of "Antonovka" apples. To be honest, I'm not a big fans of apples at all. However, I don't have even the smallest doubt that Michurin totally deserves his fame.
The famous Michurin apples
Plus, don't forget that today we're spoiled with the fruits of globalization - we probably have a dozen or more sorts of apples available to us in every decent retail store. This was not the case back in 1920s, when the USSR has just emerged from the revolution and there was hunger and scarcity all around.
After we grew a little bit tired of all that walking around VDNKh there was another surprise waiting for us - the cycle rickshaw. Wow! I mean, could you believe you can meat one right in the middle of Moscow? I guess these days everything is possible...
I feel like I'm in Hong Kong!
And look at the design. The first thought I had was that Paris Hilton came to town. All those flowers and pink color....Can it be that Elvis has returned, together with his pink Cadillac??
If you aren't so keen on slave labor, you can also ride a nice train like the one shown on the picture below. If that's also not good enough for you, wait some time and a small bus will arrive to pick you up.
Prepare your tickets!
Overall, VDNKh has improved since last time I wrote about it. Despite all the problems, this place is steadily evolving towards its ultimate form - the true All-Russia exhibition centre. I'm sure that one day, the people will not come there to buy stuff but to marvel upon the achievements of our country. Ahh, sweet dreams...;) But hey, jokes aside - I really suggest you to pay a visit there, especially on Summer.
...and especially if you're a fan of all that Soviet things they love to show in Hollywood movies.
- Seven Sisters in Moscow - The Seven Stalin's Skyscrapers
- Gorky Park in Moscow - Summer 2011
- Alexander Garden in Moscow
- Moscow International Business Center - The Wonders of Moscow-City
- Moscow Sparrow Hills (AKA Vorobyovy Gory)
- Worker and Kolkhoz Woman Monument
- Gagarin Statue in Moscow - Take Time to Visit Yuri Gagarin's Monument!
- Pushkin Statue in Moscow - Let's Visit Pushkin Monument!
- Peter the Great Statue - one of the most known Moscow monuments
- Moscow monuments - the list of best monuments in Moscow
- Novodevichy Convent - The Tales Of Novodevichy Monastery
- Victory Day in Russia
- Victory Day in Russia 2009. City of Chekhov, Moscow region.
- VDNH - a great place to stroll!