There is no better place to feel the Soviet spirit than at VDNKh, which stands for Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy. Built in 1939, it was designed as the main showcase of the socialist economy and lifestyle.
Purpose of VDNKh
VDHKh is an essential part of the most impressive sights in Moscow. This monumental place of Soviet period appeared when the country was preparing for the all-Union Agricultural Exhibition. More than 3.5 million Soviet workers were supposed to arrive in Moscow, so exhibition demanded the same grandiose place. Finally, the whole exhibition town with an area of 136 hectares was built.
One of the main aims was to build as soon as possible the pavilions in order to demonstrate to foreign guests Soviet force and achievements. Because of the fast rhythm of development, workers ceased to pay attention to what they planted and everything was planted in one row, that led to impenetrable forest instead of beautiful and tropical oasis.
Exhibition complex was formed on the periphery of the city. Originally, it was a gipsy area, and it took 5 years to displace them. It was necessary to cut down the forest and to fill swamps. After that complicated work, the complex turned out to be giant, for which it was named «a state within a state».
According to the legend, the exhibition center was even provided with additional metro station ‘Beskudnikovsky’ for the transportation of exhibits.
The Structure of VDNKh
The design of the complex is mystical symbol, inherited from the chief architect of the project Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky.
The architects decided to build the center of Universe. On the General plan initial VDNKh clearly discerned the Orthodox cross. The center of cross is reflected in the Mechanization Square, that in the same time was the center of Universe. The architect thought of every detail to make pavilions resemble the Saturn’s rings and the Earth with the Moon. The monument of Lenin used to symbolize the Sun.
However, the government did not support that plan, so chief architect was exiled without the allowance to complete the project.
Interesting Facts about VDNKh
No bomb fell on the territory of the complex during the Great Patriotic War.
Today 70% of the structures on the exhibition are considered to be obsolete.
The place of the rocket before 1951 was occupied by impressive statue of Stalin (25 meters!), which once was one of the main symbols of the all-Union Agricultural exhibition in 1939. When the cult of personality was debunked, the statue was buried on the territory of the VDHKH.
There is a bunker under the house of friendship of peoples, that preserved from the Soviet era. Thу bunker can comprise 300 people, who can live there for 2 days. On the surface of the bunker leads underground passage that ends under the Lenin sculpture, installed in front of the pavilion. This is the reason why the sculpture is still standing on its place.
So, if you are on this side of the globe – don’t miss a chance to see the Soviet Versailles!
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