VDNKh today is a huge entertainment complex, an open-air museum and a large Moscow park for walking and outdoor activities. The exhibition is considered one of the most popular places in Moscow. From 20 to 30 million people visit it annually.
Address Prospekt Mira, 119, Moscow
By metro: Metro station "VDNKh"
By bus, station "VDNKh": buses № М9, Т13, 15, 33, 56, 76, 85, 93, 136, 154, 172, 195, 244, 266, 311, 378, 379, 496, 533, 544, 834, 803, 903, Н6
By tram, station "VDNKh": trams № 11, 17, 25
By trolleybus, station "VDNKh": trolleybuses № 14, 36, 73, 76
The exhibition was opened on August 1, 1939. The opening ceremony was attended by 10 thousand people, including prominent leaders of the party and government of the Soviet Union.In the first 85 days of the exhibition, over 3.5 million people visited it. The exhibition continued to function almost unchanged until the German invasion of the USSR.
The Great Patriotic War adjusted the fate of the exhibition. On July 1, 1941, according to the decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, the exhibition was closed.
On October 25, 1948, the Council of Ministers decided to revive the exhibition by 1950. In fact, the reconstruction did not take two years, as expected, but six. The opening took place only in 1954.
By 1954, the territory was increased to 207 hectares. Several fountains appeared Friendship of Peoples, Stone Flower and Kolos (architect Topuridze). A five-kilometer highway with trolleybus traffic was built.
The agricultural exhibition, the purpose of which was to convince the USSR population of the success of collective farms, was an exhibition of consumer goods, originally addressed not so much to Muscovites as to US Vice President Richard Nixon, who was to open the American exhibition in Moscow. The pavilions, organized by geography, had to be urgently redone into industry ones.
Country leadership decided to turn the Volga pavilion, built by architect Chaltykyan in 1937, into Radio Electronics. Later, other geographical pavilions were renamed on a production basis. Belarus became "Electrical Engineering", Lithuania - "Chemistry", Latvia - "Physics", Moldova - "Standards", Kazakhstan - "Metallurgy", Armenia - "Health", Ukraine - "Agriculture".
In 1967, to the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution, the pavilion "Consumer Goods" was built.In the same year, the Gas Industry pavilion appeared, containing an obvious reference to the famous Le Corbusier's masterpiece - the Ronshan Chapel. The most noticeable addition to the modernist part of the Exhibition was the huge pavilion of the USSR brought from the 1967 Montreal exhibition and mounted on the territory added to the Exhibition.
The beginning of the nineties of the XX century is a difficult period for Russia. The collapse of the USSR, the formation of the Russian Federation and the Commonwealth of Independent States, internal political confrontation and systemic crisis.
By 1994 almost all expositions were closed in the exhibition pavilions. Then only an amusement park remained an untouched place, where you could at least somehow spend your leisure time. Other places of the Exhibition turned into a clothing market and barbecue cafes.
Despite the barbaric use of the pavilions and the cessation of full-fledged exhibition work, the exhibition managed to preserve most of its unique architectural complex.
The revival of VDNKh began in late 2013, when Russian President Vladimir Putin handed over a unique exhibition complex to the Moscow Government. The project to revive the country's main exhibition was led by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
In the spring of 2014, emergency work was conducted at VDNKh in the pavilions, tons of garbage were removed, illegally erected buildings and tents were eliminated, illegal trade was prohibited.
In 2015, new spaces were opened - "the Moskvarium" Center for Oceanography and Marine Biology, "Russia - My History" historical park, "the City Farm" entertainment and educational center, and others.
In 2017, the second stage of revival began at VDNKh - a large-scale reconstruction and landscaping. In the period from 2016 to 2018, 11 objects of cultural heritage were restored at VDNKh.
In the summer of 2018, large-scale works on landscaping the Central Alley were completed, the restored complex of 14 fountains in octagonal bowls lined with red granite started working again here. All work was carried out in a strict accordance with the 1954 project.
The layout of the complex, created by the architect Vyacheslav Oltorzhevsky, carried a symbolic and mystical character. The architect decided to build the real center of the universe. And on the general plan of the initial exhibition, you can see the Orthodox cross. The Mechanization Square in the center of the cross is a miniature solar system, around which nine pavilion planets are located. And the monument to Lenin that was not installed here was supposed to symbolize the Sun.
The sculpture "Worker and Kolkhoz Woman" was originally planned to be installed in Rybinsk. However, the triumph of sculpture at the Paris exhibition in 1935 made it clear: it should be in Moscow.
Golden female sculptures surrounding “Friendship of the Peoples” fountain symbolize the republics that were part of the Soviet Union.The number of them is 16 sculptures, while the republics themselves, as many know, were 15. This is explained by the fact that during the creation of the fountain there was also the Karelian-Finnish Republic which was subsequently transformed into autonomy.
This attraction has retained its identity for several decades. Previously, there were two amusement parks - on the right and left of the main entrance. Now the amusement park is located only on the left.
The fountain is a landmark building and one of the symbols of Moscow. It was built in 1954 and is a sculpture of 16 girls, symbolizing 16 union republics of the USSR.
The cinema is located at the southern entrance of VDNKh. This is a unique place where viewers can watch movies with a 360-degree view. It is hard to believe that the cinema was created in 1959 and modernized in 1966.
In 1964, the monument “To Conquerors of Space” appeared, and in 1981 at the base of the monument the museum of cosmonautics was opened.