VDNKh (Russia)

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Coordinates: 55°49′47″N 37°37′56″E / 55.82972°N 37.63222°E / 55.82972; 37.63222

The main entrance to VDNKh

VDNKh (in 1992–2014 All-Russia Exhibition Centre (Russian: Всероссийский выставочный центр, also called also "All-Russian Exhibition Center")) is a permanent general-purpose trade show in Moscow, Russia.

The acronym VDNKh stands for Russian vystavka dostizheniy narodnogo khozyaystva, or the Exhibition of Achievements of the People's Economy in English. It is a state joint-stock company.

VDNKh is a member of exhibition associations: IUEF (since 1991) and UFI (since 1997).

History[edit]

1935–1939 construction[edit]

This section is based on Soviet public documents, available in Russian at www.bcxb.ru

The exhibition was established February 17, 1935 as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV) (Russian: Всесоюзная Сельско-Хозяйственная Выставка Vsesoyuznaya Selsko-Khozyaystvennaya Vystavka). An existing site (then known as Ostankino Park, a country territory recently incorporated into the city limits), was approved in August 1935. The master plan by Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky was approved in April 1936, and the first show season was announced to begin in July 1937.

However, plans did not materialise, and three weeks before the deadline Joseph Stalin personally postponed the exhibition by one year (to August 1938). It seemed that this time everything would be ready on time, but again the builders failed to complete their work, and regional authorities failed to select and deliver proper exhibits. Some pavilions and the 1937 entrance gates by Oltarzhevsky were torn down to be replaced with more appropriate structures (most pavilions were criticised 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 Commissar for Agriculture and his staff, and eventually released in 1943. Later, he worked on the 1947-1953 Moscow skyscraper project.

As a result, in August 1938 Nikita Khrushchev, speaking at the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union assembly, declared that the site is not ready, and the opening was extended to August 1939. It opened indeed August 1, 1939, and worked in 8AM - 11PM mode until October 25 (40,000 daily attendance). 1940 and 1941 seasons followed; after the German invasion, July 1, 1941 the exhibition was closed - until the end of World War II.

1939 pavilions, as presented in 1950 album and today:

1948–1959 renovation[edit]

In October, 1948 the State ordered to renew the Exhibition, starting with the 1950 season. Again, the opening was postponed more than once; the first post-war season opened in 1954 (still as Agricultural exhibition). In 1956 season the planners set aside an Industrial area within the main territory; more restructuring and rebuilding followed. In 1959 the park was renamed Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy (Russian: Выставка Достижений Народного Хозяйства Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnovo Khozyaystva) or ВДНХ/VDNKh.

Space pavilion, 1980

By 1989 the exhibition had 82 pavilions with the exhibition area of 700,000 square metres. Each pavilion (including the 1939 "regions") had been dedicated to a particular industry or a field: the Engineering Pavilion (1954), the Space Pavilion (1966), the Atomic Energy Pavilion (1954), the People's Education Pavilion (1954), the Radioelectronics Pavilion (1958), the Soviet Culture Pavilion (1964).

During the Soviet times, each year VDNKh hosted more than 300 national and international exhibitions and many conferences, seminars and meetings of scientists and industry professionals. These events attracted about 11 million visitors annually, including 600,000 guests from outside the Soviet Union. The "Radioelectronics" exhibition hall for some years housed the working (and unique) prototypes of the most advanced ES EVM computers to date, which were time-shared by many research organisations right on the premises.

The most memorable feature of the exhibition site was the statue Worker and Kolkhoz Woman (Rabochiy i Kolkhoznitsa), featuring the gigantic figures of a man and woman holding together the famous "hammer and sickle". The sculpture, which reaches 25 meters toward the sky, was created by Vera Mukhina and originally crowned the 35-meter-tall Soviet pavilion at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937). The statue was featured on a logo of Mosfilm, Russia's largest movie studio.

Present day[edit]

Space Pavilion. The Tupolev Tu-154 (reg. no. SSSR-85005, prod. no. 70M005, 1970 year of production, Model 005) in front of the pavilion was dismantled on September 14, 2008. This Tupolev Tu-154 was used as a flight testbed.

In 1992, VDNKh was renamed, receiving the new acronym VVC, which remained in use until 2014. It occupies 2,375,000 square metres of which 266,000 square metres are used for indoor exhibits. The territory of VDNKh 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 (see 2006 photographs of what's left). It was slated to be refurbished and installed on the top of the new pavilion by 2008,[1] but funding shortages lead to dragged-out restoration. It was finally reerected in December 2009, now standing atop of a large constructivist pavilion, apparently recreating the original exhibition pavilion from the 1937 World's Fair in Paris that it was designed for.

The center "VDNKh" (or VVTs) still works including the name of a nearby subway station and some sights:

  • pavilions
  • fountains
  • a luna-park
  • Cosmonautics museum
  • and even a rocket

On 14 May 2014 the previous name VDNKh was restored, following an interactive poll.[2]

Currently, the larger international exhibitions are mostly held at the new facilities of Moscow Expo Center.

The site[edit]

The Expo 67 Soviet pavilion was disassembled after that fair closed, and moved to Moscow to become the All-Russia Exhibition Centre - today "Moscow pavilion".

The exhibition center was rebuilt by the vision of Joseph Stalin to create a cultural center by a Soviet city figure that glorify the ideology of communism and socialism. The place that was selected was Moscow's northern suburb called "Ostankino". The main planner was the architect Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky who was planning a central avenue with fountains with small roads and at the end of the avenue a big square facing the central pavilion. A statue of Vladimir Lenin used to stand in the front of the pavilion. In the central square there is a big fountain called "the friendship of people fountain" which was created to glorify the people of the Soviet Union pending later there is another fountain that called "stone flower fountain" facing the "Ukraine Pavilion". Later there is another little square facing the Space Pavilion which in the center of the square standing a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft, placed there in the 1960s after the pavilion of "agricultural machinery" become the "space pavilion". A big statue of Joseph Stalin stood in the square until 1948. This had previously stood on the banks of the Moskva River in the center of the city. the square is called "the Industrial Square".

The northern area of the site is a common area between the exhibition center and the botanic garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences nearby and in it an agricultural pavilions and estate Pools vegetation with the "Michurin's Garden" and the "golden spike fountain". All the fountains in the center are covered with gold. There are also many statues scattered on site and especially statues of the leaders of the Soviet Union. In addition in the site there are also cinemas, cafe houses, theatre pavilions and also a church built after the fall of the Soviet Union.

In the southern area of the site near the central entrance there is an Amusement Park with the Moscow-850 Ferris wheel, built in 2004 as part of Moscow's 850th anniversary celebrations. also built the restored pavilion of the soviet pavilion that was on Expo 67 that was in 1967 in Montreal and become the "Moscow pavilion". All the pavilions and the fountains were planned by Soviet architects and the fountains were designed by Soviet artists. All designed in Stalinist architecture, some pavilions were built in wedding cake style like the "central pavilion" that was famous in the communist states in that time.

In 2008 the "big constructivist pavilion" was built as a replica of the original Soviet pavilion of 1937 Expo that stood opposite the Nazi pavilion. In 2009 the renovated Statue of Worker and Kolkhoz Woman was erected on top of that building.

In 1954 building the gates with the central entrance gate and the "tractor driver and sovkhoz woman" statue that was stood near the central pavilion in the 1930s. To the center exhibitions there are six gates and today can be rent a car or bicycles that can be used to travel around the site.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""Рабочий и колхозница". Сложная судьба эталона соцреализма". РИА НОВОСТИ. 2007-04-11. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  2. ^ ВВЦ в Москве возвращено историческое название ВДНХ (in Russian). Interfax. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 

External links[edit]