Russian abbreviation VDNH means «Exhibition of National Economy Achievements». Recently it was renamed the All-Russian Exhibition Center. It is a very large complex containing exhibition halls, rest area, and a giant trade center. The center is a «must» for Moscow guests. As for Muscovites, they enjoy spending their time there.
The unique ensemble of the exhibition area had been forming for several decades. The first All-Union Agricultural Exhibition was opened in Ostankino on the 1st of August, 1939. The exhibition occupied 136 hectares and looked like a town with a large park, ponds, numerous pavilions and agricultural constructions. It included 250 large and small buildings. The wide alley was conjoining the main entrance and the main pavilion. Close to it there was a 52-meters tower with a 13-meters statue depicting the tractor operator and collective farmer holding the wheat sheaf above their heads. The sculpture became the symbol of the exhibition. The exhibition was a very successful one. From the 1st of August till the 25th of October, 1939 over 3,5 million people visited it.
From 1941 till 1954 the exhibition was closed, and in 1954 it was reconstructed. The territory of the exhibition complex was enlarged, the number of buildings increased to 383, and the new entrance on the territory on the complex was conveniently conjoined with the metro station. The new octagonal square near the main pavilion completed the exhibition complex ensemble. The new square was connected with Mechanization Square by two fountains — «The People's Friendship» and «The Stone Flower». The pavilions that were put up in those times were notable for their pomposity.
The All-Union Exhibition of National Economy Achievements that took place in 1958 combined the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition, the Industrial Exhibition, and Construction Exhibition.
In 1960s-1980s the exhibition complex was considered to be unique and grandiose. It presented all the scientific and industrial achievements of the USSR. It was impossible to see all the exhibitions and fairs during one day. The total length of all the VDNH alleys equaled 65 kilometers, and visitors had to take special excursion buses to travel around the exhibition complex. In summer the exhibition territory was turning into the giant garden with various attractions, the dancing verandah, the Green Theater, and two summer cinema halls. In winters the guests were entertained by horse riding. Near the Northern entrance the famous sculpture «Worker and Female Collective Farmer» by V. Mukhina was placed. The sculpture was made in Paris in 1937.
In 1989 the exhibition hall got the status of All-Union, and since 1992 it is called the All-Russian Exhibition Center. Nowadays it successfully combines commercial and educational goals. Some pavilions are rented by trade companies.
The All-Russian Exhibition Center is the most popular exhibition and fair complex of the country presenting the economical, scientific, and cultural achievements of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
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