VDNKH, Exterior

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English / USA Language: English / USA

I recommend that you start your visit by going through the main entrance, unmistakably marked by a magnificent five-bay triumphal arch, topped with a large golden statue of a tractor driver next to a farmer, symbols of the Russian economy.

Before going through to the park, you will immediately notice a sort of futuristic obelisk, 100 meters tall and truly extraordinary: this is the monument dedicated to Russian astronauts and represents the contrail from a launched rocket, visible at the top of the structure.

There are busts of famous Russian astronauts around it and in front is a monument dedicated to Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, a leading Russian scientist in the field of astronautics. The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is at the base.

Nearby, there is an enormous 24-meter sculpture which is one of the most famous symbols of Russia in the world: "Worker and Kolkhoz Woman"

A kolkhoz was a form of collective farm that was widespread in Russia in the days of the Soviet Union.

The statue was made in 1937 for the Soviet pavilion of the Paris Expo by a famous Russian sculptor: Vera Mukhina. It was meant to symbolize the union of the two most important branches of the country's economy: agriculture and industry. The worker raises a hammer, while the farmer holds a sickle, both symbols of socialism.

When it was brought back to Russia after the Expo, it was placed in front of the entrance to the VDNKh, but was only installed on its 35-meter-high pedestal in 2010 after careful restoration, adding to its grandeur and making it visible to all.

If you walk a little further on, you can't miss the imposing outline of the largest hotel in Russia that was built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Hotel Cosmos, with 1,777 rooms.

 

 

An interesting fact: when the statue by Vera Mukhina was placed in front of the VDNKh on a pedestal much lower than the high pavilion on which it stood in Paris, the artist was very offended, claiming that it detracted from the work’s beauty. To make up for it, in 1947 she produced a smaller version of the sculpture that became the symbol of the most important Russian film company: Mosfilm Studios.

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