When autumn arrives and all the leaves turn yellow and orange a chill enters the air and you realize there’s only a couple of more weeks left before the big chill descends on Moscow.
Wrapped up warm against the chilly autumn wind I took the metro to VDNKH. From the metro station I passed the big cosmonaut monument and museum on my left.
All along the walkway approaching the exhibition centre I passed row upon row of little market stalls selling everything from scarves to cats.
The All-Russia Exhibition Centre is a permanent general-purpose trade show in Moscow, established on February 17, 1935. It is a huge market area with a big amusement park inside. When I reached the exhibition centre I entered through one of six enormous entrance gates. On top of this huge archway is a statue of a tractor driver and a farm girl brandishing sheaves of wheat.
The park is filled with tree lined lanes and pavilions. Each pavilion has been dedicated to a particular industry or a field. Outside on the walkway between pavilions I found hundreds of honey and mead sellers. I walked around tasting different kinds of honey and ended up buying a couple of different ones.
I was busy with an oil painting at home with Russia autumn as the theme so needed some autumn leaves that I planned on adding to the painting. I walked between the trees and picked up loads of beautiful orange and red coloured leaves for my project. I must admit that the people around me were all staring at me and a few even laughed and walked on.
For me the most beautiful part of the exhibition center was the Fountain of the Friendship of Peoples, with its golden gilded statues of maidens in the national costumes of the sixteen Soviet republics encircling a golden wheat sheaf. There is a huge fountain between the golden women and it’s definitely worth coming to the exhibition center just to see this!
All the pavilions and the fountains in the park 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.
At the far end of the avenue on Industry Square, there is – on April 12, 1961. It is suspended from an enormous crane. In front of it is a huge airplane painted red and depicting Russian soldiers on it.
To the left of the entrance there is an Amusement Park with the Moscow-850 Ferris wheel, built in 2004 as part of Moscow’s 850th anniversary celebrations. I am very scared of heights but on another visit I was convinced by a friend to join her on this Ferris wheel. I spent most of the trip holding on for dear life and trying not to look down!