Friday, October 16, 2015

Back to the USSR

If, like certain world leaders, you are nostalgic for the days of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a good way in Moscow to get a feel for what things were like then is to visit the All Russian Exhibition Centre at the VDNKh Metro stop in the northern part of the city.

It was originally called the Exhibit of the Achievements of the People's Economy and is an enormous park with many interesting features such as a fountain with gilded statues of women representing all the former republics of the union. Its avenues are wide in typical Soviet fashion, and a statue of Lenin greets you on arrival. The entrance gate resembles a smaller version of one of Stalin's seven Gothic towers. In Soviet times, everything seemed to be designed to remind the individual that he was small and the state was all-important.

There are exhibit buildings named for each of the Republics and attractions that appeal to families, such as a large Ferris wheel and various games for kids. You can dine at a nice restaurant, or enjoy a meal or a drink at a beer garden near the Ferris wheel. Admission to the park is free, but there are small charges to ride the Ferris wheel and for certain exhibits.

On a day when the weather is pleasant and you want to enjoy some green space in this very busy city, the Centre could be a good outing with that "Back to the Future" feel. In the distance here is the exhibition hall named for the Karelian Republic, the region north of St. Petersburg that borders Finland. Sorry about the different size of the pictures--I'm not sure how to enlarge the photo above to give you a better idea of the overwhelming nature of the park's entrance.


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