All-Russia Exhibition Centre

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

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

The "All-Russia Exhibition Centre" is a state joint-stock company, officially abbreviated as GAO "VVC", which stands for "Gosudarstvennoye Aktsionernoye Obshchestvo 'Vserossiyskiy Vystavochny Centr'".

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


1935-1939 construction

This section is based on Soviet public documents, available in Russian at

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 materialize, and three weeks before the deadline 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 criticized 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:

  • Statue of Stalin which stood in the front of the space pavilion until 1948

  • Pavilion of Leningrad

  • Pavilion of Azerbaijan

  • Pavilion of Georgia

  • Pavilion of Georgia, columns

  • Pavilion of Armenia, portal

  • Pavilion of Kyrgyzstan

  • Pavilion of Belarus

  • Pavilion of Uzbekistan

  • Pavilion of Karelia

  • Pavilion of Ukraine

  • Pavilion of North Caucasus

  • Pavilion of Turkmenistan

  • Pavilion of Armenia

  • Pavilion of Kazakhstan

  • the stone flower fountain

1948-1959 renovation

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.

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 organizations 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

In 1992, VDNKh was renamed, receiving its current name VVC. It occupies 2,375,000 square metres of which 266,000 square metres are used for indoor exhibits. The territory of VVC 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, 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 term "VDNKh" is still in use, including the name of a nearby subway station.

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

  • The Propylaea - the central gate entrance

  • Central Pavilion

  • Fountain "Friendship of Nations"

  • the Golden Spike fountain in the Botanic Garden pools 1954 - in the background the space pavilion

  • Fountain and area

  • Central avenue

  • Moscow-850 Ferris wheel

  • the Pavilion of Atomic energy

  • tractor driver and sovkhoz woman statue

  • the old entrance gate to the exhibition center

  • the fountains at the entrance boulvards

  • statue of Michurin in Michurin's garden

  • Cirkorama theatre

  • the central pavilion in 1937 near the tower and "The tractor driver and the wife of the Suabahuz statue" on the top before removing to the central gate

  • the entrance to the roller coaster

  • the statue of "Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt, for the 45 years of the victory of Nazi Germany".

The site

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 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 restord 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 6 gates and today can be rent a car or bicycles that can be used to travel around the site.

Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference and removed a media
    about 6 years ago via