We can define the All-Russia exhibition center as a large international trade fair center in Russia. This vast center underwent lots of change and unfortunate shifts in its history. Besides the principal purpose which is the business exhibition center, the All-Russia exhibition center is one of the historical sites of the city that many structures inside it went under state protection. It’s also a large recreational center for Muscovites and tourists since it has a large park inside its territory.
The All-Russia Exhibition Center locates at the northeast part of Moscow inside Ostankinsky District. There are over 200 structures, three parks such as Moscow Botanical Garden, Ostankino Park and the amusement park that serves as one giant park in recent years in the 300-hectare exhibition area.
The first thoughts about this exhibition area lighted up in the 1930s when the Soviet government decided to establish a place for all Soviet Union to display their development and progress in the agricultural industry. It was decided that the exhibition locates inside the Ostankino Park. More than two thousand artists, architects, and sculptors joined together to build this enormous exhibition center in 1939. A 136-hectare wasteland at the northeast part of Moscow appointed to be the host of the exhibition center. More than 250 structures including 20 palaces, 32 industrial pavilions, one greenhouse, a vast park, and several squares constructed, so that each region in the Soviet Union had a specific pavilion for itself. The exhibition center became an excellent recreational place for Muscovites and tourists. During its first 85 days, more than 3.5 million people visited the place. The first phase of the exhibition center operated until the beginning days of the Second World War.
After the Second World War, the Soviet government decided to restore the exhibition center but this time as the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy of the Soviet Union. The exhibition center area volume increased to 207 hectares, and several symbolic fountains including the Stone Flower, the Friendship of Peoples, and the Spikes constructed inside the exhibition center territory. Most of the structures went under restoration, and a 5-kilometer highway with electronic bus constructed too. The main entrance also became a triumphal arch. The exhibition center managers decided to start another huge restoration in the exhibition in 1963 during which several modern structures added to the center. It was during these days that the exhibition center became an all year round place.
The only state award that the center of the exhibition rewarded was the Red Banner in 1971. The “We are the Soviet People” full-screen spectacle created on the 60th anniversary of Soviet’s birth in the central pavilion which was the new way of the Soviet government to influence on people both emotionally and psychologically. There were lots of politics and economic changes were coming in the 80s, though the conditions were getting worse each day, the exhibition center continued to work perfectly. While everyone was waiting for a huge change, the exhibition center created a fun and entertaining place for Soviet people.
The exhibition center lost its state economic support in 1988, and they had to rent several pavilions to cover their expenses. During this process, several structures damaged or changed. This era which was known as “All-Russia kebab house” is one of the darkest periods of the exhibition center history.
The All-Russia Exhibition Center transformed into the stock company "VVC" in 1992, and until 2000 all of its pavilions changed or turned into warehouses and restaurants. The only part of the exhibition center that remained untouched during these dark times was the amusement park which was the central recreational place for Muscovites. Overcome all of these events, the exhibition center was able to save 49 of its pavilion in 1993 and declared it under state protection, and in the next year, they were able to add 39 more.
During the first decade of the 21st century, the exhibition center was shown some positive development. The rental plans suspended, and several parts of the exhibition center went under reconstruction. The new exhibition area established, and the exhibition center reached the necessary level to become an international exhibition center. However, the thoughts of losing the historical part of the center still hunt the managers' mind since more than 30 percent of the exhibition center were still worked under private investors’ administration.
The genuine rebirth of the exhibition center was in the second decade of the 21st century when the president of Russian Federation at the time, V. Putin transferred the state’s right of the exhibition to the Moscow’s government. This decision was made while the exhibition center was getting more and more private. Back then, the exhibition center was more like a giant shopping center rather than a trade fair. Several pavilions got back from the private holders and went under restoration immediately. Currently, the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy is active in three different topics including the museum, the exhibition and recreational.
As we mentioned before, the vast exhibition center area is not only occupied by exhibitions. There are several museums such as agriculture museum, industrial development museum, and others. For example, the bees’ museum which has information about bees, the history of breeding development, and the honey-making progress. There's also the Fashion museum which studies the method of fashion and fashion designing in Russia from 1940 till now.
Besides the amusement park, there are several recreational and sports events held in the exhibition center area throughout the year. For example, during the summer, there are yoga, football, and swimming classes, plus other fun activities took place in the park. There are also free ski-run and skating classes during the winter too. This part and events in the park are quite popular, especially among Muscovites and locals.
There are also several festivals and concerts taken place in the park because of the vast available area in the exhibition center.
This place is one of those places that you would not regret if you visit it during your travel to Moscow. We recommended that if you have enough free time in your Moscow tour plan, check this place out because it can be one of the highlights of your travel to Russia.