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 +7 (985) 690-95-16

Cosmos pavilion

The most interesting building at VDNKh is the Cosmos pavilion, which is one of the achievements of Soviet architecture. It is located in the depths of the park: it takes about twenty minutes from the main entrance but it is definitely worth it.

The building of the pavilion was built in the last peaceful years before the beginning of the Second World War. At that time, space flights still had no history; initially the pavilion was built to show tractors and combines. After the war, the building was enlarged and a huge dome (which seemed to me similar to the dome of a giant church) was attached to it. It has become the Cosmos pavilion since 1967, six years after the first man’s flight into space — the beloved Soviet hero Yuri Gagarin.

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed; together with it, the Cosmos pavilion at VDNKh ceased to exist. Here were the first rave-party; then they opened a shopping centre. Only in 2016, stalls were removed from the pavilion. The Moscow authorities recreated the Cosmos pavilion in 2018; President Putin was present at its opening.

Earlier, I visited the “Museum of Cosmonautics”, which is located near VDNKh. On the Internet, I found information about this museum as a place in which the history of space exploration is presented. What was my surprise when in the Cosmos pavilion at VDNKh I found another museum, the size of which and the exhibition even surpass the “Museum of Cosmonautics”. However, if the “Museum of Cosmonautics” is mentioned in all the references, crowds of foreign tourists flock here, then the Cosmos pavilion at VDNKh is still little known outside of Russia; during the visit, I was the only foreigner here.

The largest exhibit at the exhibition centre is the layout of the Kristall module of the Mir orbital station. Besides the module, there are a lot of interesting things. I was struck by the real moon rovers and even Mars rover. We were surprised by the famous space engines that Americans buy for their rockets from the Russians.

At the entrance to the pavilion, a real capsule, in which Yuri Gagarin descended to Earth from space, was installed. The body of the capsule was burned in the atmosphere; nevertheless, the entrails are still in the state in which they were more than half a century ago.

Under the dome, there is a huge mock-up of earth iridescent from the night darkness into the daylight. Looking at the earth, I felt as if I was seeing it from space, from the height of the orbital station. Nearby there are the devices in which you can feel in weightlessness, like the captain of a real spacecraft.

The gigantic dome creates a stunning impression. In the Soviet Union, the existence of God was denied and they preached godlessness. Instead of a Christian cross, a five-pointed star is gaping in the centre of the dome. Instead of quotations from the Gospel and statues of cherubs, the rim of the dome is decorated with the arms of the former Soviet Republics. Instead of the vaults of the temple, there are vaults of the museum. Nevertheless, the dome reminded me of the Christian churches, only in modern style.


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