The park first opened in 1939 as an agricultural exhibition center, built to show off the achievements of Soviet farming to the urban population. It quickly became very popular, but it was closed during the Great Patriotic War. In the 1950s work started again on a more ambitious scale: it became a huge fantasy park celebrating the many diverse cultures of the Soviet Union’s sixteen Republics and the life of its people - the industries where they worked and the agriculture that put food on their plates. It attracted visitors from all over the Soviet Union, and became a hugely popular meeting place for Muscovites of all ages.
Over the decades new pavilions were added, and many were redesigned, and the result is an eclectic mixture of Stalinist neo-Gothic buildings with golden spires, neoclassical gateways and startling modernist constructions from the 1960s and 1970s, huge statues, elaborate fountains and themed pavilions in a wide range of exotic styles.
In the 1990s, this grand Soviet project went through hard times and a lot of the pavilions fell into disrepair, but in recent years it has been restored to its former grandeur. New attractions have also been added, bringing this historic park into the 21st century without destroying its unique atmosphere.
In our program:
- You will explore the park - a real open-air architecture museum: dozens of unique pavilions, monuments and attractions, the Vostok rocket and the Buran Space Shuttle, the famous Fountain of the Friendship of Peoples, with its 16 larger than life golden statues, and much much more.
- You will hear fascinating stories about the designers and the construction process, and how the park has changed over the decades - a process that is still continuing.
There are a number of possible routes around the park - the exact route will depend on the time of year and your tastes. At the end of the tour you will have time to explore some of the park’s exhibits and attractions - the unique Buran space shuttle, the Virtual Reality entertainment center, the Oceanarium, and the historic pavilions, or relax in one of the many cafes.