I like to ride my bike in the middle of the metropolis, through Sokolniki and the Losiny Ostrov National Park where you might even spot some elks, until I reach the VDNKh All-Russia Exhibition Center. Following Joseph Stalin’s vision of a cultural center by a Soviet city, this center was built to glorify the ideology of communism. Its huge terrain encompasses an “ideal village,” an “experimental garden,” and many grandiose-looking pavilions fashioned from plywood (like this Parthenon for the meat industry), thus encapsulating the metaphysical charm of a city that cannot exist. The resulting incongruous blend lends the site a sense of absurdity that, in my opinion, represents the soul of the Russian capital­.

The VDNKh All-Russia Exhibition Center; photo by Ekaterina Kraftsova
The VDNKh All-Russia Exhibition Center; photo by Ekaterina Kraftsova

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