VDNG in Kyiv
VDNG stands for National Economy Achievement Exhibition, or simply Exhibition, and it is known not only to residents of Holosiivskyi district where it resides, but virtually everyone in the city. Now it is the favorite vacation spot for many townspeople who like to return to nature or engage in recreational sports. It is very easy to get there – the central entrance is located near Vystavkovyy Tsentr metro station. The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR of 1949 assigned the foundation of the VDNG under the name of Republican Agricultural Exhibition. Construction of a huge complex began in 1952 on the site of a small suburban village called Krasny traktir (Red tavern) and lasted six years. The ceremonial opening of the Exhibition of the Latest Economic Achievements of Ukrainian SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic) took place in 1958. Throughout its existence the Exhibition has repeatedly changed its name: The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy, the Center of Exhibitions and Fairs of Ukraine, the National Exhibition Center of Ukraine and finally the National Complex Expocenter of Ukraine. By that name it is known up to the present. There are a great many pavilions in the Exhibition area, from the tiny to the enormous. The first pavilions were: Central, Machine-building and instrument making, Coalmining, oil and gas and metals industry, Power and electrification, Construction and building materials industry, Plastic and polymer materials, Agriculture, Grain and oil crops, Industrial crops, Animal husbandry, Vegetable growing, horticulture and viticulture, as well as pavilions of full-scale display of animal husbandry.
Later there appeared: Coal industry with a model producing mine, Periodic exhibitions, Mechanization and electrification in farming, Consumer goods, Marine wealth, Public education and Visual advocacy. Unfortunately, this impressive place had long been out of commercial use and fallen into disrepair – but a change of management in 2015 brought revitalisation. It was decided to transform the Exhibition into a recreation center. Now there is a pet zoo, a year-round ice rink, climbing, rope and swing parks, amusement arcades, outdoor recreation facilities, a swimming pool, and cycle paths. The complex hosts music festivals and various events and well-known TV shows and serials are shot here. Those who want a quiet life can walk along the shady parkways, listen to the twitter of birds and even look for mushrooms. But nobody forgets the VDNG’s major feature: Twice a year it puts on large agricultural exhibitions where everyone can buy products directly from the producers and farmers can buy animals and farm machinery. The VDNG is also worth visiting for its fantastic- looking central ensemble of pavilions.
This article was published in the book Interesting Kyiv.
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© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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