Moscow’s VDNKh is both a park and an open-air museum. The acronym stands for Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva (Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) and it comprises:
- a luna-park
- Cosmonautics museum
- a rocket and even a Buran spaceсraft
- The center of oceanography and marine biology “Moskvarium”: 80 aquariums, 8000 species of sea creatures from all over the world including 500 species of fishes, killer whales, three meter sharks, dolphins and Russian sturgeon.
During winter, VDNKh converts into a main Skating Rink with a total area of 60,000 square metres (645,835 sq ft) and the ice surface of more than 20,000 square metres (215,278 sq ft), with a capacity of 4,500 people that can use the rink at the same time. It’s the biggest skating rink in Russia and Europe.
What you see pictured above is an older spacecraft: the Vostok rocket, still proudly sporting the USSR (CCCP in Cyrillic) acronym in bright red letters on the side. To understand the historic importance of this rocket suffice to say that the first human spaceflight in history was accomplished on this spacecraft on April 12, 1961, by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
The park also offers a website fully translated into English with a list of all exhibitions, events and sightseeing tours in the VDNKh.