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Celebrations for All-Russian Exhibition Centre's birthday

The All-Russian Exhibition Centre in Moscow is marking its 68th anniversary. It's one of the capital's top tourist attractions, and a place for locals to get away from bustling city life.

A large musical and water performance called the 'Dancing Fountains' as well as a laser show and a pop concert took place during the festivities.

VVC, the All Russian Exhibition centre, was created to look like a small version of the Russian map.

But even from the beginning, the centre was anything but miniature. The park is 136 hectares of land, with streets, parks and lakes, to make visitors feel like they're taking a walk through the Soviet Union.

In 1939 the exhibition centre, then called the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition, opened it's doors to the public.

It was a success from the start. In its first three months alone, the centre attracted more than 3,5 MLN visitors.

'Friendship of Nations' fountain at the VVC
'Friendship of Nations' fountain at the VVC

During World War Two the centre became more than just a tourist spot. Closing its doors as an exhibition, it became a state farm providing food for the Red Army and Moscow residents.

It reopened to the public in 1954, on its 15th anniversary.

Several years later, the centre was renamed the exhibition of economic achievements.

It saw the completion of one of Moscow's most famous fountains, called the 'Friendship of Nations', an impressive display of young women in national costumes representing all the republics of the Soviet Union.

In 1992, by order of the president, the centre was renamed a third and final time to the VVC.

But no matter what you call it, the centre's gained a place in the heart of Muscovites as a place to relax and spend their free time.