Pavilion No. 55. Museum of Optical Illusions
The Museum of Optical Illusions is part of the Friends of VDNH loyalty programme. For now, you can only buy tickets online.
The pavilion is managed by the Roscongress Foundation. It is a socially-oriented non-profit development institution and major organiser of various international conventions, as well as exhibitions and business, public, sporting and cultural events.
Its partners for Pavilion No. 55 projects include LEGO Education Russia and CIS, Big Creative Company and the Moscow City Government.
Big Creative is a company known for providing the most extraordinary entertainment around the world. The VDNH Pavilion No. 55 is where you will find Big Creative's family-friendly edutainment museums.
- Take a talk around the Upside-Down City and have a snack at a café with floating tables.
- Visit the Museum of Illusions to become the main character of a 3D blockbuster and escape from the walking dead or take a walk on the roofs of the New York skyscrapers.
- Find out how giants live at the Giant's House. Try a game of chess where the pieces are as tall as you!
- Explore the Maze of Horror and walk a mile in a horror movie character's shoes. Let's see if you can escape the clutches of creepy monsters and ghosts!
- Or how about the Mirror Maze? Experience the infinite dance of reflections and try to find your way out of endless rooms and optical traps. Just like Alice when she went through the looking glass!
- There's the Ribbon Maze, too: a step into a rainbow. This is the world's only maze that has been built out of colourful ribbons, over 50 km long in total.
- The Glass Maze, with its see-through corridors, looks like the realm of the Snow Queen.
- And the Museum Inside a Human will take you deep within the human body. You will peek into a giant stomach or find out why people sneeze. School kids adore this museum, because the tours around it are immensely fun.
- The Jailbreak quest will make you feel like the Prisoner of Azkaban, clawing his way to freedom. Can you find all the secret trap doors?
- If all these adventures have made you a tad overexcited, blow off some steam at the Smash the Dishes attraction. Don't be shy! Go on and smash 3 bottles against a wall!
- With peace of mind thus restored, leap into the world's only swimming pool where you cannot drown. It's an experience like no other!
Big Creative's museums at VDNH are the perfect venues for a birthday party you will never forget, a kindergarten graduation or a school prom. And, of course, even the most ordinary day will give you cause to celebrate if you visit any Big Creative museum. That's the key secret!
Date of Construction, Architect
The pavilion was built in 1939. It was redesigned in 1967 by L. I. Braslavsky.
Before 1959: Animal Husbandry.
All-purpose interactive venue for conventions, exhibitions and entertainment events.
During the 1930s, the site of the modern Pavilion No. 55 was occupied by another building, erected especially for exhibiting the nation's achievements in one of the most vital branches of agriculture: animal husbandry. That pavilion was designed by the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition's Architectural Workshop. It was laconic, spacious and snow-white in colour. Before the Exhibition of 1939, the entrance was decorated with a bas-relief by P. A. Balandin.
After World War Two, as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition was undergoing reconstruction, the pavilion's central segment (facing the Square of Mechanisation) was disassembled to make room for an ornate antechamber. Architects P. P. Revyakin, A. I. Ignatyev, A. M. Gromov and V. P. Tukanov designed a brand new main façade in the Stalin eclecticism style. The wall behind the collonade was painted a saturated orange, creating a rich contrast against the lavish stucco and the majestic white pillars, crowned with sculptured caps and an impressive ornamental cornice. The sculpted elements included haut-reliefs of animal heads, as well as plant motifs representing various types of fodder. A tall wall above the cornice, bearing sculptures of livestock farmers, completed the composition. The pavilion owed all of this splendour to the brilliant sculptors G. I. Ozolina, N. A. Kashin and G. E. Arapov. At the back of the building, rose a monument arcade facing the square. Its show ring was lined with pavilions representing different subsets of animal husbandry.
In 1967, as the nation was getting ready for an epic-scale expo in honour of the October Revolution's 50th anniversary, the building underwent another dramatic overhaul. The entire pavilion, except for two side walls of the 1954 structure, was completely taken apart. The building's sunken back was replaced with a spacious exhibition hall, and the lofty portico gave way to a new, modernist façade out of glass and concrete.
History of Expositions
Up until 1956, Pavilion No. 55 was dedicated to achievements in animal husbandry, the latest livestock- and poultry-rearing systems, best practices and key aspects of the sector's development. Later on, as the All-Union Industrial Exhibition began to share a venue with the Agricultural Exhibition, this building was converted into the Machine Tool Building exposition, which was eventually absorbed by the Mechanical Engineering section.
In 1959, the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition was renamed to VDNH of the USSR; Pavilion No. 55 received a new name as well—Electrification—with content to match.