The unique structures will be built for City Day, which will be marked on 10 and 11 September this year. The arches will be installed on Pushkinskaya, Tverskaya, Manezh, Revolution and Novopushkinskaya squares.
The arches will be modelled after the historical entrance ensemble of the first post-war fair (1947). Each 14 metre high and 33 metre wide arch will have unique colour, lighting and colour bas-relief decorations made to individual designs.
The 50-tonne arches will be able to withstand strong winds of up to 30 metres per second. It took five teams of 50 construction workers each two weeks to assemble the arches.
“As Moscow’s economy and infrastructure gradually regained momentum after the war, it was decided to hold a Spring Bazaar in 1947. The fair was a huge success because it demonstrated the re-emergence of the light industry and also let people feel warm emotions after the wartime hardships. The decision to resume fairs accelerated the return of the city to normal life,” said Alexei Nemeryuk, Head of the Department of Trade and Services.
Nemeryuk said that fairs, as a form of public festivity, are also popular now. “The idea of installing the unique arches modelled after the historical post-war structures is important for continuity. It is part of our heritage,” Nemeryuk added.
The arches can later be used for the Travel to Christmas winter festival and other city events.
“These arches can be used for other purposes if we change the decorative elements. The ones on the arches now were vacuum moulded from plastic. So, different bas-relief panels can be attached, depending on the event. These arches can be installed with different ornamentation and at different sites for the Travel to Christmas winter festival,” the department head said.
The first post-war fair, Spring Bazaar, was held on Pushkinskaya Square in May 1947. The entrance arches were several metres high and were fretted and painted in a traditional Russian architectural style. Multi-coloured lamps decorated the arches at night, and powerful street lamps and floodlights lighted the fair grounds. Standing inside the arches were carts with sweetmeats and trading booths featuring such names as Moscow-Leningrad Department Store and Glavkhleb.
The fair was so successful that it was decided to hold the next one in September of the same year. It was held on Pushkinskaya Square to mark the 800th anniversary of Moscow. Spring themes were replaced with flags and bright lighting and crowned with fireworks on 7 September.
The capital had not seen such festivities for a hundred years: the previous time City Day was celebrated was in 1847. This explains the scale of the 1947celebrations. Some 1.7 million people were awarded with a special medal “In Commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow,” the construction of seven high-rise buildings was launched, to become the symbol of Moscow’s cityscape, and the ground-breaking ceremony was held for a monument to Moscow’s founder, Yuri Dolgoruky.
Tverskaya Street will be one of the main venues of City Day this year. It will feature a large exhibit on the Year of Russian Cinema. Familiar scenes from the films “Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future,” “They Met in Moscow,” “War and Peace,” “Circus,” “The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed,” “Walking the Streets of Moscow,” “The Pokrovsky Gate,” “Visitor from the Future,” “Night Watch” and “Hipsters” will be enacted at 10 venues from Kozitsky Pereulok to Manezh Square.
The festivities will include “objects of art” from popular films, re-enactments of familiar scenes with film character look-alikes , music performances with songs from films and music of that period, workshops and other events related to the films’ plots.