a monument to the conquerors of space

The Monument to the Conquerors of Space (Монумент «Покорителям космоса») from the Alley of the Cosmonauts near VDNKh, north Moscow.

See that random vignette and the weird reddish tint? That’s no Photoshop or “iNostalgia” iPhone app! That’s the genuine article – a crappy Soviet camera and terrible post-Soviet film doing what it does best – taking photos of Communist monuments.


1. Under the monument is a space museum that contains a stuffed replica (or the real thing, I can’t remember) of the first dog in space. It’s been reconstructed now, but when I went there, I was the only visitor and was shown around by an elderly lady of the battleaxe type. I cried when I saw the dog, and she was so moved that she let me take a photo with my cheap Russian camera.

2. The monument has a poem etched on it, which in the immediately post-Soviet aftermath reminded me a bit of “Ozymandias”:

И наши тем награждены усилья,
Что поборов бесправие и тьму,
Мы отковали пламенные крылья



И веку своему!

“And these are the rewards for our efforts,

That we, triumphing over lawlessness and darkness,

Forged flaming wings

For our country

And our century!”

(Look on my works, ye mighty and despair!/ Nothing beside remains)