Nizhny Novgorod Fair Exhibition Complex

VladimirSmirnov/ TASS
Rozhdestvenskaya Ulitsa (Rozhdestvenskaya Street) leads to Kanavinsky Bridge, which will take you over to Strelka District where the Oka and Volga rivers merge together. At the end of the 19th century this was a city within a city, and home of the largest fair anywhere in the country or the world: the Nizhny Novgorod Fair. It was so important to Russia that Tsar Alexander I delayed reconstruction of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg in order to send the money to Nizhny Novgorod. The trade fair was called "the exchange of Europe and Asia." Prices for the principal goods – tea, salt, grain, furs and metals – were set here. Back then, people used to say that "Saint Petersburg is Russia's head, Moscow is its heart and Nizhny [Novgorod] is its pocket." The trade fair was where the first Russian-made automobile and the world's first radio set were presented. The radio's inventor, Alexander Popov, managed the power station at the Nizhny Novgorod Fair.

Today the only reminder of its former architectural glory is the Main Exhibition Hall, which hosts modern-day shows and forums.