Interesting facts
most important events of WTC Moscow timeline
The Statue of Mercury
Every visitor of Congress Center sees the ancient God - Mercury.
The fountain, where the statue is installed, was built in 1979 to the foundation of the Centre. The author of the monument is the famous sculptor - Vyacheslav Klykov, who is known for his monument of Marshal Zhukov on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow. He created Mercury based on the statue of "Flying Mercury", one of the exhibits of the ancient art collection, acquired by Ekaterina II.

The sculpture is an almost two-meter bronze figure of the God Mercury, running towards the Moscow River. The statue has support only at one point – the foot of the roman deity. Mercury is a bright symbol of the business complex located on a high 12-meter column and.

Mercury holds a caduceus in his hand – a special rod of reconciliation, according to the legend, it's the key of secret knowledge.

In ancient Rome, the God Mercury (Hermes among the Greeks) was the patron of trade - a symbol of profit and luck in business. Image of Mercury is often used to decorate the stock exchanges, banks and offices of financial companies. That's why Mercury is an irreplaceable part of the design of the facades of business centers.

The first panoramic elevators in Russia
In 1980, the first panoramic elevators in Russia, that had an incredible view of the entire interior of the complex, became the main curiosity in the newly opened WTC.
The atrium of the Crowne Plaza Moscow Hotel (until 2007 – "Mezhdunarodnaya-1") – is a part of the interior space of the World Trade Center with fountains, bright lighting and panoramic elevators that makes an impression on the guests of the complex. In the 1980s, it became an architectural sensation in Moscow.

Nikita Shangin, the architect, said: "the "Glass beetles" crawling on the walls made a huge impression. We were familiar with such things only in foreign magazines, and here for the first time we saw how spectacular is it. Taking such lift is a kind of attraction".

Panoramic glass elevators, gone up and down on the walls, seemed to be something futuristic. There were no such elevators anywhere. The visitors who saw it at the first time were afraid of using lifts, because it seemed that they could fall out of the transparent elevator.

Vladimir Kubasov, the author of the WTC project, recalls: "The elevators made a great impression on provincial people, because it has never happened in the Soviet Union. Careful mothers asked their small children to move away from the edge of the elevator because they were afraid of glass walls".

Panoramic high-speed elevators performs decorative and work functions. The first lift group regularly worked for more than 40 years.

An incredible futuristic atmosphere was created by the "Mall" central street due to unusual decorative lighting. Original-designed chandeliers created in the United States didn't seem to light, but seemed to glow. Such a non-standard design solution created a special cozy and homely atmosphere.
"Russian souvenir"
The main attraction of the World Trade Center is the huge rooster clock located in the atrium of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The official name of the watch is "Russian souvenir".

The Art Fund of the USSR worked over the design of watch. Folk motifs are used in their design - a golden rooster crowns the composition, three dials are placed under the rooster, and lower – there is a fairy tale theater (several sculptural groups based on folk themes). The wings of the Rooster are covered with gold leaf from 700 thinnest sheets.

In total, seven factories and a whole group of engineers worked on the watch. The watch mechanism was designed by the Research Institute "Chasprom", the watch drive mechanism was developed at one of the defense factories. The mechanism is recognized as a state invention. The design was created by engineer, Georgy Khromov - without exaggeration, a legendary person: twice winner of the Prize of the USSR Cabinet, laureate of the USSR State Prize. After 40 years the Rooster still comes alive every hour.

The music for the watch was chosen by the composer Alexander Pakhmutov, and the sound of crowing rooster was real - it was recorded in one of the Ryazan villages.

The creation of the watch with a rooster costs 700 thousand rubles. Americans are fascinated by this design, and they have repeatedly asked to sell the watch or make the same for them. However, the watch with the rooster is destined to be the one and only of its kind.

The uniqueness of this object was also noted by Sarah Faberge, the great-granddaughter of the famous jeweler Faberge, during a visit to the WTC in 2018: "I really liked the watch with the Rooster. Fantastic! It's amazing and really in Faberge-style! When I saw it, I immediately remembered the egg that Carl Faberge created for the Rothschild family – exactly the same rooster appeared from it. It's unbelievable!"

Historical decor of WTC
The best Moscow artists worked on the interior decoration of the World Trade Center.
The author's works of Zurab Tsereteli were used in the interior - 2 panels (панно) located in the Congress Center and in the foyer of the 3rd entrance, became a gift from the artist to the General Director of the WTC Kryuchko Fyodor Konstantinovich.

Yuri Alexandrov and Andrei Vasnetsov created unique lattices, engravings and a fireplace with tiles specifically for the "Russkiy" restaurant (closed in 2013).

In 1981 Boris Talberg, the honored muralist, created the Mosaics for the World Trade Center. The 2-floors-high canvases are located in the lobby of the 6th entrance. Today, his mosaic panels are included in the register of historical and cultural monuments of the city of Moscow and in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The sculpture of the running Mercury, installed in 1982 in front of the Congress Center and become its symbol, is a work of the famous master, the great Russian sculptor, permanent president of the International Foundation of Slavic Literature and Culture, USSR and RSFSR State Prize Winner, Vyacheslav Klykov.

The mosaic in the Atrium was created by Evgeniy Ablin, another equally famous artist – muralist, the author of large mosaic panels in the architecture of public buildings of the USSR. His works are also placed in the Palace of Pioneers on the Lenin Hills, the Tashkent Telecentre, Pavilion 12 of the VDNKh and many other objects.

Генеральная ассамблея АЦМТ в СССР
В 1981 году по инициативе главы Ассоциации центров международной торговли Гая Тоззоли было решено проводить XI Генеральную ассамблею АЦМТ в московском ЦМТ.
Официальные делегации из разных уголков мира выразили желание принять участие в мероприятии и посетить диковинную и закрытую страну. И представители большинства стран были допущены на территорию СССР.

Но на тот момент Советский Союз не имел дипломатических отношений с 6 государствами: Гонконгом, Кот-Д'Ивуаром (Берегом Слоновой кости), Тайванем, Израилем, Южной Кореей, ЮАР. А это означало однозначный запрет на въезд. В переговоры с высшим руководством СССР тогда вступил сам Гай Тоззоли. В результате было принято беспрецедентное на тот момент решение – позволить делегатам не просто посетить ЦМТ Москвы, но также беспрепятственно перемещаться по столице. Единственным условием их пребывания на территории СССР был запрет покидать границы Москвы.

Так, невзирая на условности, которые диктовало само время, в интересах бизнеса государства шли на диалог, а в ЦМТ были рады всем гостям.
Pierre Cardin in Russia
The first contract with the Russian production
Did you know that in 1986, the famous French fashion designer Pierre Cardin signed the first contract for the production of his collection in Russia. Within the walls of the World Trade Center ("Sovincenter" at that moment) he signed a protocol on cooperation with the USSR Ministry of Light Industry and "Licenzintorg".

"In the Moscow streets, I see a lot of lovely young women," said Pierre Cardin, Paris fashion trendsetter, at the press conference at the WTC. "In two years, it will be possible to talk about five million people in the Soviet Union, whom I expect to dress in Paris fashion."

In accordance with this protocol, licensed development and production of models of women's, men's and children's clothing were carried out under "Pierre Cardin" brand. The first samples of clothes came from Paris on March 1, 1986.

Specialized store was opened on the territory of the Olympic Village in Moscow.

In June 1991, the fashion designer's collection was shown on the Red Square in Moscow.

The muse of the designer was Maya Plisetskaya, the prima of Russian ballet. Personally for her he created costumes for dozens of ballet and theatrical performances.
Nina Ricci Show
and young American designers
Many people remember shows held in the World Trade Center in 2009–2011 during several seasons of the Russian Fashion Week - the main fashion site of Eastern Europe. However, few people remember that the relationship of the World Trade Center with the fashion world began much earlier!

In 1987, the Soviet-American Fashion Week "Designers for Peace" was held at the World Trade Center. It happened during the Cold War!

The highlight of the program was the show of the most famous and one of the oldest French fashion houses - Nina Ricci - that is so popular among American fashionistas.

That legendary Nina Ricci show wouldn't have taken place without the support of Air France and the WTC (or "Sovincenter"), that were partners of the show.

"Our relations with partners from the Soviet Union already have a long history," said Gilles Fuchs, the general director of company (who is the famous brand maker's nephew), who had come to Moscow for a show. "Nina Ricci perfumes are delivered to all corners of our planet - to 150 countries, and are well known in Russia," he told reporters.

Moreover, within the framework of the Soviet-American fashion week for 10 days, young fashion designers from the USSR and the USA by joint efforts created a collection of clothes for the youth of our countries for the 1988. The group of American designers was headed by designer M. Owen and Professor of the Texas University T. Breslin. The head of the group of Soviet designers was I. Andreeva, the secretary of the Union of Designers. They created 200 samples that were shown on the runway at the WTC, and later put into production in the USA and at the Ministry of Industry of the USSR enterprises. The organizers of the Fashion Week were the Soviet Peace Committee, the Ministry of Industry and the Union of Designers of the USSR, American companies producing clothes and shoes.

Sotheby's auction
The first holding of legendary auction in the Soviet Union
In 1988, for the first time, the legendary Sotheby's auction was held in the USSR. This auction showed the unrecognized Soviet artists to the world. It was not by chance that the World Trade Center ("Sovincenter") was chosen as a venue, which became the unique "entrance" to the closed country for foreigners.

The event presented Russian non-conformists and avant-gardists to the foreign audience. Upon an initiative of the Sotheby's auctioneer, Simone de Pury, more than 100 unique works were put up for sale. Prices for unknown canvases have surpassed all expectations- instead of the estimated £500 thousand, the revenues amounted to 2 million 085 thousand 050 pounds sterling. The event attracted collectors, including Elton John, from different countries, who acquired several pictures here.

The auction went down in history as a momentous event in the cultural life of the USSR that changed the attitude of the Union of Artists and other official institutions to interaction with the West. That began active interpenetration of cultures and the opening of Soviet art for foreign connoisseurs.

In January-February 2018, on the 30th anniversary of the famous auction, which changed the cultural life of the capital, the Museum of Contemporary Art "Garage" created an interactive exhibition.

In the recreated atmosphere of those years, there were shown a video recording of the auction and the extracts from interviews with artists and experts, launched a VR-project, which immersed visitors in the events of 1988. The pearl of the exhibition were works that participated in the 1988 auction. There were presented such works as Varvara Stepanova (near 1924), "The Clown. A Circus Scene" (1935) by Alexander Rodchenko," The Fundamental Lexicon "(1986) by Grisha Bruskin (sold for a record £ 242,000) and" Everything about Him "(1971) by Ilya Kabakov.

Blue light
The New Year's concert program
Since the beginning of the 1980s, the New Year's concert program of the Central Television began to appear on the TV. The program was taken long before the show on TV in special studios. Until 1987, "Mosfilm" pavilions were the scene of the "Blue Light" program, but in 1988, the World Trade Center became a platform for filming the main holiday concert in the country.

Directors and operators of "Blue Light" used design and technical capabilities of the WTC as decorations: the lighting was replaced by legendary chandeliers on the "Mall" street, and the escalators became a kind of stage for artists — Vyacheslav Dobrynin and the "ЧП" band sang a song directly on moving steps.

The opening doors of the panoramic elevator were interruption between performances, and Alexander Shirvindt and Mikhail Derzhavin even placed a table with snacks there. It is understandable - the elevator has a stunning panoramic view of the Atrium.
1988 – 1989
1988 – 1989
Games "What? Where? When?"
The WTC held the autumn, winter and spring series of games of the elite club.
In 1988-1989, the popular television game "What? Where? When?" was filmed at WTC. At that time the whole country watched this program.

In 1988, teams from other countries: the USA, France, Poland, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria joined to the game "What? Where? When? ". It was decided to transfer the filming from a multi-year bar area in the Ostankino telecentre (from September 4, 1975 to 1988) to the World Trade Center ("Sovincenter").

The telegame was held at the "Mezhdunarodnaya" Hotel's Atrium (today it's Crowne Plaza Moscow WTC), under the legendary Rooster watch that became the symbol of the World Trade Center from the first days of the complex opening. Then the main rule of the game was temporarily canceled - before it played to six points, but since the Rooster on the watch informed about the each new hour, therefore, the midnight became a new border. The game ended on the third of the Rooster crowing.

However, the changes went on. In a series of international games, prize books were replaced with handicrafts, folk crafts production and common consumption goods.

The players during the minute of discussion were allowed to use reference books: encyclopedias and dictionaries.

In general, in 1988 the international club "What? Where? When? " held 6 games and in 1989 - 4 games.

Interesting fact is that the WTC staff also participated in some of the programs.
The first ATM in the USSR
The first ATMs for plastic cards appeared in the USSR precisely at the WTC. On the first floor in 1991, two "iron boxes" of American Bank "American Express" were installed.
The world's first plastic card ATM was developed in the 1970s by IBM company, but it appeared much later in the Soviet Union. Upon an initiative of "American Express" bank, in 1991, two new devices were installed at the World Trade Center in Moscow. However, it didn't issue cash, as it's customary today, but American traveler's checks, so the ATMs were used mostly by foreigners who live and work at the WTC. It was quite difficult to pay in checks in the USSR; it was accepted not everywhere.

Most of Russians didn't need ATMs since in the early 1990s no one had plastic bank cards.

The ATMs, installed in the WTC, were foreign assembled, brought from the USA, therefore it was very expensive. Not every bank at that time could afford to order and install an ATM costing more than 30 thousand dollars because the demand for it was quite small. Therefore, Moscow people admired with amazement "iron boxes with money", which at that time were called "automatic cash registers".
The shelling of the White House
It was a nice September day. The sun was shining and golden leaves rustled underfoot. At this background the built cordon looked contrast: the young soldiers stood directly from the subway in two rows.
Public transport and traffic were blocked, therefore, the people hurried to the buildings in order not to be late for work - no one knew what was going on, but it was impossible and unacceptable to be late. Just before the underground passage, a whistling sound was heard in the silence. Only then everyone understood that there were bullets.

At work, from the TV news, the staff of the WTC found out what was happening. From the panoramic windows people could see a helicopter in the air, which was shown on TV. But employees continued to perform their duties: everyone was in the workplace.

A warning was constantly broadcast in the Russian and English around the whole building: "Due to an emergency situation, we kindly request – don't leave the building."

All services inside the building worked and the staff tried to create an atmosphere of calm, reliability and security. They pretended that nothing terrible happens and went on working. There was no panic in the building, but the guests were noticeably worried - shooting was heard from time to time, and later bullet marks were found in the panels of the buildings.

When it became clear that the situation would not be resolved in one day, evacuation of tenants and employees who wanted to leave the building began from the underground parking lot. All of them were taken by minibuses along Mantulinskaya Street to the Fili area. However, after a short time the evacuation had to be stopped - the snipers opened fire. One person was injured.

Wounded were brought to the WTC building at night - they were provided with medical assistance. Only the next day situation began to normalize.

"We lived through those events because our team was friendly and brave. And we all had confidence that everything would be all right," said an employee of the WTC service bureau.

In the events of 1991, the WTC also was at the epicenter. The tank, standing on the bridge in front of Kutuzov Avenue, served as a platform for Yeltsin performing. There were tents on the barricades, people made fires, sang songs with a guitar. From the dining room of the World Trade Center people carried food in tanks and pies on the barricades. Books were brought from the library. All staff of the WTC were in their workplaces.

The era of the "Mercury Club"
The significant page in history of the WTC is the work of the "Mercury Club", a unique discussion platform, the need of creation was dictated by time itself.
In 2002, the club was created by Evgeniy Maximovich Primakov and has become one of the fundamental elements in the formation of a constant and constructive dialogue of entrepreneurs with representatives of federal and regional, legislative and executive authorities in Russia.

The idea of creating a "Mercury Club" belongs to a friend of Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov, Thomas Anatolyevich Kolesnichenko, an international journalist and legendary personality. He claimed that he saw a dream of the concept of the "Mercury Club". As Evgeniy Primakov, he always supported the principle of multipolar world. And it is difficult to imagine that there would be a person who could handle the role of the President of the Mercury Club better than Evgeniy Maximovich Primakov.

"The Mercury Club is a unique platform that helps search for truth in the most difficult vicissitudes of the problems of the political community and the business elite. From the first days of the club's working at the WTC, meetings with the participation of influential representatives of the establishment were regularly held, and then there appeared a special room where meetings with prominent figures in politics and business were held. We have always been incredibly careful in choosing the topics for our meetings"- tells Valeriy Alexeevich Kuznetsov, the Director of the "Mercury Club".

At meetings of the "Mercury Club" the governors, ministers, deputies and senators, domestic and foreign scientists, entrepreneurs and politicians, heads of regional chambers of commerce, representatives of public organizations defended their positions and shared ideas. Among them were: Henry Kissinger, Sergey Yuryevich Glazyev, Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov, Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, Sergey Nikolaevich Baburin, Arthur Nikolayevich Chilingarov, Nikolai Petrovich Shmelev, Georgy Sergeyevich Poltavchenko, Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko and many others.

"The best club in the country, in Europe, in the world. A great platform for a surge of intelligence of the nation and contribution to the humanitarian development of Russia" - wrote in the book of honored guests Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, the head of the LDPR faction in the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

"Manchester United" Training Field at the WTC Congress Center
In 2008, the Manchester United stayed at the Crowne Plaza Moscow WTC during the Champions League final.
Guests and visitors could personally see the world football stars, including the world famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo, who a year later joined to the "Real Madrid" club.

The large hall of the Congress Center was converted into a football field where the team could train every day "and there was no need to go anywhere."

The qualified staff of the WTC was responsible for the food, rest and safety of the players, because in those days the fans set up a camp near the hotel. They were waiting for the team with flags and in the uniform of their favorite athletes. Numerous members of the press also watched footballers for a long time, therefore, to ensure their safety the guard lined up in a corridor so that the athletes got to the "Luzhniki" stadium safe and sound.

After a stunning victory over the "Chelsea" team, the English event organizers visited the Congress Center and converted it into a full-fledged nightclub where the team celebrated their victory until the morning.
1980 - н.в.
1980 - н.в.
Gastronomic delights
The World Trade Center restaurants have become famous for their exotic dishes throughout the Soviet Union. Each foreigner thought it incumbent upon oneself to taste the outlandish Russian dish.
Since the Soviet times, the best chefs worked in the restaurants of the World Trade Center, people could always try something exotic or, on the contrary, original Russian. And this has become a tradition for all time - years later, one of the WTC restaurants was headed by Anatoly Galkin, who worked for more than 20 years as a chef in the Kremlin and regaled Brezhnev, Gorbachev, Thatcher, American presidents, members of the British Royal family. The guests really liked Russian cuisine, especially the famous pies.

Once, a well-known American politician who was visiting the WTC, US presidential candidate Mitt Romney was tired of the Russian hospitality, said: "How tired I am of your borscht! Please take me to McDonald's! "

The glory of the "Russkiy" restaurant that opened with the WTC itself, with its gypsy choir, extended far beyond the Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment - the choir was shot by Nikita Mikhalkov in his film "The Bride". The restaurant was popular among visitors of the WTC and guests of the "Mezhdunarodnaya" Hotel. Directly opposite the Watch with the heroes of Russian fairy tales, there was a famous restaurant. Its halls were decorated in accordance with the Moscow Baroque style of the 17th century - the interior combined red, white and gold tones. However, in 2013, the "Russkiy" restaurant was closed, and the "GallaDance" club was opened there.

In addition to traditional Russian cuisine, the "Sakura" restaurant that was known throughout the country with real Japanese cuisine, which at that time was quite outlandish for domestic catering. The chef of "Sakura" was a Japanese, specially sent from the country of the rising sun.

Another legendary Chinese restaurant is still working at the WTC. In 2019, The "Chinese Garden" celebrated its 25th anniversary. All these years, it has been pleasing residents and guests of WTC with excellent national cuisine, and business community come here for business lunches.

Конец 1970х
Конец 1970х
Why did the WTC need concrete for bomb shelters?
The first office buildings were lined with concrete - this decision of Soviet architects allowed preserving Soviet notes in the facade of the World Trade Center.
American architects offered to Soviet colleagues to decorate the outer walls of the building with burgundy granite, the technology for cutting and polishing it appeared in the USA, but the Soviet side decided to clad the buildings with strong concrete. Over 9,200 m2 of exterior wall panels made of materials of M900 were supplied to the facilities - such concrete slabs were used in those days for the construction of bomb shelters.

The surface of concrete panels was made in the "open texture" concept - the slab had a matte surface with a well-defined stone texture.

However, in the architectural environment, this decision caused great disappointment: leading architects expected from the project innovative approaches to the construction of a business complex. The trend for natural materials also contributed, but the designers were not at a loss. According to them, the American project required the preservation of the Soviet heritage, which would be visible in simple lines and the plain color of concrete slabs.

Some architects regretted that the color of office buildings didn't stand out from the Moscow color scheme of those times.

Dmitry Shvidkovsky, Rector of the Moscow Architectural Institute recalls: "It's a pity that the WTC color was like that of the whole city, but the chief architect of Moscow, Mikhail Vasilievich Posokhin, was very proud that the building, although the "Khamerovsky Center", didn't break out and fit in organically to the Moscow flavor".