Is Moscow really littered with Palaces of Arts and Sciences? In Warsaw there's a Palace of Arts and Sciences that was left behind by the USSR back in the day.A friend of mine from Moscow says that Moscow has a whole bunch of similar palaces throughout the city. Is this true?
A "Palace of Arts and Sciences" (Palace of Culture, Dvorets Kultury, DK) is a concert hall / hobby center, maintained by a municipal division (or a corporation) and rented out to various groups and individuals to organize wholesome community activities for the citizens / employees and their children.
Now, most of the DKs were privatized in the 90s because hey free money. The former Institute of Aviation DK is now a privately owned concert hall (Live Music Hall). The corps that did not went bankrupt sold whatever they did not need for social functions, and those that did (or are teetering on the brink thereof) transferred the ownership to the city (e.g. DK ZIL is now the Southern Culture Center
), the DK of the Southern District (1/11th of Moscow, 1500000+ pop). The DK of my precinct (Nagatinsky Zaton, literally Backwater
, 100000+ pop) is like three rooms in a decrepit building. Plug in too many stage lights and bam, fire. It hosts a number of arts and crafts classes, language classes for kids, drama and dancing. The local music school rents a room when they need to hold a concert for the parents (oh the days of past glories, when we could rent the DK ZIL and force over 500 suckers to attend!)
The one DK that's (probably, unless they're faking the activities to steal money) representative of the Soviet youth programs is the Moscow Palace for Youth Creative Activities
. There seem to be 1300+ classes with themes like Ceramics, Flower Arrangement, Experimental Math, CISCO System Administration (whoa) and zomg why didn't I see it earlier Preliminary Spetsnaz Training
So, to answer your question,
1. Yes, there are DKs in every precinct, but none of them are nearly that awesome.
2. There is a number of buildings in similar style, including the Moscow State University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3. Two scientifically themed places of interest that come to mind are the Moscow Planetarium
(renovated) and the Moscow Polytechnical Museum
(now more like Steampunk Museum, I wonder if their PCs have usb drives; to be renovated by 2016).