Panoramic Stalinist Architecture tour. The Stalinist era was a milestone in Russia’s history. The communist regime put millions of people to death, while also bringing about the forced industrialization of the country. During Stalin’s rule masses of peasants abandoned the countryside and came to the cities to work in the new industries. New housing and administrative buildings had to be erected and a particular architectural style appeared, a mix of Art Nouveau and Neoclassical revival, with massive, impressive structures, fitting the leader’s wishes. World War II and the destruction it wreaked required new buildings once again, which were mostly constructed by both common and political convicts along with prisoners of war. The most favored social categories (party functionaries, artists, etc.) enjoyed the best apartments in these new apartment buildings that were intended to convey luxury and solidarity. We will discover some of the most representative structures of this period, such as the Hotel Moscow, while the banks of the Moskva River are lined with the famous House on the Embankment and the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building. After strolling through Taganskaya Square and the Garden Ring we will reach October Square, Perspective Lenin, and Gagarin Square, highlights of Stalinist architecture. Shortly thereafter some of the seven skyscrapers will rear their heads in front of us, called the “Seven Sisters” and built between 1947 and 1953: the State University, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Smolenskaya Square, and the Hotel Ukraina (today the Radisson Royal). After Mayakovskogo Square we will visit the Theatre of the Russian Army, built in the shape of the Red Star. Finally, at the All-Russia Exhibition Centre (VDNKh) we will admire the agricultural pavilions, one of the best examples of Stalinist propaganda through architecture, and the famous statue of the Worker and the Kolkhoz Woman, by Vera Mukhina, a true symbol of the Revolution.
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