1. Saint Basil’s Cathedral
Probably the most recognizable structure in Russia, Saint Basil’s Cathedral is located in Red Square in Moscow. This beautiful landmark was constructed on the orders of Ivan the Terrible from 1555-1561. Now a museum, it was originally built to be a church, but was confiscated from the Russian Orthodox community by the Soviet State as a part of their anti-theist campaigns in 1928.
2. Peterhof Palace
Peter the Great ruled the Russian Empire from 1682 until his death in 1725. During his rule Peter traveled to Versailles and was impressed by the city’s architecture. The impression the city left on the ruler inspired Peterhof Palace or the Russian Versailles, which Peter started building in 1714. One of it’s most famous attributes is its vast assortment of decorative fountains that are adorned with magnificent bronze statues.
3. Fort Alexander
This amazing structure is a naval fortress located on an artificial island in the Gulf of Finland near St. Petersburg. The fort was used as a research laboratory on plague and other diseases from 1899 to 1917, after which it was primarily used as storage facilities and a repair shop by the navy. The fort was stripped to the bone and abandoned in 1983 and became a popular location for rave parties in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.
4. Cathedral of Christ the Savior
The church that we see today is actually the second church to stand on the site. Thу original church took over 40 years to build and was finished in 1883. It was destroyed in 1931 by Joseph Stalin who built a gigantic palace of the Soviets, a project that was never realized due to the German invasion during the World War II. The current church was rebuilt from 1995 until its completion in 2000.
5. The Motherland Calls
When it was erected in 1967, this statue was the largest free-standing statue in the world, towering 170 feet high. 200 steps lead to its base, representing the 200 day battle of Stalingrad during the World War II. As impressive as this structure is, it is in dire need of repairs. The statue is slowly tilting and has reached a point where it could collapse at any moment. So don’t go by it!
6. New Jerusalem Monastery
Founded in 1656 by Patriarch Nikon on the outskirts of Moscow, a site chosen for its resemblance to the Holy Land, it was intended to represent the multinational Orthodoxy of Heavenly Jerusalem. The site was closed down in 1918 and the German army ransacked the monastery in 1941, blowing up its unique great belfry and cathedral before their retreat. It was only re-established as a religious community in the 1990’s.
7. Smolny Convent
Located on the bank of the River Neva in Saint Petersburg, this convent consists of the Smolny Cathedral and a complex of buildings surrounding it. The church was closed by the Soviets in 1923 and was allowed to decay until 1982 when it was converted into a concert hall. The surrounding buildings are currently used to house various government and educational institutions.
8. Ostankino Tower
A jewel of Soviet engineering at the time of it’s completion in 1967, this television and radio tower was the tallest freestanding structure in the world until 1976. Today, it is the fourth-tallest tower in the world by pinnacle height at 540 m. The tower caught fire in August of 2000 killing 3 firefighters and one lift operator. The fire knocked out almost all television broadcasts in Moscow and the surrounding regions.
9. Mayakovskaya Metro Station
This metro station is located 108 feet beneath the surface of central Moscow, and it is considered to be one of the most beautiful and famous Metro stations in the world. It became famous during the World War II when it was used as an air shelter and was also a place where Joseph Stalin would take residence.
10. UFO Hotel Tarelka
The Hotel Tarelka is located in Dombai, Russia, high in the Caucasus Mountains (75 feet above sea level) and is home to a Futuro. Given that the original idea behind the Futuro was for it to be used as a ski-cabin, the Futuro in Dombai is probably the only remaining example with a use that, while not exactly as intended, is pretty close to that originally envisioned by Matti Suuronen back in 1968. The hotel’s apartments look like the cabins – small, modest and certainly with a fantastic view on the mountain peaks of Belalaklaia and the others. If you love skiing and want to be the first to slide down the mountain in the morning, the Tarelka hotel is for you!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.