Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Seven Sisters I: Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building

When you walk around Moscow, you will see some huge buildings which were built as a combination of baroque and gothic styles. They look very impressive. Actually the motivation behind their creation was Stalin’s words which had been recalled by Nikita Khrushchev: “We won the war ... foreigners will come to Moscow, walk around, and there's no skyscrapers. If they compare Moscow to capitalist cities, it's a moral blow to us". He decided to build seven
skyscrapers which look like NewYorks skyscrapers. These buildings are known as Seven Sisters in foreign literature, but Moscow people call them vysotki, which means talls. These buildings are namely Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Apartments, Hotel Ukraina, the Kudrinskaya Square Building, the Leningradskaya Hotel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow State University, and the Red Gates Administrative Building. They were built from 1947 to 1953 under Stalin’s command.

Me with my friend Ahmet Olgun, who is interested in photography, decided to take photos of these buildings and try to introduce each one of them briefly here. We started with one of the most beautiful of them, the one lying near the Moscow River Embankment, namely Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building. Its main tower has 32 levels (including mechanical floors) and is 176 meters tall. By the end of World War II, the side wing was converted to multi-family kommunalka housing, in a contrast to the planned elite status of the main tower. Behind the building lays down a hill with historical architecture and very narrow old streets. Therefore, the architect of it, Dmitry Chechylin (then Chief Architect of Moscow), was criticized too much for disregard of this fact and ruin that historical area. But he had so powerful bureaucratic influence (this is very likely to Russia nowadaysJ) which brushed of any critics. When you walk or drive through the embankment, this building seems so impressive. It seems very nice both day and night. The photo which was taken during night is the side view of the building from south-east, and the ones which were taken during day are the side view from south-west. We will continue by Moscow State University in the following days…

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Che: Hasta Siempre (Museum House)

Last weekend, with one of my Russian friend's advice I visited the exhibition “Che: Hasta Siempre” at the Dom Nashokina gallery. I knew from my observations that Latin culture is loved in Moscow, so I thought it would be nice to see such a museum.

The museum is a small house with two floors and 6-7 rooms. On rooms walls some great, classic images of revolutionary Che Guevara and his tovarischi is shown. The photographs in the exhibition include original images, modern prints and photos taken by the man himself. And while these are the main draw, there was also documentary video footage, personal letters and other unique items from Che’s revolutionary years on display.

Actually since the house was small, it took not much, like 40 minutes to see all the house, and I was expecting to see more interesting things, personal belongings of Che but unfortunately mostly photographs and paintings were exhibited. Anyway, it was interesting to see and understand Che's life and story. “Che: Hasta Siempre” can be especially interesting for those interested in history and socialism.

Che is so loved and popular in Moscow even there is a popular club called: Che Club.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Park Pobedy - Moscow's Victory Park

Victory park, is one of the main parks in Moscow, located on Kutuzevski Prospekt at the west part of Moscow, not far from the center (metro Park Pobedy). It is build and designed as a monument park for the time of Great Patriotic War. It also contains history museum of second world war, which is an interesting place to see and feel these times of war.

The park is the main area for celebrations in Moscow for victory day, other patriotic national days. Concerts are given, music played as well as other activities. Also it is one of the main places for wedding coupes to have a walk and take nice pictures.

In the park, there are walking paths, some lakes, green area; as well you can see many roller skatig people since it has large plain area. Also some old helicopters, tanks related with the second world war is located in some parts of the park for exhibition; like an open air museum.

I can say this park is one of the top 5 parks of Moscow, and with its central location, close to metro, can be seen as a touristic activity as well.