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…


Ulas Ergin said...

I love them all

The Expatresse said...

Nice to meet you! I see you are becoming a regular in the Aeroflot in-flight magazine, too. Congratulations.