Photographer's Note

The gilded dome of an Orthodox church in Moscow is dwarfed by the massive structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The building is one of the so-called "seven sisters", ordered by Stalin to dominate the Moscow cityscape.
At that time, the church was offically tolerated, prosecuted in reality. Times have changed...

The "Seven Sisters" is the English name given to a group of Moscow skyscrapers designed in the Stalinist style. Muscovites call them Vysotki or Stalinskie Vysotki (Russian: Сталинские высотки), "(Stalin's) tall buildings". They were built during the dictator's last years, 1947 to 1953, in an elaborate combination of Russian Baroque and Gothic styles, and the technology used in building American skyscrapers.

The seven are: Hotel Ukraina, Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Apartments, the Kudrinskaya Square Building, the Leningradskaya Hotel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow State University, and the Red Gates Administrative Building.

This 172 meter, 27 story building was built between 1948 and 1953 and overseen by V. G. Gelfreikh and M. A. Minkus. Currently, it houses the offices for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade for the Russian Federation. The Ministry is covered by a light external stone wall with projecting pilasters and pylons and, according to architectural critic Maria Kiernan, was inspired by a neo-gothic New York city hospital. Its interior is splendidly decorated with stones and metals. According to the 1982 biography of Minkus, draft plans were first drawn up in 1946 and ranged from 9 to 40 stories. In 1947 two designs were proposed: one utilized layered setbacks while the other called for a more streamlined construction which culminated into a blunt rectangular top. The second proposal was accepted but as the Ministry's completion neared, a metal spire, dyed to match the building's exterior (and presumably ordered by Stalin), was hastily added to tower's roof, assimilating its silhouette with those of the other Sisters.
(source : wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Paul Bulteel (pauloog) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 77 N: 1882] (11751)
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