Moscow State University - Main Building Exemplifies Stalinist Architecture
"Stalin's Seven Sisters" is the nickname given to a group of skyscrapers built in the Stalinist style of architecture, which is also known as a "wedding cake" style because of the skyscrapers' tiered construction. Russia's Seven Sisters reside in Moscow. Buildings in other countries formerly belonging to the Soviet Union also exemplify the style Stalin's Seven Sisters are famous for.
The main building of the Moscow State University, probably the most recognizable of the Seven Sisters, was completed in 1953 and construction was undertaken with the labor of prisoners of the Soviet Gulag, or labor camp system. This building can be found on Sparrow Hills.
Moscow's Hotel Ukraina
Hotel Ukraina (pronounced oo-kray-EEN-ah), now the Radisson Royal, is famous for its longtime standing as one of Europe's tallest hotels (it is no longer the tallest). This Stalin's Sister is located near Moscow's city center on Kutozovsky Prospect. The hotel's construction was completed in 1955, but it has since had a facelift.
Moscow's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Building
Located on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in the Arbat district of Moscow, this member of Stalin's Seven Sisters houses the offices of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Construction for this building ended in 1953.
Moscow's Leningradskaya Hotel
Hotel Leningradskaya, on Komsomolskaya Square, is now run by Hilton Hotels. The hotel, built in 1953, and meant to symbolize opulence, boasts modern conveniences after a thorough renovation and a location that allows for easy access to Moscow's sights.
Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building
The Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building can be found looming over the Moskva River. Completed in 1952, this member of Stalin's Seven Sisters was built to house communal flats for Moscow's citizens, many of them historically notable.
Kudrinskaya Square Building
This Stalinist structure from 1954 faces Moscow's Garden Ring and was built to house apartments for the Soviet elite.
Red Gates Square Building
The Red Gates Square Building, built by the architect Alexander Dushkin and completed in 1953, houses administrative offices and apartments. It is also located on the Garden Ring.
Riga's Academy of Sciences Building
Latvia's Academy of Sciences, located in Riga, while not officially one of the "Seven Sisters," is built in the Stalinist skyscraper style and was completed during the same era in 1956.
Warsaw Palace of Science and Culture
Warsaw's Palace of Science and Culture was a gift to Poland from the Soviet Union and completed in 1955. Like Riga's Academy of Sciences, it is not officially one of the Sisters, but it exemplifies the characteristics found in other Stalinist skyscrapers. Warsaw's residents continue to debate whether it has a place on their city's skyline: on one hand, it represents the oppressiveness of Moscow's influence, and on the other, it is a piece of history that serves as an important monument.
Casa Presei Libere in Bucharest
The House of the Free Press, as Casa Presei Libere is known in English, was built in 1956. Once housing the headquarters of a Romanian Communist newspaper, the building continues to host the offices of newspapers.
Hotel Ukrayina in Kiev
Hotel Ukrayina, located in Kiev, was originally named Hotel Moscow. This example of Stalinist-style architecture is a paired-down version of the more monumental structures in Moscow, Riga, and Warsaw. Due to long delays with construction as well as the winding down for the trend for "wedding cake" architecture, the hotel lacks the tower and spire that are representative of the other buildings belonging stylistically to this group.