Moscow’s Skyscrapers – Stalin’s Power

Discover the Moscow’s Famous “Seven Sisters”

Moscow is a very beautiful city. When I first came here being a schoolboy, Moscow seemed to me a huge and gray. But then, coming over and over again, I fell in love with this city, and my love is still becoming stronger and stronger. There are a lot of beautiful places In Moscow. The capital of Russia is different – here you can find many buildings of all eras, starting from the 11th century. One of the distinguishing features of the architecture of Moscow are the “Stalin skyscrapers” (Сталинские высотки) – seven high-rise buildings in the style of the “Soviet Art Deco”, built in the years 1940-1950 under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. In this article I will tell you about each of them.

“Seven Sisters” are monumental structures, showing the power and greatness of the Soviet people. There had to be eight buildings, but construction of eighth “sister” was suspended after the death of Stalin in 1953.

First Sister: The main building of Moscow State University at Vorobievi Hills (Воробьевы Горы)

Before the construction of modern high-rise buildings (Moscow City), this skyscraper was the tallest building in Moscow (240 m). Initially, on its roof had to be a figure of Mikhail Lomonosov (the famous Russian scientist), but Stalin ordered to build a steeple on the roof with the five-point star. The building was designed so that the student could enter it at the beginning of the school year and be there for the whole year, because inside the building there were all necessary infrastructures: hair salon, hospital, cinema, post office, shops, gyms, etc.)

Second Sister: Residential building on the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment

House (Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, 1/15) is closing the beautiful view of the Kremlin to the mouth of the river Yauza. The central building consists of 26 floors. The building contains 700 apartments, shops, post office, movie theater.


Third Sister: Hotel “Ukraine”

The second highest “skyscraper” (Kutuzovsky Avenue, 2/1) was built in 1953-1957 years. The central building includes 34 floors. The building opens Kutuzovsky Avenue – Moscow’s new huge avenue, created in the postwar period with the order of Stalin.

Forth Sister: The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This skyscraper was built in 1948-1953. The central building consists of 27 floors, the height of the building – 172 meters. This “sister” building completes the panorama of the Borodino bridge, forming a square. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia is situated there. A characteristic feature of this high-rise building is a huge emblem of the USSR on its facade. This reinforced concrete structure, located at an altitude of 114 m covers an area of ​​144 square meters. The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the only one of seven high-rises, whose spire is not crowned with a five-pointed star. The probable reason for this is that the spire of the building proved to be very fragile and could not withstand the weight of the star.

Fifth Sister: Kudrinskaya Square building

This building consists of a central (24 floors, the height of the tower and spire – 156 m) and lateral buildings (18 residential floors), composing a single array, based on the total ground floor. The whole building consists of over 450 apartments. Cellars of the building are connected with the system of underground facilities, in particular, with the air-raid shelter, that goes far beyond the above-ground parts of the building.

Sixth Sister: Administrative and residential building near the “Krasnie Vorota” subway station

It was built from 1947 to 1952. The building consists of a 24-floor main building occupied in the Soviet period by the Ministry of Transport Construction. In the courtyard of the house is a restaurant, docked to the central body, the left wing of the building has a kindergarten. The right wing of the building has an entry to the subway station “Krasnie Vorota”.



Seventh Sister: Hotel “Leningradskaya” 

Hotel “Leningradskaya” is the smallest one in the family of Stalin’s skyscrapers  – only 17 floors and 136 meters in height. It’s impressive tower is situated on the Komsomolskaya Square, next to the three stations – Leningradskiy, Yaroslavsky and Kazansky. Several years ago the hotel was purchased by the owner of the world’s most famous hotel chains Hilton, after which the building was subjected to a serious overhaul. So instead of a hotel “Leningradskaya” appeared a luxury hotel Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel / Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya. Residents of the capital still call it the Leningradskaya hotel.

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Oleg Vinzhegin,

Your personal guide into the world of excellent Russian speaking

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