Russia has seen a lot of different constructions throughout its existence. Building a power plant on the Volga river and erecting a bay in Samara are just a few examples. Today you will fling yourself into the creative upbuidling processes the results of which are left for the future generations.
For the first time the project of the Volga hydroelectric power station was considered in the beginning of the last century. In 1910 a talented Russian engineer G. Krzhizhanovsky offered the imperial government to build a power station on the Volga river. But only in 1919 the scientist obtained an order from Lenin according to which he had to choose the site where the future enterprise would be located. In 1940 they launched construction of a village next to Samara. It was planned that the village would be inhabited by those participating in the plant construction. A bit later World War II broke out making them to abandon the plans. However, the after-war years were marked by hydrogeological investigations which proved appropriateness of plant construction next to Samara. A giant construction project was launched in 1950. It resulted in the largest dam in the country and powerful navigation locks.
Bank of the Volga river before the plant construction in 1950.
Beginning of land development.
It is not a secret that thousands of prisoners were engaged in the construction process. In 1955 the number of prisoners accounted for 46 000.
That time it was allowed to take pictures of freelance workers only.
Making a working trench.
The most modern equipment such as excavators and trucks was used during the works.
Preparing a floating bridge on site of the to-be overflow dam.
Construction of the overflow dam.
7 million cubic meters of concrete were used during the construction.
The dam is located on the left bank of the river. Its length is 1 km. It has 38 overflow passages and devices for energy dissipation. Construction next to the turbine room.
The construction site was often visited by governmental officials.
A concrete plant.
Land attack missiles are used for earth dam inwashing.
Installation of a working wheel of the hydraulic turbine.
Earth dam consists of shallow sand and is located between the plant and the overflow dam. It is 2800 meters long and 600 meters wide.
Turbine room construction.
Divers participated in the construction process.
At the same navigation locks were built on the other bank of the river.
Checking the way the power transmission line pole is fixed.
Building a boat bridge between the plant and earth dam.
The most important part of the work consisting in river damming started in 1955.
In order to dam the bed of the river 1765 concrete pyramids were shifted down to the botton during 24 hours.
It took just 19 hours and 35 minutes to realize the river damming.
Water passed through bottom discharges of the plant.
The reservoir was filling with water.
With this meeting they celebrated successful river damming.
Water reservoir that was 600 km long was located upwards to the power plant. Its maximum width and depth is 40 km. It is the largest artificial water reservoir in the world.
270 inhabited areas, 19 collective farms and 175 buildings suffered from flood. Villages included not into the flood area but into the area of the power plant construction had to be moved. In total, over 1600 houses, schools and hospitals were transferred to other places in 1953.
The ceremony of plant launch took place in August 1958.
Many prisoners participating in the construction were freed from imprisonment.
Shifting across the locks.
The first aggregate was launched on December 29, 1955. On October 14, 1957 the plant achieved its planned estimation capacity of 2100000 kWh a year.
Samara bay is the most beautiful construction in Russia. Below are pictures taken in 1959-1963.
The bay length is 5 km. Samara is the only city on the Volga bank where bays belong to recreational zones. Freeing the bank from industrial buildings began in 1930. Development of the old bay took place in 1952. The banks were decorated with wide alleys, numerous summer pavilions, cast fences, etc. The place was abundant with flowers, sculptures and wide beaches.
Construction of the new bay occurred in 1958. It was located outside the GRES power plant and embraced three levers.
Ground works are impressive. Before the bay was built there were no sand here, only broken glass and timbers.
The famous house on the Volga avenue was built in a classical style favored by Stalin. The building plays an important role in the panoramic view of the Volga bay. Due to the steep bank relief the house alternates its floors from 4 to 7 and flanks the square where the administrative center of the city is located.
The front of the house made in the classical style has monumental proportions. The upper floors are almost deprived of any decor, the horizontal dynamics is well pronounced. The lower floors are separated with large shop-windows that underlie tectonics.
The young trees have just been planted.
The upgrading seems rather attractive. The wide bays are mere presents for citizens of those times. River transport is the most widely spread and cheap travel mode.
The famous stairs are now covered with graffiti.
Volga Hotel construction.