Strange Soviet Buildings

All these buildings might remind some objects from Sci-Fi movies of the past.

In the former USSR you can meet such buildings. They are not very often but there are some like in this photo series.

Some of the buildings have weird history. For example the building number 3, the “Friendship” hotel attracted a great part of attention from USA intelligence agency. They thought it was some sort of missile launching site.

tbilisi, georgia

This one can remind some castle from “Star Wars” but in fact it’s a place in which Soviet marriage events were held in Tbilisi, Gergia. In Russia and in USSR marriage doesn’t occur in the church, it happens in a special house called “Palace of The Marage”. It is so still nowadays, though after getting married in such place couple can visit a church.

tbilisi, georgia

This one is a “State Department for Traffic”. It was built in 1975 and also is located in Tbilis.


tbilisi, georgia

This one is the hotel “Friendship”, build during Soviet era, and it was considered by CIA as some strange military object. Nowadays this place is in Ukraine.

tbilisi, georgia

This is another strange one. It is a “Palace of Soviets” built in Kaliningrad city, Russia in 1975. Locals call it “A Big Monster”.

tbilisi, georgia

Here is a building for a Technological Institute in Minsk, Belarus. Was built in 1981 and looks like some white big boat.

If you would ever travel to Russia you would be probably interested in visiting those places to get a photo like this.


41 thoughts on “Strange Soviet Buildings”

  1. The interesting thing is that my uncle got married in the building pictured in the first picture and my dad worked in the “Trafic” building illustrated in the second picture (both in Tbilisi). That takes me back… I think that there was some sort of sexual innuendo joke that went along with that “Trafic” building. I’ll have to ask my parents how it goes.
    Anyways, thanks for posting the pictures and bringing back many memories.


    Vancouver, Canada

    • Big pardon, how about buildings in NY, for example??? I am from Russia, and I think “bored Russian civillian buildings “look like the top of Art compare to NY appartments

  2. I saw a really cool building in Moscow once, near the horse racing track. It was very futuristic in design, but at the same time it was run down like a US ghetto, and very poor people living there. It was a great contrast of futuristic, and delapitated.

    I wish I had taken a picture but I was jet-lagged and carrying a heavy bag 🙁

    Does anyone know this building??

  3. These are interesting and attractive buildings. “Great Archetecture” is as beautiful and functional on the inside as the outside. I’d like to see more of the interiors of these buildings, especially the top one. At they still used? What do the people who live or work in them think of their building?

  4. The 3rd one reminded me of “The Sleeper House” about 20 miles from me. It was featured in the Woody Allen movie Sleeper. The interior was never finished until a few years ago though. I belive it just recently sold again this year.

    Here are some pictures and information about it.

    You can see it when driving down I-70. I always wanted that house since I was a kid.

  5. to Jutratest: you probably saw the building by an architect Meerson which he built in the 70s. He was apparently inspired in this project by le Corbusier’s ideas.

  6. RE-marriages in Russia- maybe you are reffering to the communist era, bu marriages as in every christian orthdox nation (.eg Greece or Cyprus) marriages take place in the church.

  7. Gizmo42 – Love the Sleeper house! I always wanted that place since I was a kid too! Last drove by it on a trip from Denver to Venice in Feb. 05.

  8. Wow! Some of this reminds of the modern architecture in Europe and SF. Uf these buildings were in the west, we would probably consider some of them revolutionary.

    There are though some really ugly buildings in Prague from the Soviet days, right next to the most amazing old architecture.

  9. The “Druzhba” hotel is actually on the Black Sea, at Yalta, near the Golden Beach. Almost next to it is the Seagull’s Nest, a castle restaurant!

    You normally get to these places by a ship from Yalta’s public port.

  10. Google Maps for:

    “State Department for Traffic” Tbilisi, Gergia…°44%278.38%22N+44°46%2714.61%22E&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&z=18&ll=41.735662,44.770725&spn=0.002118,0.005354&t=k&om=1

    Druzhba Holiday Center Hall, Haspra°26%2743.41%22N++34°+8%270.27%22E&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=44.445393,34.133406&spn=0.002026,0.005354&t=k&om=1&iwloc=addr

    Probably wrong, “Palace of The Marage”, Tbilisi, Gergia…°41%2751.37%22N++44°48%2759.78%22E&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=41.697602,44.816607&spn=0.002119,0.005354&t=k&om=1&iwloc=addr

  11. Cool arcitecture, i meet the second building every day on my way to the university, but i’v never thought it was one of the best ones in the former USSR 🙂

  12. The “Palace of Soviets” built in Kaliningrad city had been a total disaster. Its constructionsite is a former swamp. It did tilt even before it´s construction was finished. Therefore it was never finished. The only reason for its existence was that the german Goverment hat a castle there and the new huge building shoult have showed the victory of comunism over the germans.

  13. Some of those buildings are quite ugly, but others I really like and find the architecture to be really imaginative and interesting.

  14. I’m from Belarus, living in Minsk near the building you showed us on your last picture. 🙂
    Here its informal name is a “ship”, not just a “boat”. 🙂

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  16. There are definitely some strange buildings in Russia. Its worth mentioning that there are ub fact strange buildings all over our world. I found this interesting and amusing article earlier today with a selection of strange buildings from around the world –

  17. I just have one remark.
    The conclusion says “If you would ever travel to Russia you would be probably interested in visiting those places to get a photo like this.”, but, in fact, only one building – “Big Monster” is ACTUALLY located in todays Russia.

  18. Hi there. I really appreciate the fantatic points you made. I dont think Ive actually thought about it in that way. I can really appreciate how you approached the subject matter and what you said really gave me a new perspective. Thanks for taking the time to write this all out. Good precise info.

  19. “it happens in a special house called “Palace of The Marriage”.

    Not exactly correct, marriages take place in a “Hall of registration of actions of civil status” or ZAGS. Usually in a large city there are several “district ZAGSs” and there is one central one, which is called “Palace of Marriage”. Divorces, birth registrations etc. all handled by these ZAGSs. Me and my wife married in a ZAGS, which was nothing more than several rooms on the first floor of a residential apartment buildings.

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