Burcu Başar

Moscow – Seven Sisters

Can you take a guess what “Seven Sisters” is? Members of the Russian imperial family? One of the famous wide avenues of Moscow? Seven Sisters are in fact the name given to the seven skyscrapers dominating the Moscow skyline. Even the locals don’t know the story behind the name. When I say skyscrapers - do not confuse the Seven Sisters with classical skyscrapers that you can see in Dubai or Singapore. Seven Sisters reflect a much gentler architectural style and appear to be taller than they actually are as there are not too many high-rise buildings in Moscow. These buildings, which were constructed during Stalin era, are also referred to as “the buildings of Stalin” by some locals. These are also not totally embraced by many locals as being reminders of the oppressive Stalin period. These buildings, which were constructed as a result of Stalin’s desire for Moscow to be able to compete with other big cities in the World are today used as Hotel Ukraina, Hotel Leningradskaya, Red Gates Administrative Building, Moscow State University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Building, Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building and Kudrinskaya Square Building. It is perfectly possible to enjoy a drink or two (or even more – no limits!) at the rooftop bars of the buildings being currently used as a hotel. These buildings which were originally planned as a group of eight (one never made it) look pretty good for a skyscraper in my view. It is however also easy to understand why the locals never embraced these buildings, the construction of which was highly controlled by the Russian Architecture Academy of the time – seen as another vehicle for Stalin’s desire to control all the artistic movements of the time. There is no need for me to tell you to forget the past for a moment and visit couple of these buildings – they will be accompanying yo everywhere during your trip to Moscow in anyhow.