March 11, 2011

Moscow : The Seven Sisters

Stalin was the prime minister of Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) and during his ruling; he believed that Moscow needed to be renovated in order to compete with the modern cities and to show the power of the Soviet Union after the World War 2. So he instructed to build skyscrapers in the city to rival those in the USA. 
He was very ambitious thus, not only 1, but 7 towering skyscrapers were built under the personal direction of him. These 7 skyscrapers were called the Seven Sisters, as they roughly follow a grand master plan, Palace of Soviets. This palace was meant to be the 8th sister but it was never built due to war. 
The completed 7 sisters are: Hotel Ukraina, Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, Kudrinskaya Square, Hotel Leningradskaya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow State University, and the Red Gates Administrative Building.

They are located in different parts of the city centre but you’re surely bound to come across them. I managed to get to 3 of them while I was there. 

Sister #1 
The easiest to spot is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as it stands just off the famous Old Arbat.
Sister #2
Next is Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, an apartment strategically located at the meeting point of the Moskva River and Yauza River. 
Sister #3
A bit further out of the city centre is the Moscow State University. Take the metro and stop at Universitet station to get there.
At 240 metres tall, it is the largest of the 7 Sisters and it is currently the tallest educational building in the world.
studying in the park
The university is beautiful and looks very grand. My sister and I wanted to see how the university looked like inside. So we pretended as if we were foreign students and tried to enter the main building. We strolled passed the main door confidently only to find guards and security ID scan inside. Darn! We quickly turned around and went out. Hahaha…Mission failed!
pretending to be a student but I couldn't find Faculty of Engineering so this one pon OK lah.. hehe
Later on, I learnt that this central tower holds classrooms and student quarters as well as a concert hall, various administrative offices, stores, cafeterias, museums, a hair salon, a post office, a swimming pool! and many more.
The four large wings which extend in all directions from the central building hold still more student accommodations, classrooms, shops, and cafes. 
the university's new building
Anyway, the other 4 sisters are…
Sister #4
Formerly Hotel Ukraina, the building underwent a long renovation and now called Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow.
Sister #5
Originally known as the Leningradskaya Hotel, after a multi-million dollar renovation, the hotel reopened as the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel.
Sister #6
Kudrinskaya Square Building

Sister #7
Red Gates Administrative Building

If you notice, all sisters have a spire on top of them. Stalin ordered that each one of them have it in order to distinguish them from their American counterparts. 
My favorite of the lot is the Moscow State University. Which one is yours?


faizah sukeri said...

Kotelnicheskaya Embankment! sister#2 :)
having an apartment there with a great view of river is very nice..

anyway.glad to read your journey story about Moscow as I read much about Moscow from book.

My pleasure to read another travelling story in your blog.interesting pics and places. :)

rara said...

yup.. Kotelnicheskaya Embankment pon cantik. I didn't get to see it closely.. tengok dari jauh je.

my pleasure to share it too. :) moscow memang one interesting city. hope i can revisit it one day.

fatt said...

kalau tgk seimbas lalu...building dia sume identical :)

rara said...

fatt: ha'ah.. almost identical kan? kalau tak identical tak boleh panggil sisters. hehe..

My name starts with M said...

gempak seh 7 sisters ni!

rara said...

mas: memang gempak. lagi2 moscow uni tu. terus aku terasa nak sambung belajar.. hahahha