Russian cities are marked by ostentatious monumental buildings. The architectural style is a historical heritage and is still an important feature of the big cities’ skylines. The Stalinist architecture appears pretentious and with a lot of ornaments, which is why it’s also called the gingerbread style. Urban buildings meet shoddy design – a famous example being the St Basil’s Cathedral.

The richly adorned buildings of the gingerbread style create a colourful and fabulous image which does not look uniform, but instead appears to be pieced together. The overall impression is a result of different pieces rather than just one integral concept, which is why numerous ornaments are simply a crucial part of the look, as are pillars and pillar elements. Sometimes, you will also find colorful details.

The architectural style was mainly used during times of the Soviet Union, giving it the name “Stalin-Empire”. Representative buildings were highlighted by the impressive facades, which is why many palatial buildings can be found especially in the big cities. It is the look of the 20th century, which also spilled over into Germany during the times of the GDR. A unique example of the Stalinist classicism can be found in the former Stalinallee in Berlin Friedrichshain. Furthermore, we can find this monumental style in Dresden, Leipzig and Magdeburg.

Image: © Sergei Dorokhovsky