The 12 most absurd Soviet-era buildings that are still standing

Mid-20th-century architecture is not remembered fondly anywhere in the world. And that’s especially true in former communist countries of Europe and Central Asia, where it seems like architects following a passing fad were allowed to do whatever they wanted.

The result was some bizarre and amazing-looking structures, at least a dozen of which are still standing 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. We just think they look pretty amazing.

The “Monument to the Revolution” built in Croatia (then Yugoslavia) is an abstract sculpture dedicated to the people of Moslavina during World War II.

the-monument-to-the-revolution-built-in-croatia-then-yugoslavia-is-an-abstract-sculpture-dedicated-to-the-people-of-moslavina-during-world-war-ii

This building in Georgia originally housed the Ministry of Highways and almost looks like it has been Photoshopped. It’s now occupied by a commercial bank.

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The enormous UFO-like spiritual home of the Bulgarian communist party stands on a peak in Buzludzha, a mountainous part of the country.

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On the inside the cathedral-like building has been abandoned, the roof is falling in, and the walls are covered in graffiti.

on-the-inside-the-cathedral-like-building-has-been-abandoned-the-roof-is-falling-in-and-the-walls-are-covered-in-graffiti

The Forum Hotel in Krakow, Poland, is another example of how 1970s communist architects simply couldn’t resist lifting ugly buildings off the ground.

the-forum-hotel-in-krakow-poland-is-another-example-of-how-1970s-communist-architects-simply-couldnt-resist-lifting-ugly-buildings-off-the-ground

The Makedonium is a memorial built in the 1970s to commemorate a revolt against Ottoman rule in the early 1900s, and it’s pretty bizarre.

the-makedonium-is-a-memorial-built-in-the-1970s-to-commemorate-a-revolt-against-ottoman-rule-in-the-early-1900s-and-its-pretty-bizarre

In Chisinau, Moldova, this ugly 1981 circus is now completely abandoned.

in-chisinau-moldova-this-ugly-1981-circus-is-now-completely-abandoned

Bulgaria’s Shumen monument, built in 1981, is a strange and enormous concrete sculpture dedicated to the country’s history, with cubist figures hundreds of feet high dotted around. – Transformers anyone?

bulgarias-shumen-monument-built-in-1981-is-a-strange-and-enormous-concrete-sculpture-dedicated-to-the-countrys-history-with-cubist-figures-hundreds-of-feet-high-dotted-around

This resort in Ukraine combines two late Soviet architectural trends: Constructing things off the ground, and buildings that look slightly like UFOs.

this-resort-in-ukraine-combines-two-late-soviet-architectural-trends-constructing-things-off-the-ground-and-buildings-that-look-slightly-like-ufos

This radio building in Bratislava, Slovakia, took 16 years to build — mostly because it’s basically upside down.

this-radio-building-in-bratislava-slovakia-took-16-years-to-build--mostly-because-its-basically-upside-down

In St. Petersburg, the Russian State Scientific Center for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics looks a bit like some sort of Sci-fi temple.

in-st-petersburg-the-russian-state-scientific-center-for-robotics-and-technical-cybernetics-looks-a-bit-like-some-sort-of-satanist-temple

Another memorial was built in Bosnia by the same sculptor who designed Croatia’s, with segments meant to symbolise light and darkness.

another-memorial-was-built-in-bosnia-by-the-same-sculptor-who-designed-croatias-with-segments-meant-to-symbolise-light-and-darkness

The Hotel Salut in Kiev was designed by Abraham Miletsky in 1984, and like the Ukrainian result featured earlier, has a very spacecraft-like effect.

the-hotel-salut-in-kiev-was-designed-by-abraham-miletsky-in-1984-and-like-the-ukrainian-result-featured-earlier-has-a-very-spacecraft-like-effect

Sadly, some of the more impressive buildings imagined were never built — construction of the 500 metre-tall Palace of the Soviets was halted for WWII and never began again.

sadly-some-of-the-more-impressive-buildings-imagined-were-never-built--construction-of-the-500-metre-tall-palace-of-the-soviets-was-halted-for-wwii-and-never-began-again

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Damion Pell
About the Author

Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.