The House of Soviets – Ugliest Building on Russian Soil?
The House of Soviets has often been called the “most ugliest building on Russian soil” or “a monster” by the local people of Kaliningrad, Russia. I would not call it a monster but I would call it “A sight for sore eyes”. It is only when you see the before and after pictures of the building, that you will understand what the unhappiness is about. Before WWII there was a beautiful castle but sadly as a result of bombings, it was severely damaged. In true Soviet style the building was demolished and levelled to the ground.
Kaliningrad or Konigsberg history
For people that don´t know the history of Kaliningrad it was formerly known as Konigsberg. This beautiful city (and where my husband was born) came under control of the USSR during WWII and it has been ever since. The castle was not restored to its original state. The Soviet policy at the time is to blame.
As part of the reconstruction of the city it was decided to built the “House of Soviets” in its place. Construction started in 1960 and this 22 storey building was intended to be the central administration building of the Kaliningrad Oblast. But this is not where the story ends. Nobody took into account that underground tunnels existed and the building slowly started to collapse.
Visiting Russia in 2012 and enquiring about the House of Soviets.
During a visit to Russia this year I have asked what is happening about the original palace. It seems that no decision has been made and the House of Soviets is still standing. I must admit, it doesn`t look that bad but when you see photos of the original castle then you cannot understand why it had been destroyed in the first place. The castle was still in a very good condition. I guess you can blame the Stalin-regime for the decision to tear the castle down.
Nelmitravel mentioned in Kaliningrad.ru in 2013
Kaliningrad.ru is a local newspaper that covers all the events and news in the city. I was pleasantly surprised to be receiving a lot of visitors one morning from their site. Although the newspaper is in Russian I managed to translate it. The castle and The House of Soviets made news headlines again and people in Kaliningrad expressed their opinions. It seems they were divided. Many people wanted the building to be demolished and have the castle rebuilt. Others said that you cannot wipe out parts of your history, just because people don`t like the building.
In any case, somebody mentioned this blog post as an example of what foreigners think of the building. My personal opinion after seeing the building a couple of times. It doesn`t look that bad from the outside, now that it has been painted. Obviously the orginal castle would look much more appealing but it will cost a lot of money to rebuild it. Somebody needs to pay for it obviously. The fact that it is standing there without a purpose is sad. If it is not used, demolish it and build something different in it`s place. That is my honest opinion as a foreigner.