You know a Soviet era building when you see it. The heavy use of concrete mixed with an architectural philosophy that seems to merge Art Deco with George Orwell’s 1984 give it away instantly. And while none of us are huge fans of these bizarre and often absurd constructions from a bygone era, no where are they more reviled than in the former Soviet countries themselves where these buildings often lay completely abandoned and forgotten about. So let’s take a look at some of the weirdest constructions to come out of the Soviet era which actually remain standing today.
1. War Memorial, Nikšić, Montenegro
Designed by Dušan Džamonja in 1967, this abstract war memorial is dedicated to the people of Moslavina during WWII. We can only guess that the design is meant to stare the city’s residents down with dedication using that singular eye.
2. Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria
This crumbling disc sits blaringly in the center of a national park in central Bulgaria. The location was the site of the biggest battle between the Turks and Bulgarian rebels 150 years ago.
3. Lenin’s head, Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia, Russia
This massive head sculpture weighs 42 tons and stands 25 feet tall in order to give us one hell of an imposing view from the former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. It was built in 1970 for the centennial of Lenin’s birth.
4. The Great Patriotic War Memorial, Kiev, Ukraine
Also referred to as the Mother Motherland Monument, this over-the-top triumphal structure stands 102 meters tall with a 16 meter-long sword. It’s a part of the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. It was designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich and built in 1981 using
5. Forum Hotel in Krakow, Poland
Communist architecture really loved lifting off the ground. Maybe to embody that exuberating feeling of victory we all know so well of the times? This hotel was built in the 70s and can boast zero instances of flooding in its lifetime.
6. The Makedonium
This spore-like sphere seems to have landed in Kosovo and is meant to be a memorial of the 1903 Ilinden rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. It was constructed in 1974 by Jordan and Iskra Grabulovski.
7. Radio building in Bratislava, Slovakia
It took a whopping 16 years to complete this upside-down pyramid. Now it stands as another testament to the Soviet’s preoccupation with building designs that defy gravity.
8. Creepy Lenin Statue, Sukleia, Moldova
The statue’s head was smashed off by kids after the fall of the Soviet Union. Local residents decided to replace it with a new head but they seem to have made some small errors in measurement.
9. Bulgaria’s Shumen monument
Strange cubist men with Transformers heads pop out of this enormous concrete slab built in 1981 as a dedication to the country’s history.
10. Palace of the Marage
How’d you like to hold your wedding here? This wedding church built in 1984 looks like it could be used in a budget sci-fi film straight out of the 1970s.