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Dom Sovietov Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad, Russia
The empty shell of the Dom Sovietov in the 1990s
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The empty shell of the Dom Sovietov in the 1990s
Wikimedia

The Dom Sovietov (House of Soviets) is situated in the centre of Kaliningrad on the historical site of the Prussian Königsberg Castle which was severely damaged by allied bombing in WW II. The remains were blown up between 1964 and 1968 by order of the executive committee of the communist party of Kaliningrad. The Dom Sovietov, a building for the local administration was to be erected, in its place.

History

Königsberg Castle was severely damaged during the bombing of Königsberg in World War II. Following the war, as the city came under the control of the USSR, the site of the castle was redeveloped as part of the reconstruction of the city. Construction began on the House of Soviets in 1960, and was intended to be the central administration building of the Kaliningrad Oblast.

The Dom Sovetov was to be built as a symbol of Soviet power on the ruins of the Prussian castle. It was planned as a 28-storey building consisting of two tall rectangular towers, lined with embossed panels and a two-level covered walkway between them. However, the building's foundations juxtaposed on the foundations of the destroyed castle were too weak and ultimately only 21 storeys were built. The project was halted when it was already 95% complete in 1985. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the complex was to be converted into a business center. Financing issues and criminal charges against the proprietors led to a new standstill. Today, the building is still empty. The local population endearingly calls it "our monster" or "the buried robot".

On the occasion of Kaliningrad’s 60th and Königsberg's 750th anniversary in July 2005, the building was painted in sky-blue and new window panes were mounted. Presently, its future is still undecided.