In the 1930s Stalin wished to boldly stamp a vision of the future, one where the great Worker’s Paradise would be a beacon to the entire world, leading the way to a new era. It would be grand and mighty, symbolizing the new world communism was sure to create and offer to humanity and reflecting Stalin’s ego too of course.
Palace of the Soviets:
On the proposed site was the largest church in Russia, Khram Khrista Spasitelia (Church of Christ the Savior). Despite his Jesuit schooling, Stalin was committed to a non religious society (although one where the state would often step in to fill the void in people’s need for devotion) and destroyed the spectacular church.
(The graffiti reads “In place of the breeding ground of the narcotic [of religion]–the Palace of Soviets!”)
At last all was clear for the magnificent new structure.
Contruction began in 1937. But then Hitler invaded. (What a dick!) In 1941 the metal used in construction was taken and used elsewhere to fortify bridges since the USSR was getting its ass massacred by the Nazis.
After WWII Stalin had his hands full rebuilding, and the vision and labor that would have gone into the Palace of the Soviets instead went into things like the Seven Sisters, which we’ll get to tomorrow.
In the 1950s the wreckage from the unbuild site was clear and made into a GINORmous swimming pool.
Then… well, history happened. The Soviet Union collapsed and religion once again came back to Eastern Europe. The Orthodox Church appeared again like a flower after a brutal winter and in an insane twist of fate REBUILT the original church that had been torn down.
And thus, standing on the of the Palace of the Soviets today, is once again Khram Khrista Spasitelia, the Church of Christ the Savior.
Little wheel spin and spin, big wheel turns around.