‘In 1931, Joseph Stalin ordered that the largest Orthodox Christian cathedral in the world— 335 feet high, the product of 44 years of back-breaking labor by Russian peasants—be dynamited so he could build an enormous “Palace of the People,” to celebrate the Communist Party. Stalin wished to replace the church with a new structure taller than the Empire State Building, and capped with a gilded statue of Lenin taller than the Statue of Liberty. But the “Man of Steel’s” mad scheme never came to fruition. Although the first phase was completed (the dynamiting was the easy bit), the construction never took place as necessary resources were diverted to fighting World War II. After Stalin died, his successor—Nikita Khrushchev—ordered a large swimming pool built where the cathedral had stood. Old women who remembered the original cathedral could be seen standing at the edge of the swimming pool, praying to forgotten icons. Recently Yury Luzhkov, Moscow’s autocratic mayor, tried to make up for Stalin’s mess by ordering the construction of a tacky reproduction of the original cathedral using precast concrete.’
Dit meldt op 21 januari j.l. de blog Look at this in een lijstje met ‘de zeven grootste dingen ooit in de Sovjet Unie geprobeerd’. Ze hebben daar wel meer mooie lijstjes, maar deze was te mooi om te laten lopen.
Het is maar goed dat dit Volkspaleis niet is doorgegaan (wel jammer dat ze die kathedraal hebben gemold), net zoals het nieuwe Berlin van Albert Speer er niet is gekomen.