Kotelnicheskaya Apartments and Stalin’s “Seven Sisters”
Thanks to the fact that we had been invited to Moscow for the week in anticipation of a performance by Doug’s music group The Gentle People, our hosts put us up in the extraordinary Kotelnicheskaya Apartaments, an ominous structure that just happens to be the most impressive of Josef Stalin's seven vysotki! It’s behemoth granite mass looms over the nexus point of the Yauza and Moscow rivers, appearing almost as a giant vertical wedding cake, iced with more ornamentation and spires than Cinderella’s castle! And while Soviet symbols seem harder and harder to locate these days, they are on gallant display at the tip-top of the Kotelnicheskaya Apartments and other vysotki of the city!
Staying inside the magnificent Kotelnicheskaya was nothing short of surreal. Just a quick gander inside its heavy lobby set the tone for an experience that was entrenched in macabre history with every trip up and down the tiny elevator! Built as the first of Stalin’s seven “Garden ring” sentinels that were to surround the never-realized “Palace of the Soviets” (see "Moscow architecture" in "sights" for more information), the Kotelnicheskaya was built by POW’s and other Soviet convicts, thus imprisoned to endure perilous heights throughout the five-year construction. Rumor has it that those who attempted escape were shot and then entombed within the walls of the building for eternity. How charming!
Once inside our two bedroom apartment, we were amused by a most eclectic decor that mixed together rose print and houndstooth bed linens with a mirrored 1970’s wood panel lined bed! After further exploring the multifaceted massage/ spa/ discotheque shower that was anything but salubrious, we began to wonder if this accommodation wasn’t more regularly rented by the hour! Oh, what fun!
But seriously... a week inside one of the famed “Seven Sisters" did offer us lovely, crisp views of the Moscow skyline from a 12th story window worthy of that year’s New Year’s countdown! There must have been over 20 different firework displays popping up from different city neighborhoods! (Can you imagine what the view must have been like from the 30th floor?)
While Doug, Robert and I stayed at the jaw-dropping Kotelnicheskaya Apartments, Laurie and Sarah unpacked their bags across town near Old Arbat. Funnily enough, their apartment was just doors down from another of Stalin's 1950's-era vysotki, the 564 foot tall Ministry Of Foreign Affairs!
Vacation rentals are available at th Kotelnicheskaya. Rates will vary depending on season and unit availability. Check the sites Just Landed and Venere for options. We also recommend the Eurasian-centric hotel website Agoda for other accommodation choices while visiting Moscow. Set of Drifters video: Check out our YouTube channel for video from this event!
Stalin’s “Seven Sisters” - http://www.moscow-life.com/moscow/seven-sisters
Venere - http://www.venere.com/
Just Landed - http://housing.justlanded.com/en/Russia_Moscow
Agoda - http://www.agoda.com/