The Stalinist Empire architectural style was widespread in Russia from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s. This was the period of the reign of Joseph Stalin, so in Russia this style was named after a specific person. In other European countries, this style was also common, but there it is simply called "empire" or "imperial", which means the same thing.

The buildings built in the style of the Stalinist Empire look monumental and pompous. Soviet symbols are abundantly used in the exterior decor. Many elements (colonnades and porticos) are taken from the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. Also, the skyscrapers of New York, which began to be built two decades earlier, served as models for the buildings of the Stalinist Empire. 

In this review on the online guide Geomerid you can read about all the main buildings in Moscow in the style of the Stalinist Empire:

1. Theater of the Russian Army
2. Severny rechnoy vokzal
3. Moscow Metro
4. VDNH Exhibition
5. Moscow University
6. Stalin's Skyscrapers
7. Hotel Moscow

Follow the hyperlinks to read in detail about each attraction and see a large number of photos

Theater of the Russian Army

The Theater of the Russian Army in Moscow is one of the largest monuments of the Stalinist Empire architectural style. Its construction began in 1934, and the first performance on its stage was staged in 1940. The size of the theater itself, the foyer and the stage are gigantic – they were supposed to embody the power of the Russian Army.

The era of the 1930s in both Russia and Europe was a very difficult time. Art in those years was one of the most important elements of propaganda. The ruling elites in European countries could not exist without it. Artists on stage played performances about the "great victories" of the army in battles with enemies. This motivated and inspired the people, even despite the difficulties of everyday life. The Theater of the Russian Army in Moscow has become one of the main elements of this work.

Northern River Terminal 

The Northern River Terminal is located on the bank of the Khimki reservoir, in the north-western district of Moscow. The building of the River Terminal is one of the outstanding monuments of the Stalinist Empire architectural style. It was built in 1933-1937. There is a large landscaped park around the river Terminal.

In the 19th century, the Moskva River was quite suitable for navigation of small vessels. At the beginning of the 20th century, it began to become shallow, and the displacement of ships increased. The need for the construction of the Moscow-Volga shipping Channel has become obvious. It was built in record time from 1932 to 1937. The length of the canal is 128 kilometers; more than 200 hydraulic engineering constructions have been built on the rivers, including 8 locks. The capital of Russia, the city of Moscow, was declared the "port of the five seas: Baltic, White, Caspian, Black, and Azov". In those years, the Soviet government was implementing grandiose "construction projects of communism", and the River Terminal became one of the image of that era.

Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro is not only a popular transportation in the large city, but also one of the outstanding monuments of the Stalinist Empire architectural style. The lobbies of the Moscow Metro stations, which were built during the rule of Joseph Stalin, have the most luxurious decor.  

The Moscow metro was opened on May 16, 1935. Almost all the central stations of the Moscow Metro are decorated with marble; many of them are decorated with bas-reliefs. Several stations are decorated with mosaic panels made according to ancient Byzantine technology. There are also stations with stained glass windows and sculptural compositions. At the Mayakovskaya metro station, the floor is lined with marble, and the columns are finished with steel and semi-precious rhodonite stone. 

VDNH Exhibition

VDNH Exhibition is located in the north of Moscow. The abbreviation of the word VDNH means "Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy". This is not just one building in the style of the Stalinist Empire. More than 70 pavilions were built here on the territory of 230 hectares. Initially, only exhibitions related to agriculture were held at VDNH, but then the authorities began to hold expositions in all branches of Soviet industry.

Most of the Pavilions of VDNH were built in the style of the Stalinist Empire. The central pavilions located near the entrance look especially monumental. Subsequently, pavilions were built here according to the traditions of the peoples who inhabited the USSR, as well as technical pavilions. Nowadays, the VDNH exhibition has been completely reconstructed and is a "USSR Reserve", the atmosphere of the Stalin era is completely preserved here.

Moscow University

The building of Moscow University is one of the Symbols of Moscow. It is also called the apotheosis of the Stalinist Empire style, which developed in Russia from the 1930s to the mid-1950s. The construction of Moscow University was completed in 1953, the year of Stalin's death. The University building is one of the 7 Stalinist skyscrapers that Joseph Stalin ordered to be built in Moscow after WWII.

 The university building is located on Sparrow Hills, the highest point in Moscow. Its silhouette is visible from almost all the central districts of the city. The height of the University reaches 240 meters (36 floors). After its completion in 1953, until 1990, for 37 years, it was the tallest building in Europe, until the Messeturm office building was built in Frankfurt am Main. Thus, Moscow University is not only a symbol of the Stalinist Empire, but also a full-fledged skyscraper, similar to the skyscrapers of New York.

Stalin's Skyscrapers

Stalin's skyscrapers are called 7 skyscrapers in the style of the Stalinist Empire, which were built in different districts of Moscow in the period from 1947 to 1953. The average height of Stalin's skyscrapers was 150 meters, but the highest Moscow University reached 240 meters. In the period from 1953 to 1990, it was the tallest building in Europe. 

The skyscrapers of New York were taken as a model of Stalin's skyscrapers, but in Moscow their exterior decor took into account the requirements of the architectural style of the Stalinist Empire. They housed ministries, hotels, as well as residential buildings. Joseph Stalin ordered the construction of these skyscrapers as a symbol of the country's development after the end of WWII.

Hotel Moscow

The building of the Moscow Hotel on Manezhnaya Square was built in 1932. This is one of the largest hotels in Moscow, which occupies an entire block near Manezhnaya Square. It was one of the first hotels that was built in Soviet Russia. Therefore it was decided to erect such a monumental building.

The appearance of the new hotel was very dissonant with the buildings of the Moscow Kremlin, the Historical Museum and the Moscow City Parliament; however, at that time the monumental architectural style was already becoming widespread. Later this style will be called the Stalinist Empire.