Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow

The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is one of the seven “Stalin skyscrapers” built in Moscow.

Architects Professor V. G. Gelfreikh and M. A. Minkus built the skyscraper (Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square, 32/34) from 1948-1953. The central volume includes 27 floors and is 172 m tall. The building completes the panorama from the Borodinsky bridge, forming a square.

The building houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MFA of Russia). A characteristic feature of the skyscraper is the huge coat of arms of the USSR on its facade. The coat of arms, assembled from reinforced concrete, is located at a height of 114 m and covers an area of 144 m².

The original design of the building did not have a spire, but the plan was eventually finished. The reason for the changes is not exactly known, but according to a common legend, it was not without Stalin’s instructions.

Calculations showed that the building would not withstand a stone superstructure, so the spire was built from sheet steel and painted with ocher, giving it a different color from the main volume of the building.

At present, the spire has been repainted, and the difference is practically absent.

The building is credited with being similar to the Woolworth Building in Manhattan. The architectural appearance dates back to the English Gothic: its feature is the rigid ribs, emphasizing the height of the building and the aspiration upwards.

Nearest metro: Smolenskaya metro station (Filyovskaya line)

Nearest attractions: Novy Arbat street, Stary Arbat street, AZIMUT City Hotel Smolenskaya, Golden Ring Hotel.

See also Architecture of MoscowPalaces and most historic buildings of Moscow.

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