Soviet Moscow: Incredible Vintage Photos Show What Moscow Looked Like in the 1950s

Moscow was the center, heart, and soul of the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The country was recovering from World War II, and moving towards the rapid development and prosperity. The city housed the headquarters of the Soviet secret service, the KGB, and the developing nuclear and aerospace breakthroughs of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

New architectures, theatres, skyscrapers, and hotels were built in the city during the 1950s. The Hilton Moscow Leningrad kaya, one of Moscow’s Seven Sisters Skyscrapers, was also built-in 1954. Moscow also hosted the 1957 Ice Hockey World Championships and 6th World Festival of Youth and Students.

Here below are some stunning vintage photos that will take you back to the Soviet Moscow in the 1950s.

#1 Approaching the Kremlin on Moskvoretskaya naberezhnaya, Moscow.

#4 The streets of Soviet Moscow were pretty empty in the 1950s.

#5 Driving up Moscow’s Bolshaya Nikitskaya ulitsa, with the Stalinist skyscraper on Kudrinskaya ploshchad rising in background.

#7 Log-topped housing and ramshackle sheds topped with corrugated steel in Moscow’s Tagansky raion.

#8 The corner of Moscow’s Bolshoi Devyatinsky pereulok and Novinsky bulvar, near the new U.S. Embassy opened shortly after May Day in 1953.

#10 A street corner in central Moscow. The building has since been demolished.

#11 A bust of Lenin decorates a window of a Moscow City Bank branch.

#13 People line up outside a grocery store at an unknown location.

#15 The steeple of Moscow’s Novospassky Monastery, seen from a nearby street.

#17 View of the Moscow Zoo with the Temple of St. George in the background.

#18 Streetcleaners wielding tree-branch brooms on Red Square.

#23 A one-sided volleyball match in Moscow’s Tagansky raion.

#24 A line of horses take over the center lane, unknown location.

#30 A typical interior of the soviet apartment. Nowadays, we can’t believe that many of the Soviet homes had the same furniture and design

#33 It seems like this is a road construction vehicle

#34 It’s hard to believe, but the passengers of this bus agreed to exit it in the middle of nowhere just for the photo of the foreigner

#36 Many buildings in Moscow had a very poor outlook in the 1950s

#37 Many churches and cathedrals were destroyed during the Soviet rule

#40 Soviet tourists on the Red Square in Moscow, 1950s

#42 The monumental construction was a signature urbanist approach during Joseph Stalin rule

#44 These school students are looking relatively good.

#45 This building had to demonstrate that the Soviet Union recovered from WWII.

#46 Two soviet girls standing at the Moscow river embankment, the 1950s

#51 Silhouette of Saint Basil’s Cathedral on the Red Square.

#53 Warmly-dressed children playing in a public garden.

#54 A traffic policeman in the center of a wide cobbled avenue.

#55 A man walking on the platform of Lenin’s mausoleum.

#57 Four men installing a model of Sputnik 1 on an abstract sculpture in a public garden.

#63 A traffic policeman preparing to open the front trunk of a car.

#67 A young boy dressed in cold clothes and carrying his satchel.

#70 The finishing touches are put on the Stalinist skyscraper on Kudrinskaya ploshchad.

The finishing touches are put on the Stalinist skyscraper on Kudrinskaya ploshchad.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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    • Amazing! Westerners sure are obsessed with toilet paper! Well, you like the butt stuff anyway, right? However, the country rebuilt and developed rapidly after World War II, especially considering how much of the European part was razed in that event and how nearly a whole generation of men got disabled. In the late 1960s, living standards and human development were far above the global average. All of my relatives have nothing but good things to say about those times and the 1980s. Although, unfortunately, so many resources had to be spent on defence, it was unavoidable given the continuous threats from Western imperialist aggressors. It was either that or got “Untermenschen”.