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"Flying Saucer" Soviet Architecture in Caucasus

Link - article by Avi Abrams

Spectacular mountains, great fresh air, awesome canyons - and this futuristic slick structure!

Truly "The House on the Borderland"... great for meditation and sitting out the end of the world (if you remember 1908 masterpiece novel by William Hope Hodgson).

Spotted in the North Caucasus mountains, near the resort town of Dombai, this fantastic "flying saucer" house is the prime example of 1970s architecture. Seemingly a knock-off of the "Futuro House" (designed by by Matti Suuronen, Finland), it was built in 1979 as a "Krugozor / Horizon House", or a panoramic lookout for the Mussa-Achitara Mountain close to the town of Karachayevsk in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Russia.

(image credit: Teberda - Dombai - Arkhyz Soviet Tour Guide, 1982, via)

People line up to see the aliens inside the just-landed "flying saucer"... well, no, they are eager to see the panoramic views of the valley:

Here is how the area looks around the "Krugozor" panoramic house:

Another lookout tower in Georgia (left) and public beach tower in Sochi, both displaying the typical Soviet monumental 1970s style:

(images via)

Cable car station in Sochi, seen in 1983:

Georgian Soviet-era architecture can be quite fantastic sometimes... Here is the "Space Arches" structure in Tbilisi, currently demolished, alas:

Seriously weird Ministry of Roadways and Transport building in Tbilisi - and "upside down" figures hanging over a park in Pitsunda, Georgia, seen in 1970:

(images via)

Even more amazing is this 1970s seagull-shaped road mark on a mountain road near Yerevan, Armenia:

The Fantastic North and Central Caucasus Mountain Area

The beautiful Teberda - Dombai - Arkhyz hiking and skiing area sports plenty of other attractions; here are some of the most interesting.

Look at this great, inspiring poster from the 1930s promoting the "Georgian Military Highway". The road is spectacular indeed, just needs some work to improve its safety:

While exploring these mountain ranges, you might get lucky to spot these extremely rare and protected animals: the last surviving European Bison population -

The area is rich in history and full of great exploring opportunities for enthusiasts of abandoned and ruined places. These are the ruins of the Shoan Temple on the road from Cherkessk to Dombai, dating from around 1,000 AC:

Another ancient Shoan Church can be seen in much better condition, surround by equally spectacular views:

(image credit: Vadim Turkin)

The architectural highlights of Dombai and Arkhyz are not limited to hotels and tourist infrastructure. Good old Soviet scientific facilities can impress as well.

Check out this great interior of The Special Astrophysical Observatory (SAO RAS) built in 1966. "Based in the Bolshoi Zelenchuk Valley of the Greater Caucasus near the village of Nizhny Arkhyz, the observatory houses the large BTA-6 optical telescope and RATAN-600 radio telescope".

(image via)

Another example of the "brutal modernist" style of old Soviet architecture was spotted in Armenia (this is Mount Ararat in the background):

(image via)

And we finish with the truly evocative image of a Russian Stalinist architecture gracing the worker's beaches of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea:

(image via)

Certainly beautiful in their own grandiose way, these examples of Soviet-era design are often demolished or left crumbling - so the last record of their existence is preserved in postcards and tourist brochures, by a handful of faithful collectors.

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The house in the first picture seems to be a Futuro. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futuro

Blogger Bill Miller said...

Yes. Here is a picture of another Futuro I took in north Texas, USA.

Anonymous sion said...

Of a similar nature to the "brutal modern" sculptures above is The Mask of Sorrow, commemorating those who died building the Road of Bones across eastern Siberia.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sochi is in Russia, not in Georgia, although close to its border.

Blogger cwnda said...

There is also a 'flying saucer' house on the Port Hills in Nelson, New Zealand (-41.268880, 173.266371)
I believe it was originally used as a bank office during the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch & later moved into its present position.

Blogger Jest nas Wielu said...

Architecture of a new Georgian police http://englishrussia.com/2012/07/10/reform-of-the-georgian-police/

Blogger The Grumpy Old Limey said...

I respectfully submit that the Dombai Futuro is actually a Futuro House and not a "knock off" - see http://www.thefuturohouse.com

Blogger blue said...

there is a mistake about the sculpture in armenia. the sculpture is very famous among ex soviet countries and it is in Dağlık Karabağ, Azerbaijan. name of the sculpture is Tatik and Papik and it is so much more away from the Turkish border where Ararat is a part of. the photo is simply a photoshop and nothing to do with armenia.


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