Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Surprisingly the cinema in Dagda, East Latvia still has its Soviet times name - Komjaunietis which means a komsomolec, a member of the Communist Union of Youth. However, despite the fresh paint it is not clear whenever the cinema still works.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Vserossiyskiy Vistavochny Centr aka VDNKh is all-Russia exhibition centre in Moscow. The centre opened in late 1930s as a trade show for Soviet Union's economical achievements and it still operates, however more as a market place. The area consists of 82 pavilions or 400 buildings in total and some of the former Soviet republics still hold a pavilion, for instance, Armenia and Belarus.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Ignalina nuclear power station

The Ignalina nuclear power plant is the only atomic station producing power in the Baltics. It is located in Northeast Lithuania, about 30 km from the Latvia's second biggest town Daugavpils. It's structure is similar to the infamous Chernobyl plant and thus will be closed at the end of 2009 due to safety requirements from EU.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Glory to labour

There goes another built-in slogan of Soviet era - glory to labor. Written in Russian and found in Dagda, East Latvia.
Photo by (c) Arnis Balcus

Saturday, 20 June 2009


The cinema Gaisma (Light) in Valmiera looks almost like in 1951 when it was built. However Stalinist architecture has only remained on exterior of the building, the interior is totally reconstructed.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Friday, 19 June 2009

Kremlin gas station

This is an old gas station on Volchonka in Moscow that can be used only by cars of Kremlin garage. It is rumored that in a few years this place will be demolished in order to give space for a new art museum.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Wednesday, 17 June 2009


Seda is a small town in Latvia built in early 1950s for workers of peat extraction industry. The town is famous for Stalinist architecture and also for the fact that most inhabitants are Russians. They also have a narrow-track rail that is still used for transporting peat and bringing laborers to the work.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Valka and Valga are twin towns that were separated by the Latvian and Estonian border until 2007 when both countries joined Schengen zone. Before it was almost like East/West Berlin. But even now both cities run independent life, except for the fact that people from Valka very often cross the border to shop in Valga because in Estonia VAT is lower than in Latvia.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Monday, 15 June 2009

Soda machines

Such soda vending machines of various decades (from 1960s to late 1980s) were available all over Soviet Union. Today they can be found in the museum of Mosfilm studios in Moscow.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus

Saturday, 13 June 2009


After Stalin it was not that common to make a significant numbers of monuments for the following Soviet leaders, however some were made. Today some of them can be found in the park of fallen monuments in Moscow, for instance, a couple of sculptures of Leonid Brezhnev.
Photos by (c) Arnis Balcus