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Meritocracy in Kotelnicheskaya

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From Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, we see this 176-metre-high residential skyscraper, a wedding-cake structure erected in 1952 by Soviet architects Tchechouline and Rostkovski.

Not far from the Kremlin, along the Moscow River, is the Kotelnicheskaya, an architectural monument with references to Egyptian, classical, Gothic,and Russian medieval architecture. Joseph Stalin erected this building, one of a total of eight intended skyscrapers meant to celebrate the 800-year-anniversary of the capital.

In the end, there were only seven, inspired by the Manhattan Municipal Building in New York, and nicknamed the Seven Sisters of Moscow. Communist apparatchicks were housed at the Kotelnicheskaya, including KGB officials, senior officers of the army, science writers, and artists, who took advantage of its beautiful cinema (the Illusion), a hairdresser's, shops, supermarket, banks, and kindergarten. Today, its heritage facade and certain rooms are home to these ex-officials, their descendants, Russian newcomers, and very wealthy foreigners.

The Triumph Palace, a 264-metre-high residential skyscraper built in 2005, was inspired by the Kotelnitcheskaya and is nicknamed Stalin's eighth sister.

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