House of Soviets (Kaliningrad)

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The unfinished shell of the building. The House of Soviets was left in this state for over 20 years before completion

The House of Soviets is a building located in the city of Kaliningrad (Königsberg prior to 1946) in the Kaliningrad Oblast, an exclave of Russia. It was built on the original territory of Königsberg Castle.[1]

History[edit]

Königsberg Castle was severely damaged during the bombing of Königsberg in World War II. Following the war, as the city came under the control of the USSR, the site of the castle was redeveloped as part of the reconstruction of the city. Construction began on the House of Soviets in 1960, and was intended to be the central administration building of the Kaliningrad Oblast.

Continuation of development was stopped in the 1980s after the Regional Party Committee lost interest in the project and cut off funding.[2] The building was left unfinished for many years, and earned notoriety as one on the worst examples of post-war Soviet architecture.

In 2005, for a visit by President Vladimir Putin, the exterior was painted light blue and windows were installed. However, the interior remains unfinished and unusable. A German consultant has recommended tearing down the entire structure and building anew as cheaper and safer than attempting to repair and finish the existing shell.

Possible location of Amber Room contents[edit]

Assertions by Russian Army veteran Leonid Arinshtein in 2004, who was a 19-year-old Red Army Lieutenant in 1945, now a literature expert with the nongovernmental Russian Culture Foundation, confirm at least part of the Amber Room treasure was in Königsberg Castle before it burned to the ground. The site where the castle once existed is now underground and has never been excavated to confirm the allegation.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 54°42′38″N 20°30′45″E / 54.7106°N 20.5126°E / 54.7106; 20.5126