The photos were taken by the Comdig Urban Exploration. They are photographers and urban explorers based in Russia. The Comdig has been documenting urban decay, industrial abandonments, and rural decomposition since 2010.
The Soviet Houses of Culture were popular institutions in the Soviet Union, created as public spaces to engage workers in various life-building programs. In 1988 there were over 137,000 club establishments in the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the USSR, many houses of culture were abandoned
What is a Soviet House of Culture?
Palace of Culture or House of Culture (dom kultury) was the name for major club-houses in the Soviet Union and the rest of the Eastern bloc.
It was an establishment for all kinds of recreational activities and hobbies: sports, collecting, arts, etc.; the Palace of Culture was designed to have room for multiple uses. A typical Palace contained one or several cinema halls, concert hall(s), dance studios (folk dance, ballet, ballroom dance), various do-it-yourself hobby groups, amateur-radio groups, amateur-theatre studios, amateur musical studios and bands, lectoriums (lecture halls), and many more.
The History of Soviet House of Culture
The so-called “people’s houses” appeared in the Russian Empire in the late 1880s – it was the age of political strife and social tensions. The goal of these public establishments, sponsored by the government or private philanthropists, was to educate the population and provide it with cultural recreation free of charge, at the same time tying up nascent revolutionary movements. These spaces housed libraries, bookshops, halls for lectures, community theater productions and creative studios.
After the Russian Revolution, the “people’s houses” were transformed into workers’ clubs and “houses of culture.” Retaining their original functions, they also became important vehicles of state ideology.
After the collapse of the USSR, this huge network was largely deprived of any financial or ideological support from the authorities. Some “houses of culture” became the places for nostalgia – preserved in their faded glory. Some still house privately owned creative studios, clinging to the old ideals.
Photos from inside of the abandoned House of Culture
Expert on Urban Planning and Abandoned Places
|Mr. Gregory Hooqe is a highly experienced expert on Urban Planning and Sustainable Development. Mr. Gregory Hooqe has been focusing on Urban Development since 2000 and has written extensively on the subject.|
He was awarded the 2009 Korea Foundation Professional Award for his research on Korean Smart Cities, as well as the 2016 Korea Development Institute, Global Ambassador Award for SD and Innovation