The "Seven Sisters" are seven Stalinist skyscrapers (Stalin’s high-rises, also known locally as “Stalinskie Vysotki”), which are a kind of symbols of Moscow. In the late forties of the past century, the Soviet authorities launched a grandiose architectural project to build eight metropolitan high-rises. The first Moscow skyscrapers in the style of the Soviet art deco were planned for the 800th anniversary of Moscow.
However, the capital eventually saw only seven Stalin’s skyscrapers. The 24-storeyed building on Kudrinskaya Square was built in 1954 and was known as the Aviators’ House. It was settled not only by those who were somehow related to the sky, but also by actors and scientists well-known in those days. The high-rise had its own bomb shelter, which could accommodate all the tenants of the house. Another "sister" is the main 36-storeyed building of the Moscow State University, built in 1953. It is considered the highest among all Stalinist skyscrapers (236 meters), and the star on its spire weighs 12 tons. Moreover, this building was considered to be the highest in Europe until 1990. The 34-storey Hotel "Ukraina" was built in 1957. Today this hotel, numbering about 500 rooms, is recognized one of the largest in Europe. The skyscraper on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, erected in 1952, has 32 floors. This residential building was designed as a strategic object: it was intended to build a tunnel to the Kremlin under its foundation, but this plan was never realized. Another 27-storeyed high-rise on the Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square was built in 1953. Today it houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. Hotel "Leningradskaya", built in 1954, is the lowest of all Stalin’s skyscrapers: its height is only 136 meters. Today it is still a hotel with 275 rooms, restaurants, swimming pools and beauty salons. The building on the Red Gate Square (the Red Gates Administrative Building), completed in 1953, has a total of 24 floors. But since the house is built in the highest point of the Garden Ring (Sadovoye Koltso), it can compete even with the building of the Moscow State University for the title of the most impressive. Today the building contains apartments and various institutions. The eighth skyscraper in Zaryadye was not completed because of Stalin's death, just as the grand Palace of the Soviets on the site of the demolished Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.