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House on the Embankment

A constructivist landmark with a museum of the same name




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An apartment complex for the Communist Party elite, also known as the House of Ruling Elite, was built on Bersenevskaya Embankment in 1931 according to the design of Boris Iofan, who also created the concept for the Palace of the Soviets (which was never built). The House on the Embankment (so named after the eponymous novella by Yuri Trifonov) was a premium housing property. Along with Udarnik, the largest cinema in the Soviet Union which was housed on the first floor of the building, the House on the Embankment had its own gym, library, department store, and club, which later became a variety theater. Not only public servants lived in the building. There were also writers, academics, and top military brass among its residents, most notably the field marshals Zhukov and Konev. 

The House on the Embankment had a tragic history. More than 800 residents of a total of 2,500 fell victim to Stalin's purges. At some point, there were entire stairwells in which every single apartment was sealed off with police tape. In 1989, the residents themselves had the apartment that once had belonged to the building's chief security officer converted to a museum of the House on the Embankment. The exhibits—personal items, books, photographs, and archive papers of residents—shed light on how people lived in the building in the 1930s. The museum has lists of purge victims and veterans of the Great Patriotic War (WWII) who were related to the House on the Embankment in one way or another. 

The House on the Embankment remains a residential building to this day. Many pop music, theater, and film celebrities have their homes here. Some of the apartments are available for rent. 

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