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Smolninskoye I - The House of the Soviets

Kim Sunwoo



"No, I have forgotten nothing,
but even the dead and the victims
will rise
from the grave at your call.
We will all rise, and not I alone"

- Olga Berggolts, about her Motherland



5/5/1941 - Smolny Institute serves as headquarters for the Soviet Party in Leningrad. All important members of the city council have their offices in the building, and the defense of the city is directed from here.


Long before Smolny Institute became Lenin's residence in 1917, the building had been comissioned as the Institute for Noble Maidens, a significant step in making education available for females in Russia.


5/8/1941 - Being one of the favourite targets of the German Artillery, Smolny Institute was soon covered with a camouflage net


Andrei Zhdanov, leader of the Soviet Party in Leningrad. He has the leading role in the defense of the city.


28/7/1941 - The impressive Smolny Convent, built between 1748 and 1764 to house Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, after she decided to become a nun. The church was closed in 1923 by the Soviet authorities and it's been in decay ever since then.


A 1600x900 wallpaper featuring both the Smolny convent and the institute (click to enlarge).

Disclaimer: This CJ includes original photos taken during the siege. To my knowledge none of them is protected by copyright, but if I were wrong I'm happy to delete any picture that infringes the law.

----------------------------------[AUTHOR'S COMMENT]----------------------------------

For this update I have probably invested more hours than ever in Lot Editor and Photoshop, and the truth is that I'm quite happy with the result. The okrug of Smolny is one of the most beautiful in modern Saint Petersburg, but during the siege it was a real fortress. I will show you more in the next updates :-)

Looking forward to read your opinions and feedback!


Recommended Comments

I was wondering how you would do Smolny, and it came out wonderfully.  One of my favorite buildings by one of my favorite architects...it's been buried in the SimCity world for a long time, and somewhere on a floppy I have 1x1 puzzle pieces for the side galleries so as to piece together the complex just like your lot.  I remember the 1991 TV miniseries "Young Catherine" did a lot of filming at Smolny, and while the movie's romanticized drama fudged historical details, it was definitely a captivating celebration of Russian Baroque and Rastrellian scenery porn.  The headstrong Empress Elizabeth never quite became the nun she imagined herself as, but she certainly knew how to extravagantly indulge in her monastic whimsies.  Ironically, several months after the grandiose miniseries aired in the U.S. to great acclaim, the U.S.S.R. collapsed.  I admit, SC2000 SCURK Smolny a few years later was directly inspired by the show, and it's awesome to see Smolny again now in SimCity 4.

Thankfully, the Smolny Cathedral was not leveled by German artillery during the war or demolished by the excesses of the Revolution.  In a greater historical irony, an incensed Empress Elizabeth overran warmongering Frederick the Great's Prussia and seized Berlin almost two centuries before Stalin did the same to Nazi Germany, however, the untimely death of the aging empress stunned the suicidal Frederick and saved Prussia at the last moment from total defeat in the "Miracle of the House of Brandenburg."  The new Russian Emperor Peter III was a devoted admirer of the Prussian soldier-king, pulled Russia out of the anti-Prussian alliance, and returned Berlin and all the overrun Prussian territories back to an incredulous Frederick.  Hitler, who kept Frederick the Great's portrait hanging in his rooms deep inside the Führerbunker, hoped for another similar "miracle" as Soviet forces encircled Berlin, and his wish was seemingly fulfilled by the untimely death of the aging President Roosevelt.  That "miracle" fortunately did not play out as Hitler had desperately hoped.


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I was wondering how you would do Smolny, and it came out wonderfully.  One of my favorite buildings by one of my favorite architects...it's been buried in the SimCity world for a long time, and somewhere on a floppy I have 1x1 puzzle pieces for the side galleries so as to piece together the complex just like your lot. 

Great contribution, sir.

Is that BAT from SC4 or SC3000? Never saw it before.

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Is that BAT from SC4 or SC3000? Never saw it before.

Actually, it's even older...from SimCity 2000, with the scurk tile dated to 1998.  The '90s was a watershed moment for the popular reintroduction of Leningrad and the reopened Russia to Middle America, both through Hollywood movies like "The Russia House," whose scenery porn was filmed on-location in Leningrad in a rare allowance by Soviet authorities, and through the amazing "Catherine the Great:  Treasures of Imperial Russia from the State Hermitage Museum" traveling exhibit, which recreated a St. Petersburg street scene of Russian Baroque in southtown Dallas, Texas.  Wiki reminds us that it was in 1991 that Leningrad even renamed itself back to St. Petersburg.  Sadly, the turbulent Yeltsin years did not live up to its early hopes, as the post-soviet Russian Federation reeled from economic "shock therapy," traumatic wars in Chechnya and Yugoslavia, and the cronyism of the new oligarchs.  Putin took the reins in 1999, and, 16 years later, his much tougher Russia now eerily makes drunk President Yeltsin look very much like senile President Hindenburg of the Weimar Republic, a haplessly transitional democracy with no democrats that morphed into something far more reactionary.  Still, I admit to impressionability back then...everything had to be Russian, including taking immersive Russian language lessons in a free pilot program offered by local school district and pixel-plucking Russian scurks for SimCity.  Seeing your Smolny complex now in SimCity 4 is just too awesome.


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