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VR tour gives visitors a unique look into Moscow’s past and utopian projects

, Cities
Author Lynsey Free

Have you ever wondered how the most utopian Soviet architectural projects would look in the urban environment of Moscow? With the help of VR glasses, a new English-language guided tour allows you to see the city’s past and its unrealized futures, from medieval fortifications to the gargantuan Palace of the Soviets.

The never built Palace of the Soviets. Image courtesy Moscow Through the Engineer's Eye

Through the lens of VR glasses, history buffs can see the Kremlin’s walls and towers as they were in the 18th century, and sneak a peek at the Aleviz Moat that vanished 200 years ago. Organized by Moscow Through the Engineer's Eye group, the “Moscow Past and Future” tour is made possible by the company Arvizio, which is engaged in the development of VR / AR technologies.

The experience also offers a glance at what might have been—including the Stalinist Eighth Sister skyscraper which was once slated to be built on the spot where Zaryadye Park now sits. Patrons can also marvel at the Palace of the Soviets, which was due to occupy the site of the original Christ the Savior Cathedral, which was demolished under Stalin.

No tour of Moscow would be complete without mention of Lenin’s Mausoleum. However, instead of viewing the Soviet leader’s preserved body, visitors are shown how the alternative architectural design of the mausoleum would have looked.

The Moscow Kremlin in the 18th century. Image courtesy Moscow Through the Engineer's Eye

The tour was especially designed for foreign tourists, explained Ayrat Bagautdinov, the founder of the project.

“Usually tourists are shown a standard set of attractions. We want to expand the views of foreigners about our country, show them the lost masterpieces and those grand structures that could appear in Moscow in the first decades of Soviet power.”

Tourists will also increase their knowledge of the Russian capital, learning all about the Kremlin and how it was built, and about the monumental buildings the Bolsheviks aspired to erect in the heart of the city.

The first tour will take place on April 20. Details can be found here.

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