Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Gallery of 75 Stunning Hand-Colored Slides of an Old Moscow in 1931

From between 1921 and 1941 photographer and travelogue lecturer Branson DeCou traveled all over the world, and took about 8 thousand glass slides, not only on the historical monuments but also on the everyday life of the visited cities.

These pictures below are unique not only because of their fascinating atmosphere or the attentive representation of street life and faces. But also because perhaps this was the last moment when the old Moscow could be seen still intact and without the erosion of the following decades.

Stalin had just recently blocked the new economic policy announced ten years earlier, and the period of collectivization and repressions as well as of the Socialist transformation of Moscow began.

On almost each of the following pictures we see – for the last time – monuments that did not survive the end of the '30s.

The Kremlin from the Bolshoi Kamenny Most.

The Kremlin from the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Most.

The Kremlin from the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Most.

The Mosvkoretskaya street and the Vasilevsky spusk from the Moskvoretsky bridge.

Kremlin, Granovitaya Palace.

Kremlin, the Blagoveschensky (Annunciation) cathedral.

The Great Ivan bell tower.

The Red Square.

The GUM supermarket.

Resurrection or Iversky gate (destroyed in 1931).

Sverdlov (Theatre) square.


Teatralny proezd towards the Lubyanka.

The TsUM supermarket.

TORGSIN, the “foreign currency” shop for foreigners (1931-36).

Kuznetsky Most street.

The Second Moscow Art Theatre (then Central Children’s Theatre).

Ohotny Ryad street.

The Soviet square.

Agitation poster for the five years plan on the Soviet square.

Soviet square, Lenin Institute.

The Christ Savior cathedral, blown up in 1931

The Christ Savior cathedral.

Strastnaya square (where the giant lion was sleeping).

Tversky square, with the still standing New Triumphal Gate.

The Novodevichi monastery.

The Pyatnitsa street with the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa church (destroyed in 1935).

The Resurrection of Christ church in Sokolniki.




Tower of the Church of St. Pantelemon of Athos.



Anti-NEP propaganda.

Sukharev Tower, blown up in 1934.

Fire Protection Propaganda Station.



The Vladimir Gate on Lubyanka square, destroyed in 1934.

House of Culture of the “Kauchuk” factory.

The “Zuev” House of Culture.

The “Rusakov” Workers’ Club.

Moiseevskaya square.

Tram station on the Moiseevskaya square

New car in old Moscow.

Foreigners taking photos at MosTorg.

Foreigner taking photos.

Kvas and mors (berry beer) seller.

“A better customer service for the workers!”

Manifestation along Krasnoprudnaya street.

Perhaps the interior of the TORGSIN (foreign currency shop).

Queue in front of the shop of Armenian drinks along the Pyatnitsa street.

Birzhevaya square.

Sokolniki, Green theatre.

Man selling foreign currency at the wall of Kitaigorod.

“Soyuzpechat”, newspaper seller at the wall of Kitaigorod.

Taxi station at the Leningrad railway station.

Carter along the Strominka.

Usacheva street.

View from the Sparrow Hills.

Church of Our Lady of Praise.

Worker’s Canteen Nº. 1.

Revolution Square.

Tretyakov Gallery.

Saint Basil's Cathedral.

Revolution Square.

Red Square.

View from the belfry Nikolai Archer.

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.


At the Kitay-gorod wall.

Gorky Park.

Gorky Park.

Switzerland 'Natsionalya'.

(via Poemas del río Wang)

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