The Colorful Moscow Suburb of Ramenskoe
When I saw some photos of colorful homes in Ramenskoe, a fast-growing town of about 100,000 outside Moscow, I decided to go there for a day to see it for myself.
Ramenskoe is about 40 kilometers from Moscow and one can get there in 45-60 minutes on the suburban train from Kazansky Train station.
Most foreigners that visit or live in Moscow don’t get much beyond the typical tourist spots and rarely get beyond the Moscow Automobile Circle Road, or MKAD, that used to signify the borders of the city.
Ramenskoe is no tourist destination, rather it is a typical suburban Moscow town in most respects with its clutter of Soviet housing alongside some older one-story homes, including wooden homes. It has a few factories, its mall or two, parks, a Mcdonalds, a new church and lots of small trading stores.
Rainbows, Butterflies, Churchs, Autumn Scenes
What makes Ramenksoe different – and worth a one-day visit – are the colored facades of the Soviet-era buildings, a project started around 2000 to help improve the image of the city. The designs are various and include rainbows, butterflies, autumn scenes, hot air balloons, churches and villages.
The colors on some buildings are quite faded after more than a decade, and a closer look shows that the buildings are not kept well by its inhabitants with graffiti in many spots. Nonetheless, it gives the city a charm and identity that other Moscow suburbs lack.
In addition to homes, lots of city walls are covered in government sponsored paintings, including the typical WWII motifs. I spent about 4 hours walking around Ramenskoe and didn’t get to see all that I wanted to.
Moscow Region’s Population Growth
Aside from the painted homes, Ramenskoe would be worth a visit for those foreigners interested in getting a deeper look at Russia’s economic and social development.
Due to its proximity to Moscow, Ramenskoe is a growing town, the massive housing project near the town’s lake a visibly confirmation of that.
In that sense, it is representative of other Moscow suburbs, where huge housing projects are going up to accommodate people from other regions of Russia or other Soviet countries seeking their fortune in Moscow.
Ramenskoe Photo Gallery