Moscow Suburbs: Facades of Ramenskoe

The Colorful Moscow Suburb of Ramenskoe

Late Soviet-era housing covered in a rainbow painting to hide the original gray facade.

Late Soviet-era housing covered in a rainbow painting to hide the original gray facade.

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

A butterfly covers the left side of the wall, while a tree from an autumn scene covers the right side.

A butterfly covers the left side of the wall, while a tree from an autumn scene covers the right side.

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

A huge housing development in Ramenskoe to accommodate the growing population.

A huge housing development in Ramenskoe to accommodate the growing population.

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

A children's playground in Ramenskoe. Each slide has one letter to spell the word 'Ramenskoe.'

A children’s playground in Ramenskoe. Each slide has one letter to spell the word ‘Ramenskoe.’

A closeup of the rainbow colored building.

A closeup of the rainbow colored building.

Another closeup of the rainbow colored building.

Another closeup of the rainbow colored building.

This apartment building has small homes painted on it, perhaps a village scene.

This apartment building has small homes painted on it, perhaps a village scene.

It's not only the homes that are painting. Here a fence surrounding a basketball and hockey playground is painted in the colors of the Russian flag.

It’s not only the homes that are painting. Here a fence surrounding a basketball and hockey playground is painted in the colors of the Russian flag.

Ramenskoe is not only colorful, but relatively well-kept. Here a worker collects garbage near an apartment building.

Ramenskoe is not only colorful, but relatively well-kept. Here a worker collects garbage near an apartment building.

A Khrushev-era building colored in a bright yellow and red. Clothing is drying from a first floor apartment window as frost covers the ground.

A Khrushev-era building colored in a bright yellow and red. Clothing is drying from a first floor apartment window as frost covers the ground.

This is what the rainbow colored buildings look like from behind.

This is what the rainbow colored buildings look like from behind.

A mother and child walking past a Ramenskoe city wall covered in a village scene.

A mother and child walking past a Ramenskoe city wall covered in a village scene.

A student walking by a wall covered with a WWII-themed painting.

A student walking by a wall covered with a WWII-themed painting.

In addition to the legal painting on buildings, there is also the occasional graffiti.

In addition to the legal painting on buildings, there is also the occasional graffiti.

Flowers stand in the stairwell window between the first and second floors.

Flowers stand in the stairwell window between the first and second floors.

Ramenskoe also has its small, wooden homes from a bygone era. These individuals are probably walking to the train station, which is about a 10 minute walk away.

Ramenskoe also has its small, wooden homes from a bygone era. These individuals are probably walking to the train station, which is about a 10 minute walk away.

More rainbow colored buildings as seen at sunset time.

More rainbow colored buildings as seen at sunset time.

After more than a decade, the painting is starting to fade on some of the colored buildings.

After more than a decade, the painting is starting to fade on some of the colored buildings.

 

2 comments

  1. Natasha says:

    How delightful and interesting to see such a colorful side of Ramenskoye! Todd, thank you so much for your wonderful photography and blog. As someone who grew up in both NYC and Moscow, I was particularly excited to discover your work.

    • todd says:

      Thank you Natasha) I appreciate you taking the time to look through the photographs and leave a comment. Hope you will find more interesting photos on this site in the future 🙂

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