Hammer and Sickle – Segezha, Karelia

Huge hammer and sickle monument on a traffic divider in Segeža, Russia.

Main industrial center of Soviet Karelia, the city hosted a plant for the production of reinforced concrete and the ЦБК, the largest paper packaging kombinat of the USSR.

Hammer and Sickle monument Polaroid Color 600 Summer Haze Edition / Polaroid Supercolor 670AF
Hammer and Sickle monument Fujifilm instax mini black / Leica Sofort

Orbelian’s Caravanserai – Selim Mountain Pass, Armenia

At 2410 meters high at the Vardenyats Pass on the Armenian Caucasus, Orbelian (also known as Selim or Sulema) caravanserai stands from the early XIV century as a shelter for caravans travelling along the Silk Road, the legendary trade route connecting Europe to Far East.

The refuge was built between 1326 and 1332 by an order of powerful prince Chesar Orbelian, as carved on the facade; the family emblems – a winged quadruped and a bull, in high-relief – are portrayed on the architrave of the main entry.

The basalt stone lodging consists of a vestibule and a long, wide room where people and animals could spend the night away from dangers and mountains rough weather.

The sole beams of light break through the muqarnas-decorated oculi on the barrel vault, creating a rarified, still (and somehow disorientating) atmosphere in the pitch black.

Badly damaged in XVI and XVII century, the qaravanatun was restored during Soviet times, between 1956/1959.

Orbelian's Caravanserai – Main entrance Fujifilm instax mini black / Leica Sofort
Orbelian's Caravanserai – Oculus Fujifilm instax mini black / Leica Sofort

Sukhumi Railway Station, Abkhazia

On the picturesque Black Sea coast of Abkhazia, Sukhumi train station was planned in 1938 to connect the Transcaucasus Railway to Adler.

The present, severe building was opened on December 1, 1951 and designed by architects Levan and Lola Mushkudiani in the USSR fashion du jour, the monumental Stalinist Empire style.

The décor was rather luxurious at the time: all façades were lined with granite and marble, windows and cash registers were made out of chestnut and genuine parquet covered the floor of the restaurant.
The star-crowned station was built to host 500 to 1000 passengers at once.

The edifices were then damaged during the Abkhaz-Georgian war and used as ammunition depot. They became fully operational again only in 2004.

Currently, the main building is under renovation and the station serves only a few trains running from and towards Russia.

Sukhumi Train Station Impossible Yellow Duochrome Third Man Records Edition / Polaroid 636 Closeup