Monument to Yuri Gagarin, Moscow

One of the most loved Soviet personalities, Yuri Gagarin was the first human ever to travel in space.

Aboard the Vostok1 he completed in 108 minutes the orbit of the Earth on the 12nd of April 1961.

Dead in 1968 during a routine flight and buried in the Cremlin Walls, the young and smiling next door’s cosmonaut got his definitive consecration as a superhero in 1980, when a gigantic statue was erected in Moscow’s Leninsky avenue.

Made of shiny titan as spaceships are, the column is 42 meters tall and features a 12-meters-high Gagarin spreading his arms over a rocket-trailed pedestal.

Unveiled on the 4th of July, just two weeks before the official opening of the Summer Olympics, the monument was designed by the popular sculptor Pavel Bondarenko and the renowned architect Yakov Belopolsky – the latter also planner of Soviet War Memorial in East Berlin’s Treptower Park.