In January 26, 1924, five days after Lenin’s death, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad. Later some streets and other toponyms were renamed accordingly. The city has over 230 places associated with the life and activities of Lenin. Some of them were turned into museums, as well as cruiser Aurora – a symbol of the October Revolution and the oldest ship in the Russian Navy.

Leningrad in 1960-s’. Panoramic b/w photos. Exclusive by SovietEraMuseum:

In the 1920s–1930s the poor outskirts were reconstructed into regularly planned boroughs. Constructivist architecture flourished around that time. Housing was nationalized; many ‘bourgeois’ apartments were so large, that many people who had previously lived in slums now shared these ‘communal’ apartments (kommunalkas). By the 1930s, 68% of the population lived in such housing. In 1935 a new general plan was outlined, whereby the city should expand to the south. Constructivism was rejected in favor of a more pompous Stalinist architecture. Moving the city center further from the border with Finland, Stalin adopted a plan to build a new city hall with a huge adjacent square at the southern end of Moskovsky Prospekt which could thereby become a new main street of Leningrad. However, after the war, the Soviet-Finnish border was moved to the north, and Nevsky Prospekt with the Palace Square maintained the functions and the role of a city center. In December 1931, Leningrad was administratively separated from Leningrad Oblast. At that time it included Leningrad Suburban District, some parts of which were transferred back to Leningrad Oblast in 1936 and turned into Vsevolozhsky District, Krasnoselsky District, Pargolovsky District and Slutsky District (renamed Pavlovsky District in 1944). During World War II, Leningrad was besieged by German forces. The siege lasted 872 days from September 1941 to January 1944. The Siege of Leningrad was one of the longest, most destructive, and most lethal sieges of a major city in modern history. It isolated the city from most supplies except those provided through the Road of Life across Lake Ladoga, and more than a million civilians died, mainly from starvation. Many others were eventually evacuated or escaped by themselves, so the city became largely depopulated. On May 1, 1945 Joseph Stalin, in his Supreme Commander Order No. 20, named Leningrad, alongside Stalingrad, Sevastopol, and Odessa, hero cities of the war. However, a statute bestowing the honorary title of ‘Hero City’ was only officially adopted on May 8, 1965 (the 20th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War), during the Brezhnev era. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR awarded Leningrad as a Hero City the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal ’for the heroic resistance of the city and tenacity of the survivors of the Siege’. The Hero-City Obelisk bearing the Gold Star sign was installed later, in April 1985

Leningrad in 1960-s’. Panoramic b/w photos. Exclusive by SovietEraMuseum:

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