During the rule of the Soviet Union, strict secularism was implemented to establish the dominance of the government over religion. The institution of marriage, however, continued to be of great importance for the people, therefore the Soviet administration created secularised wedding palaces devoid of religion. These state-run institutions promoted state atheism and they became more prevalent during the 1960s under the Khrushchev administration.
Here are some of the secularised wedding palaces in former Soviet Union countries:
The Palace of Rituals in Tbilisi, Georgia
Also known as the Wedding Palace of Georgia, this building is a fine example of postmodern Soviet architecture. The architect of the cathedral-like building was Victor Jorbenadze and he based his design on female anatomy despite facing opposition. He wanted to express traditional Georgian wedding elements in his building while celebrating the formation of a new family, and although he was opposed in the beginning his design later came to life. The building was completed in 1984.
Wedding Palace in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Completed in 1987, the Wedding Palace in Bishkek is an example of postmodern and secular Soviet architecture. A. Logunov and A. Klishevichb, the architects of the building, tried mimicking the grandeur of cathedrals and mosques in their building to evoke the same feelings one would get when looking at traditional worshipping places. The facade almost entirely consists of stained glass windows, with the exception of marble columns accompanying them. The design has futuristic elements to it such as the spiky towers on the corners giving the impression of a castle. Some couples continue to use the wedding palace but it needs reconstruction.
Wedding Palace in Kazan, Tatarstan in Russia
Although it was built in 2013, the wedding palace in Kazan was influenced by modernist Soviet architecture. The building is also known as the ”Wedding Bells Monument” and it is one of Kazan’s symbols. It is shaped like a traditional Tatar pot as the roof resembles a cauldron. It is situated across the Kazan Kremlin and is open to tourists as well.
Wedding Palace in Almaty, Kazakhstan
The Wedding Palace was built in 1971. It consists of cylindrical bodies representing the two wedding rings. The first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR Dinmukhamed Kunaev decided to build a wedding palace to comply with the atheist-state policy of the Soviet Union. The exterior of the building is filled with traditional Kazakh ornaments embodying marital ties and the union of woman and man and the interior of the building resembles a Kazakh yurt. The building underwent a series of reconstructions over the years.