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Old Moscow and St. Petersburg Through an American Photographer's Lens

Living in Moscow in the 1930s meant living in a time of massive change. As part of the newly formed Soviet Union, the city saw an explosion of new construction and heavy industry development, utterly transforming the new country’s capital.

Back then, there was no legendary Moscow metro, nor were there 13 million residents like there are today — but Soviet leaders envisioned Moscow into the ideal example of a socialist city that reflected their communist ideals.

American photographer Branson DeCou took these photos in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1931 which were later colorized. They show a long-gone side of Moscow that everyone would like to visit once: