A guide to the New East

Soviet Bus Stops Volume II: Christopher Herwig is back with more wild architectural wonders

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When Christopher Herwig, a Canadian photographer, first embarked on his arduous long-distance cycle from London to St Petersburg back in 2002, the outlandishly designed bus stop was nothing more than a pleasing oddity. What Herwig didn’t expect was that this was only the start of his life-long obsession; there were similarly peculiar roadside shelters scattered across the post-Soviet world. His first collection of photographs covered more than 30,000 km through 14 former Soviet countries, including vast swathes of Central Asia. His second volume, published by Fuel and featuring a foreword by Owen Hatherley, is dedicated to Ukraine, Georgia and Russia. For this latest book Herwig sought to find the most unusual bus stops in the deepest reaches of the countryside. And he did not disappoint: the bus stops here range from magnificently produced propaganda, celebrating the achievements of the Soviet state, to the patrioric (St George slaying the dragon in the village of Rostovanovskoye in Russia is well worth a gander), to the fantastically mundane that makes you ask — what is a giant lighbulb doing in the middle of the Russian countryside? Step inside some of the perpetually puzzling examples of Soviet-era architecture. 

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