5 mins

10 amazing Soviet Era bus shelters

Photographer Christopher Herwig travelled throughout the former Soviet Union in search of weird and wonderful bus shelters. Here are his favourites

Bus shelter, Gagra, Abkhazia (Christopher Herwig)

Pitsunda, Abkhazia (Christopher Herwig)

1. Pitsunda, Abkhazia

When I interviewed the creator of this bus stop, Zurab Tsereteli, he explained why his bus stops lacked function. “I cannot answer why there is no roof, why is this, why is that,” he said. “It’s their problem. I, as an artist, do everything artistically.”

Kootsi, Estonia (Christopher Herwig)

2. Kootsi, Estonia

I found this bus stop online and then located it on Google maps. I got here in the middle of the night so slept in the rental car for a couple of days after Christmas 2013 and waited till the sun came up to photograph it.

Taraz, Kasakhstan (Christopher Herwig)

3. Taraz, Kazakhstan

An early favorite of mine and the cover of my book. In the middle of empty fields on the road near Taraz, Kazakhstan. Whenever I see it I think its going to bite me.

Gagra, Abkhazia (Christopher HErwig)

4. Gagra, Abkhazia

On the road towards Sochi from Gagra. Georgian artist Zurab Tsereteli built this wave overlooking the Black Sea in the disputed region of Abkhazia.

Shymkent, Kazakhstan (Christopher Herwig)

5. Shymkent, Kazakhstan

Along the old Silk road, on the road to the Uzbek border, just south of Shymkent, Kazakhstan. This is another bus stop without any homes in sight or any visible purpose.

Echmida, Armenia (Christopher Herwig)

6. Echmida, Armenia

Another fanciful creation, this time in the town of Echmidaz in in Armenia. There seemed to be a strong desire to push the limits of concrete construction to achieve magic.

Karakol, Kyrgyzstan (Christopher Herwig)

7. Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

Near the holiday resort lake of Izzy Kul, I love the fact that the benches are tucked under the wings in some attempt to be functional.

Aralsk, Kazakhstan (Christopher Herwig)

8. Aralsk, Kazakhstan

The most isolated bus stop on my travels, just south of Aralsk in Kazakhstan. I hadn't seen a house in a long time, the whole landscape was fantastically empty but for this bus stop.

Charyn, Kazakhstan (Christopher Herwig)

9. Charyn, Kazakhstan

Outside of town, towards the Chinese border. Despite being isolated someone has taken the time to repaint this.

Niitsiku, Estonia (Christopher Herwig)

10. Niitsiku, Estonia

Near the Russian border I did not believe this modern creation was from the Soviet Times as it is the only one I have seen with glass.  However, once inside, I saw some carved into the wood a date from the 1980s.

Have you come across any crazy bus shelters in your travels? Tell us about them in the comments below.

Soviet Bus Stops – Christopher HerwigChristopher Herwig is the author of Soviet Bus Shelters, a beautiful coffee table book published by FUEL that features some of the most audacious and beautiful bus shelters ever built. Available in all good books stores, you can order your copy on Amazon now.

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