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Roadside Temples: Unusual Bus Stops Of The Soviet Era

During his travels throughout the former Soviet Union, Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig discovered that the region's bus stops constitute an unexplored world of Soviet-era public art. The relative insignificance of these structures allowed Soviet authorities to give free rein to the local administrators, architects, and artists tasked with designing them. The result was a wide variety of creative expression in the unlikeliest of locales. (15 PHOTOS)

A bus stop in Kazakhstan's Akmola region -- one of only a few decorated with Soviet propaganda elements. The outdated symbols had been recently refreshed with a new coat of paint.
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A bus stop in Kazakhstan's Akmola region -- one of only a few decorated with Soviet propaganda elements. The outdated symbols had been recently refreshed with a new coat of paint.

Herwig was impressed by the stylish graphic lines of this bus stop close to Tarza, Kazakhstan, on the road between Almaty and Shimkent.
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Herwig was impressed by the stylish graphic lines of this bus stop close to Tarza, Kazakhstan, on the road between Almaty and Shimkent.

In Kazakhstan, many bus stops are decorated with murals, often pastoral scenes.
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In Kazakhstan, many bus stops are decorated with murals, often pastoral scenes.

A horse takes shelter inside this bus stop in Kazakhstan's Almaty region.
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A horse takes shelter inside this bus stop in Kazakhstan's Almaty region.

Herwig said he was impressed by the creativity on display on the remote roads of Kazakhstan.
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Herwig said he was impressed by the creativity on display on the remote roads of Kazakhstan.

A bus stop in Saratak, Armenia. Herwig says Armenia is home to many heavy concrete structures with experimental, fun designs.
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A bus stop in Saratak, Armenia. Herwig says Armenia is home to many heavy concrete structures with experimental, fun designs.

A bus stop in Pitsunda, in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia
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A bus stop in Pitsunda, in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia

Herwig described this mosaic-covered bus stop in Gagra, Abkhazia, as one of the most memorable he had seen.
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Herwig described this mosaic-covered bus stop in Gagra, Abkhazia, as one of the most memorable he had seen.

A bus stop made of concrete blocks in Pitsunda, Abkhazia
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A bus stop made of concrete blocks in Pitsunda, Abkhazia

A bus stop in Kyrgyzstan's Karakol region
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A bus stop in Kyrgyzstan's Karakol region

A simple design in Rokiskis, Lithuania
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A simple design in Rokiskis, Lithuania

A spider-like bus stop in Niitsiku, Estonia. Herwig thought this structure came after the Soviet era, but found graffiti on it apparently dating from the 1980s.
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A spider-like bus stop in Niitsiku, Estonia. Herwig thought this structure came after the Soviet era, but found graffiti on it apparently dating from the 1980s.

Kootsi, Estonia
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Kootsi, Estonia

Mosaics enliven a bus stop in Lelyukhivka, in Ukraine's Poltava region.
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Mosaics enliven a bus stop in Lelyukhivka, in Ukraine's Poltava region.

A bus stop in Falesti, Moldova
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A bus stop in Falesti, Moldova

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