James Jay Carafano
There are over a hundred candidates for the ugliest building in the world. Honorable mentions include the Scottish Parliament and North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel (often called the Hotel of Doom), but if you combine history and architecture there is only one ugly to rule them all.
What is the Palace of Culture and Science? Towering over the middle of Warsaw, Poland, like Godzilla over Tokyo, is a massive monument to Soviet architecture and imperialism. Completed in 1955, conceived by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as a “gift” to the Polish people and an enduring symbol of “Soviet-Polish” friendship.
Why is to so ugly? This what you get when you mix a cocktail of decadent art deco and classic Stalinist gothic style and then throw-up over the blue prints. It is not only big and hideous, the exterior is dark and grimy compared to the rest of the skyline of modern Warsaw.
Why is it an ugly reminder of the past? Warsaw has been a misery magnate for most of modern history; fought over time and again, culminating in the city’s virtual complete destruction by the Nazis during the Warsaw Uprising (1944). The city was “liberated” by the Soviets which then proceeded to install a puppet government that imposed more misery on the Polish people, oppression which lasted until the last Communist government fell in 1990.