01. One of the main battle scenes of the movie was filmed at the Lenspirtstroy plant (near Saint Petersburg).

The plant was destroyed during WWII and ever since had been used as a setting for numerous films.

02. The set designers who worked on recreating a part of Stalingrad adopted an ambitious approach to the job. According to Wikipedia, the set was constructed over a period of 6 months, more that 400 workers were involved and the whole project cost about 5 million dollars.

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04. Since this was a docudrama, many of the details at the set were introduced to further enhance the dramatic quality of the movie. For example, there is an old German cemetery with a fence made of hospital bed head pieces.

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06. This cemetery was part of the actual city of Stalingrad and was located at about the same place as in the movie, but it looked different.

07. The fencing was also not a phantom of the designers’ imagination. A similar fence could be seen at the site of the mass grave near the Volga river in Stalingrad, where Soviet soldiers were buried.

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08. The most famous landmarks of Stalingrad at the time were recreated on the set. This is, for example, the Gerhardt Mill that was built in 1903 and destroyed in 1942.

09. This is what the mill looked like in real life, before the war.

10. It was decided not to restore the building after the war so that the ruins could serve as a memorial to those who defended the city.

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13. One of the most impressive buildings on the set is fire station.

14. The actual building dates back to 1897. Here’s a pre-war photo.

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16. After the war, the building underwent restoration..

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19. Some of the buildings on the set have interiors as well as facades.

20. While German troops were in control of Stalingrad, the main department store housed the Field Marshall General headquarters.

21. Let’s come inside.

22. The first thing that captures your attention is the Stalinist Empire style chandelier that sways in the wind.

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30. Apparently, the Germans were so freaked out during the battle that they started making spelling errors. According to an online translator, it should be “schützengraben verlassen”.

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32. The Maxim Gorky Drama Theater, or, rather, its copy.

33. It feels as if the designers took this very photo for reference when making it.

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40. If you go behind the wall of the room pictured in the previous photo, it is possible to see how the scenery is made.

41. And these walls were witness to the real war, not the fake one.

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45. This famous photo taken by Emmanuil Evzerikhin, who worked as a reporter during the war, made the typical Soviet fountain in Predmostnaya square a symbol of Stalingrad.

46. Naturally, the sculpture was also recreated by the set designers.

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48. In modern-day Volgograd, this landmark no longer exists. There is a parking lot where it used to be.

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51. The designed invested a lot of time and attention to small detail.

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53. This is an MZMA-400 or 401. This car was an exact copy of the Opel Kadett model, but it still wasn’t manufactured when the battle of Stalingrad took place. Here it is posing as an Opel.

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57. Most of the pieces at the set are made of Styrofoam and plywood and then painted. But this one building is made of real brick and stone.

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60. One of the buildings photographed from the back.

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63. If I’m not mistaken, this is the only building that was blown up during the filming. The Styrofoam bricks stand out.

64. Other than a few historical inconsistencies, the designers did a great job. It is clear that they put a lot of effort into it.

65. However, while I was on the set, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was inside a computer game, not on a movie set.

Images @ saoirse-2010

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