Moscow's metro was inaugurated in 1935 and since then the network grew to 11 lines and covers a distance of about 300 km. Many of the stations from Soviet times are fine examples of socialist realism and therefore well worth seeing.
Unfortunately, in the past taking photos was prohibited, but nowadays it looks like nobody really cares about this.
Among the higlights of the metro stations are: Komsomolskaya and Kievskaya (brown line), Park Kultury (red line), Mayakovskaya (green line) and Ploshchad Revolutsiy (blue line).
For more practical info about the metro, please have a look at my "Transportation Tips".
Fondest memory: Metro station: Detail of Komsomolskaya
Marble, gilt, chandeliers, mosaics, bronze sculptures - the Moscow Metro really does bring a grandiose touch to the everyday routine of catching a train around the city. Not all the stations are elaborate, but some are truly "palaces for the people". The themes are generally historical or an idealized depiction of Socialist life. Visiting all of them could consume a great part of the time you have in Moscow.
Fondest memory: Life-size bronze sculptures of the heroic proletariat line the main hall and escalators of the Ploshchad Revoluyutsii (Revolution Square) and glorify the the lives, work and heroism of the ordinary men and women of the Russian Revolution. It is an extraordinary body of work, well worth a good look.
Favorite thing: Station "Kropotkinskaya" was open also in 1935. The top part of marble columns is decorated with capitals, in which lighting appliance, invisible from below, are built. Due to such arrangement of lamps soft and uniform illumination of all the hall is created.
Favorite thing: Station " Kievskaya ". Pillons are reveted with white Ural marble "koelga" and are topped with a complex ceramic cornice. On the arch in huge modelled medallions frescos are located. In facing walls the white and black marble is used. The floor is laid out with grey granite.
Favorite thing: Station " Novoslobodskaya ". Pillons of a platform hall are reveted with white Ural marble. The original color stained-glass windows, decorating pillons, are executed by the Riga masters. Design of the hall is combined with a granite floor and with facing walls in white ceramic bar.
Favorite thing: The arch of station "Belorusskaya" (1938), supported with powerful pillons, is reveted with a dark-pink marble. The floor is laid out with plates of black and grey granite. Lateral parts of the hall are shined with round lusters, the central part v in addition, bronze standard lamps.
Favorite thing: In architectural design of station " Novokuznetskaya" (1943) the theme of Russian people strength has found a bright embodiment. Seven smalto panels tell about work of Russian people in rear. Marble benches for passengers are installed. Bronze standard lamps are applied for illumination.
And I don't mean any modern artistic tendence, but the real masterpieces you can find in some of the oldest subway stations in Moscow. It was considered the best way to take art to the streets, to the people, and I really agree.
These are the best:
- Krasnie Varota
But there are a lot to visit, look at any tourist guide book.
Fondest memory: More info at:
Favorite thing: The design of an underground hall of station "Mayakovskaya" (1938) is unique. The model of the station was exhibited at the international exhibition in New York in 1938 and was awarded with "Grand prix".
Favorite thing: Station " Square of Revolution ". In niches of the hall 76 sculptural groups are installed. The black Armenian marble "davalu" is successfully combined with red, light-golden, white and grey marble of other breeds.
If you would trade stones for people, your next step would be the Metro, that's the Underground , or Subway, or the Tube, I do not know how they call it in Kuwait. Today you would need 11 roubles one way, but they are going to raise the tariff in the New Year ? again! The Circular line (brown), linked to the railway stations, by the public opinion has the most spectacular stations as well as tramps. Be careful.
My favourite stations are:
? The classical Kropotkinskaya - red line, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, whose impressionists were temporarily arrested in Switzerland, quite a sight in itself, I mean the museum, not the arrest incident. The Saviour Cathedral is there, too ? to my taste, the seven Stalin's skyscrapers can boast of more style than this blotter.
? The stain-glass Novoslobodkaya ? Circular line
? Mayakovakya with its mosaics, if they are still there after the renovation works. If you have a guidebook with you, you will read about the meeting the government held there during the war (when Russians speak of the War, they mean World War II)
I have no particular fancy about Komsomolskaya, it is too heavy, and there are always too many people. However, I do hold the author of the mosaics in deep respect, you will find his works in the Tretyakov Gallery if you have patience with Russian paintings, they are altogether grave, like our literature. If you actually come to Komsomolskaya and if you have spare 11 roubles for your return ticket, go up and take a picture of the hotel Leningrad, that's the most elegant of the 'seven sisters'. Then take three more pictures of the three railway stations there, they stand for the three components of the Russian national character. That's not a received scientific theory, too bad, just my own observation.
Stay away from the Metro in a rush hour, or you may end up without your camera, or wallet. By the way, you can by a pass for 10 rides, it will be cheaper than a single ticket.
A must to try the metro. Had a wonderful ride there. Each individual station has it's own theme. It is beautifully design and very grand.
Fondest memory: My day escape to the red square via the metro. Almost gotten lost by loosing track of my tour guide. The train was going real fast and we have to switch the trains in quite a few stations in order to reach our destination. We are quite excited and nervous about it especially in a group of 20 people.
In Moscow you can use the underground for your moving, so you can move speedly and you can see the inside of the metro stations. They are very nice and are all different from each others; they are like monument, they are very big.
Fondest memory: Only a tip: if you like to use the underground is better if you'll buy a ticket carnet becouse is more cheaper (50-60%) then one way ticket.
Get on subway in Moscow and you will be able to admire the spacious and beautifully decorated subway stations. It is just an art!
You can only guess the reason why they were built this way - a need for spacious subway due to big number of inhabitants or merely megalomania so typical for Russia?
Probably from both little bit...
When in Moscow, obviously see the world's most amazing metro! Nothing comes close.
Try it online at http://beeflowers.com/Metro/index.htm
Some 500 photos of the mosaics here, with panoramas of the stations, and Virtual Reality too.