|Location:||All over Moscow.|
All year daily 5:30-1.
Depends on distance of the trip. ;-)
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=292,900 m, 12 lines, 176 stations. V=7,000,000 per day.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|JUN-1931||decision to start construction made.|
|15-MAY-1935||first line between Sokolniki to Park Kultury opened to the public.|
The Московский метрополитен (Moscow Metro) is the most important transport system in the Russian capital city. It was started under the 1930s Moscow general plan designed by Lazar Kaganovich, and after him it was at first called Metropoliten im. L.M. Kaganovicha. The decision to start construction was made in June 1931 by the Central Committee of the USSR Communist Party.
Like in any other city on Earth, streets are not able to handle the enormous amount of traffic. Even the underground system is crowded during the morning (7 to 10) and evening hours (17 to 20). It is a living and heavily used transport system, but at the same time it is a historic museum and an art museum. Numerous stations were designed by well known artists and architects. Many stations reflect the time they were built in. And obviously many stations were used to show the best side of the current government to the own people and the foreign visitors. Train stations as a sort of public relations tool has a long tradition. The result are many beautiful places which are worth to explore, and the subway provides a fine transport for the trip.
The following stations are located along Арбатско-Покровская (Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya, line 3, the blue line) from the center to the west. We start at Ploschad Revolutsii and take a train towards Strogino.
Ploschad Revolutsii was built during the second phase of station building, the station was opened in 1938. At this time the Soviet regime tried to show its superiority over capitalism. A gallery of 76 bronze sculptures, four sets of 19, depicts revolutionaries, partisans and pioneers. The revolutionary worker has a grenade, the sailor a revolver, the frontier guard a dog. There are a trench soldier, a parachutist, a signalman, and a riflegirl. The frontier guard has a special meaning, the nose is touched by passers-by for luck and has become pretty shiny during the years. One set of figures shows the activities of a flourishing Communist order, engineering, farming, reading, and sports. One set represents the future of the country, babies, pioneer boys and girls, and students, with parents which are gazing proudly into the glorious future.
Arbatskaya is famous for plaster garlands and baroque chandeliers in the main hall. The section of the platforms is very straight, pillars are faced with pinkish marble, the platform is a matching shade of granite, and the walls are covered with cream-colored ceramic tiles. Notable is also the entrance, a unique five-tiered, pentagonal structure with the word Metro written on all sides.
Kievskaya is decorated with frescoes depicting life and work in Soviet Ukraine. There is a huge fresco of a popular celebration in Kiev and others are showing the typical professions of the area, wine makers, fishermen, cattle breeders, bricklayers, and miners. But also dancers, engineers and chemists. Weird detail: the fishermen are catching Azov Sturgeon, which is now extinct. All three stations were built in 1953 with a similar ground plan, a central hall separated from the rails by pillars. They all have gilded light-fittings and murals. This station was built during the first stage of construction, and was the first which used national motifs.
Along the Koltsevaya Line, brown line, ring line or line number 5, are more treasures to discover. Park Kultury and the four following stations were opened on 01-JAN-1950.
Park Kultury seems rather simple with grey and white marble. But it has medallion reliefs on the walls depicting activities in nearby Gorky Park: skating, playing chess, football and drama.
Rimskaya (Roman Station) was built in 1995 and was designed by two Italian architects. It is decorated with majolica sculptures and mosaics of different colored marble. Above the arch of the main hall is a madonna and child in a blue eggshell. Two fallen Corinthian columns on which the babies Romulus and Remus are sitting and crawling, backed by a real waterfall, is located at the far end of the main hall.
Obviously above stations are just a small excerpt of the network of 176 stations. Obviously there are many more interesting places, but this is just a short introduction. We recomment to visit the city by underground and have an open eye for the stations you travel.