When you are visiting Moscow, I highly recommend taking a tour of the Moscow Metro or Subway. It is impressive! Moscow’s Metro is one of the most reliable, most convenient and most gorgeous in the world. Out of 200 stations of the Metropolitan, 44 stations are masterpieces of architecture and design of the Soviet Era. In many stations, you will immediately recognize symbols of the Soviet Era, such as the Revolution of 1917, Young Pioneers and Komsomol, as well as the history of the construction and development of Socialism.
The creation of the Metropolitan system began as an idea 140 years ago. The first plan, dated to 1875, was to organize underground connections between Kurskaya Station and Maryina Rotscha. The first actual project was proposed in 1902 and it was immediately rejected by the Duma. Russians did not like the idea of building transportation lines under churches and considered it a desecration. That did change, of course.
The Moscow Metro opened exactly 85 years ago, in May of 1935. The first line connected Sokolniki and the Park of Culture. The first 13 stations were immediately recognized as undisputable art masterpieces of the Soviet Era. Marble used for the construction of the Metro was brought from demolished buildings of significance such as the Serpukhov Kremlin, a Russian Architectural monument from the 16-17th century, and the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which was demolished by the Communists in 1931.
During World War 2, the Moscow Metro became a bomb shelter which saved the lives of many Muscovites. Half a million people found shelter underground. However, the Metro was more than just a bomb shelter. There were stores and hair salons especially during the times of the German brutal airstrikes. The Kurskaya metro station had a working library. On October 6, 1941, Joseph Stalin made a famous speech at the Train Station Mayakovskaya on the anniversary of the October Revolution and announced the inevitable defeat of the Fascists. Even during the years of the great Patriotic war, the construction of the Moscow metro did not stop. 9 new stations were opened during the War.
The beauty of the Moscow metro stations showcases the amazing work of outstanding Soviet architects and artists such as the architects Aleksey Schusev, Nikolai Collie, Ivan Fomin, Alexey Dushkin, spouses Ivan Taranov and Nadezhda Bykova, and the artists Pavel Korin, Vladimir Frolov, and Alexander Deineka, sculptor Matvey Manizer and many others. The best Metro stations to visit are Komsomolskaya, Mayakovskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Taganskaya, Teatralnaya, Novokuznetskaya, Ploshchad Revolyutsii, to name a few. The names of the Moscow Metro stations are directly related to the main events of the country and to the names of streets and squares on which the entrances are located. The design elements of the lobby and station halls meet the highest canons of art. One can see various styles such as the Stalinist Empire, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Baroque, and Classicism. Everything is done on a grand scale, richly and very expensively. The materials used for decoration include various types of marble, granite, semi-precious Ural gems, steel, bronze, brass glass. Each station could be a separate tour because the interiors feature different styles and images of Russian history. In addition to the exquisite decor, all facilities are equipped with perfect ventilation, drainage and electricity systems!