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By Naveen Rajasekhar
The construction of the Moscow subway was started in 15th May, 1935. The subway has 172 stations with a total length of approximately 178 miles. The most beautiful stations are near the center of the capital. The architecture of the Moscow subway stations is very attractive with beautiful hallways that at first sight are reminiscent of a museum or heritage site.
Some of the lines of this subway provide picturesque views of the Moskva River and the Yauza River. The station that was designed by the architect Dushkin was inaugurated in 1935. This station was known as the ‘Palace of Soviets’ until 1957. The ends of the station’s supporting columns are carved into five pointed soviet stars. The architectural beauty of bronze figures of the creators of the New Socialist Orders that are placed between the columns of the Ploschad Revolutsii station are also worth a mention.
The Kropotkinskaya station was said to have been inspired by the Temple of Amon at Karnak. photo by malfet.
Visitors and tourists are impressed by the marble clad walls and chandelier lighting of the stations in the subway. Many sculptures and murals that display the great events in Russian history are found in the subway stations. Of particular importance are the bronze statues representing the revolutionaries of 1917 that are displayed at the Revolution Square station. The culture of Russia is also given a representation in Tatranalaia station, where there are statues of ballerinas in the national costumes.
The Red Square Metro Station (7F) by Revolution Square station. Photo by Daz n P.
The Moscow subway was named after Lazar Kaganovich who was one of Stalin’s most trusted advisors and a key figure in the construction of the metro. The subway of Moscow had an important role to play in the historic era of World War II. The subway offered shelter to thousands of citizens during aerial bombings. During the war, the Christiye Prudy station was used as the main command center of the Soviet army general staff. The Mayakovskaya station in the subway was used as a command post for the city’s anti aircraft batteries. This station also hosted an underground ceremony to celebrate the twenty fifth anniversary of the October Revolution held on 6th November, 1941.
The Victory Park station. Photo by farflungphotos.
The Moscow subway is consistently ranked among the ten best subway systems in the world for its architectural beauty and the historic significance granted to the stations and other buildings that were expected to showcase the opulence of the Socialist regime.