One of the most beautiful subway systems in the world is the Moscow Metro. The system was originally built under direct orders from Stalin to create gorgeous stations that the people of Moscow would admire for its depictions of a “radiant future.” Mariusz Kluzniak took this fantastic panorama of the absolutely beautiful Novoslobodskaya Station. The station’s architect, Alexey Dushkin, spent well over a decade on the design, eventually commissioning designs for 32 stained glass panels from famed Russian artist Pavel Korin. The result is fantastic and unlike any other public transportation station in the world.
If you’ve traveled to Russia, you’ve probably ridden on the amazing Moscow Metro with impossibly deep and fast escalators, Soviet-realistic sculptures and mosaics, and constant flow of passengers. If you haven’t been, or just want a refresh, you can take a virtual ride with this video. It combines beautiful images, clever editing and dramatic music for a powerful travel video. Sčastlivovo puti!
This year marks the 76th anniversary of the Moscow metro system. From the public to the private areas, the stunning architectural images showcase one of the world’s most fascinating transportation masterpieces, far exceeding the beauty of those in the United States.
Opened in 1935 with one 11 kilometer line and 13 stations, it was the first underground rail system in the then Soviet Union. Today, the system has 182 stations and a route length of 301.2 kilometers and is the second most heavily-used rapid transit system, just behind Tokyo.
Take a look at this magnificent panoramic image gallery:
There is no better subway in the entire world than the Moscow Metro. I’ve said this many times in various posts here on Gadling, but this time I have something to back up my statement: a YouTube video.
Well, actually, it’s more of a slide show set to classical music, but it’s still one of the best visual examples of what the metro is like.
Before you scoff and ask yourself why anyone would spend five minutes watching a slide show of subway trains come and go, realize that the Soviets created the subway system as an enormous propaganda piece, showcasing that art and culture of the USSR. What the slide show depicts is not trains, but rather stations–exquisite stations made of fine marble and populated with statues, mosaics, paintings, artwork, and a slew of other fine craftsmanship that one would expect to find in a museum and not buried deep underground in a subway station.
So, take five minutes out of your life to amaze yourself over the one thing that the Soviets did right; if only we in the West could emulate this today, I think a lot more of us might consider taking public transport on a daily basis.
On my first visit to Moscow in 1991, there was really only one thing that worked. And it worked better than anywhere else in the world: The Moscow Metro.
This underground treasure was not only loaded with artwork, fine architecture, and trains that came every two minutes, but the whole thing cost less than a penny. The Soviets kicked the West’s sorry ass when it came to subways.
And now, nearly twenty years later, they are continuing with the trend.
Passengers can now enter the system by merely scanning their cell phones. No more tokens, tickets, or passes for those who opt in to this convenient idea.
Using cell phones to purchase small items which are then added to your phone bill has become increasingly common in Europe these days; it was only natural that the next step was public transport.
I’m not sure why my home country of America is so far behind the times when it comes to cellular technology, but I sure hope we catch up with the Russians soon!