Even 80 years after opening, the opulent architecture of underground Moscow sees foreign visitors leave dazed. Taken with the Russian habit, metro stations in Moscow are considered to be some real museum rooms, the rest of the world.
Open to the public in 1935, Moscow’s subway system was designed as a huge propaganda project. Extravagant design was designed to be in line with forecasts bright future of Russia, providing architects keywords being “Svet” (trans: universal) and “sveltloe buduschchee” (trans: bright future). The initial plan was that many of the stations to be exposed busts of Soviet leaders and murals showing the standard elements of propaganda. They were removed many years ago, but the architecture and decorative elements fail, even today, is overwhelming.
- The first plans of an underground public transport system in Moscow dates back to the Russian Empire, but the construction works were delayed by World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War
- Engineers who worked on Moscow’s metro network counterparts have benefited from London’s oldest subway system in the world
- Initially, the Russian capital’s metro line had a length of 11 km and 13 stations. Currently, the network has 12 lines, 197 stations and a length of about 330 km
One of the most extravagant projects of the USSR, Moscow’s subway system was built with the thought that each state should be “a luxurious palace for citizens”. Stalin asked the architects to incorporate elements at each station to encourage people to look around “as if admiring the sun” and, by extension, to consider himself a god.
The heyday of Russian architecture came to an end in 1955 when the Communist Party decreed that “should be deleted extravagance in design and construction.” After Stalin’s death, his images were removed gradually from subway stations – the sculptures were moved to warehouses and mosaics were simply removed. The construction of new metro stations were avoided impressive decorative elements are considered “unjustified” because his party prefers “kilometers, to the detriment of architecture”.Fortunately, the original architecture of the first metro stations was left intact, managing to capture the attention of foreign visitors, even after 80 years since the inauguration.