Moscow Metro


The first passenger train in the history of the Moscow Metro departed from Sokolniki station heading to Park Kultury station on May 15, 1935. Today the span of the Moscow Metro system is more than 300 km with daily traffic up to several million passengers. The Moscow Metro is the fifth busiest in the world after Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. During intense airstrikes in Moscow during the Second World War the metro served as a bomb shelter for almost 15 million people. An entire hidden city was living its daily life here, as a great number of canteens, stores, first-aid posts were routinely operating underground. On October 15, 1941 when the Nazi Germany forces came to their closest point from the city borders, Lazar Kaganovich (Moscow's general plan designer) ordered to close the metro. There was a plan to destroy it entirely as a strategic object. In the morning of October 16, 1941 the metro did not open its doors as usual. This was the only day in the history of the Moscow Metro it didn't function. Fortunately, by the evening of the same day the order to demolish the metro was canceled.

Culturally speaking, the Moscow Metro is a true masterpiece, as it displays a great variety of sculpture, paintings and mosaics. Most of the central stations are the artworks of the Stalin-era architecture. The designs of Kropotkinskaya, Krasnye Vorota, Sokolniki and Mayakovskaya stations were awarded Grand Prix at the World's Fairs in Paris, Brussels and New York. Kropotkinskaya station was initially named Dvorets Sovetov until 1957. It was because of the fact that on the site of the original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour demolished in 1931 a gigantic Dvorets Sovetov (Palace of the Soviets) was planned to be erected while the metro station was designed to become its underground entrance hall, yet the project was terminated. Mayakovskaya station is famous for its stainless steel columns and arches. Mosaic panels for the station were created by one of the Social Realist classic artists Alexander Deyneka.

The hall of Novoslobodskaya station looks like an ancient temple while the station itself will amaze you with 32 magnificent stained glass windows. Kievskaya station of the circle line features 18 pylons with mosaic smalt panels depicting scenes from the history of Ukraine and friendship between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. The territory now occupied by Okhotny Riad used to be church lands with a lot of old cemeteries. Underground vaults caused a lot of problems for the workers during the construction works.

At Ploschad Revolyutsii station you will surely notice 76 bronze soviet heroic characters sculptures. Initially this station had 20 arches with 4 sculptures place in each of them. In 1947 four of them were dismantled. In total the station features 20 different characters, 18 figures are repeated for four times, 2 of them twice. During the war all of the sculptures were taken for safety to the Central Asia. Many believe that the figure of the frontier guard can bring luck: you just have to make a wish and rub the nose of his dog. Polished places on the statues will reveal which statues are believed to make your wish come true. Park Pobedy is the deepest station, 90 m deep. In the fall of 2016 the metro expanded its reach by opening the Moscow Central Circle, a new kind of railroad transit system. The Moscow Metro also features bright and vivid thematic trains, which have their own names and designs dedicated to certain themes or events, such as Sochi 2014, New Year, Aquarelle, Reading Moscow, Poetry in Metro, Train of Victory, Space Train, Legends of the Movies, Soyuzmultfilm or Football Train. The history of the metro also has its tragic moments, such as accidents and terror attacks. Moscow metro and above-ground transport provide a free Wi-Fi connection. The metro operates daily from 5.30 am to 1 am. At 1 am flat the entrance escalators are stopped, the transfers are closed and all stations escalators operate only for exit. At around 1 am last trains depart from the final stops of the lines, they reach the central stations at around 1:20 – 1:40 am.

Coordinates: 55.75646, 37.62335