The Moscow Metro

When the Soviet leaders set about building a new underground railway system in the 1930s, they decided to make this a work of immense prestige. The stations were designed as veritable 'people's palaces', with marble facings, chandeliers, mural paintings and statues. Many of them are spectacular, a labour of love, devotion and patriotism.

Since the Metro is the most convenient way to travel across this extensive city, you are likely to encounter its splendours as a matter of course. By common consent, the most impressive station is Komsomolskaya; other notable stations (all within the ring of the Koltsevaya (Circular) line), include Mayakovskaya (ceiling mosaics depicting aeroplanes and sports), Kievskaya (murals celebrating the friendship between Russian and Ukraine), Kropotkinskaya (columns and walls embellished with marble taken from the demolished Cathedral of Christ the Saviour), Novokuznetskaya (also with salvage from the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour); Ploshchad Revolutsii (heroic sculptures of soldiers and workers), Novoslobodskaya (stained glass), Park Kultury, Arbatskaya, Belorusskaya, and Teatralnaya.

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