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Moscow Metro

Moscow Metro is fairly known for being not just a rapid transit system, but an illustrious art piece of immense proportions.

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Moscow Metro

Moscow Metro is fairly known for being not just a rapid transit system, but an illustrious art piece of immense proportions. It is indeed a city below the city. Each day the upper city loans to the underground about one quarter of its population. That's about 6.6 mln people! Daily they buy tickets to visit the in-depth museums of Soviet and post-Soviet art. These were built by proletarians using the foremost achievements of socialist science and art and bearing soviet ideals in mind. Thus the prophecy of the Radiant Socialistic Future was created - the Moscow Metro!

After the USSR collapsed and no radiance was detected, the socialistic dream was buried below the city. There it lingers now, a reminder of another epoch, passed by daily by millions of people on their way to work.

Ever desired to explore forgotten temples and tombs of fallen empires? Here is your chance!

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Koltsevaya Linestrong>

Koltsevaya encircles Moscow just below the Sadovoe Koltso (the Garden Ring) - one of the main streets which outlined the borders of the city in the 17th century.

During the initial stages of metro's development, there was no need for circling lines. However, as the number of passengers grew, wizened engineers of the USSR started seeking a way to improve the system. There is an urban legend saying that Joseph Stalin himself suggested the solution with a fancy gesture of living a print of his coffee-cup on a city map. Thus the line's color is coffee-brown.

Every of the 12 stations of the Koltsevaya is a unique piece of soviet architecture. Here you can find mosaics and frescoes, stained glass windows and marble cameos, and of course loads of columns and arches - with lavish baroque plasticity or angular constructivist rigor. Here the spirit of communism takes shapes and forms of pagan Roman temples and Orthodox church architecture. Under these halls you travel not just back over the course of history, but to another dimension - to the future that never happened.

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Novoslobodskaya Station

Famous stained glass windows of Novoslobodskaya, placed between arches of Russian revival make the station look like a fairy-tale palace. As there was no stained glass in Russian history, decorative windows on Novoslobodskaya are not a reconstruction. They belong to a unique new art style, developed specifically for Moscow Metro, as do many other features of stations' décor, like lamps and columns.

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Komsomolskaya Station

The apotheosis of Stalinist imperial style, Komsomolskaya is the most grandiose of all stations. It was created by an alliance of many talented architects and artists, and by that is a definite piece of art.

Despite its deep location, the station completely drops the feeling of being underground. It features high ceilings, supported by long arcades of many arches and heavy bronze chandeliers, radiating streams of golden light.

Cream-colored vaults exhibit golden and chromatic mosaic panels with scenes from Russian history.

The scale of the station is immense, yet the well thought-out design makes it look even more grand and exalted. As you gaze at innumerable arches, rhythmically striding away until you can hardly make them, the station starts feeling utterly immeasurable. Just as its makers intended it to be!

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Sokolnicheskaya Line

Sokolnicheskaya is the first line of the Moscow metro. The oldest stations were built in the 30s and are thus decorated in a cool neo-classical style, without the excessive decoration of the 50s. The first station built in Moscow is Sokolniki. The station gave its name to the first line and set the tone for the whole system. The idea was to create a temple, not a dungeon. A place, where one can gaze in awe at the vastness of bright halls, not gulp for air. The pillars burst from the floor and carry away the domes and arches so that one can utterly forget that he is actually deep below the city.

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This station was at first named "Palace of Soviets". That is because it was right near the spot, where the ultimate supertall soviet skyscraper was supposed to be built. As the Palace should've been a building of immense scale, the station was supposed to fit and thus was among the biggest ones in Moscow Metro. Although the Palace of Soviets was never built, some of its neoclassical designs were introduced into the style of Kropotkinskaya.

The station's most prominent feature are flared columns of white marble, reminding of Ancient Egypt temple architecture. The station is lit with laps concealed in tops of the columns, which creates a sense of translucency of the snow-white vaults. The resulting illusion of sky-high ceiling is probably the only reminiscence of Palace's grand design.

Nowadays the station's exits are located near the famous Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

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Vorobyovy Gory

Sokolnicheskaya Line also boasts a beautiful Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Mountains) Station, located one long span of a bridge over the Moscow River. The most remarkable feature of the station is its transparent walls which are ultimately enormous windows. As the train rockets from the dark tunnel, you become overwhelmed with light and images of sky, river and forest. An unforgettable experience!

And if you decide to take a walk, one of the most picturesque parks of Moscow is right here at your service.

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Museum of Moscow Metro

When and why the idea of Moscow Metro emerged? How was it built? How did it function through the WW II years? What's the difference between modern and old trains? How do escalators work? How is underground traffic managed?

Here you may ask anything you want to know about the Moscow Metro! The museum is full of stories, archive documents, working miniature models of trains and devices, mock-ups of technical innovations (old and contemporary) and real apparatus.

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Curious facts and fiction about Moscow Metro

There is something about being underground, that adds a certain mystical touch to daily trips through the city. A hint of an otherwordly experience. No surprise that local folklore is rich with urban legends, amusing facts and little-investigated stories. Some are pretty solid - such as a huge collection of fossils trapped within walls and pillars, like a beautiful "nautilus" on a Dobrynenskaya Station. Or the features of construction of the Metro, supposed to help it withstand a nuclear strike and provide shelter for millions of people.

Some stories were devised by conscpiracy theorists, such as tales about secret lines of Metro, leading to governmental bunkers. Not saying it is a complete made-up.

And there is much more! Local superstitions about the shiny bronze nose of a dog statue bringing luck or amusing features like a mosaic of a Red Army solder with a "laptop" and a "mobile phone".

If you're up for peculiar stories, contemporary folklore and historical anecdotes, Moscow Metro won't leave you disappointed!