Being one of the largest cities in the world Moscow serves as the major transport hub, that absolutely unable to function without working transport systems properly. Yet Moscow congestion level reach 41% according to the report and average extra travel time per year spent in rush hour traffic constitutes 185 hours (thus beating other European cities in the rankings and top lists of the most terrible congestions), Moscow metro, on the contrary, is one of the biggest achievements that Moscow boasts.
In 1935 the Moscow metro was founded. By that time world metro had already been built in London, New York, Budapest, and Paris. However, the story of Moscow metro started long before the first train departed from Sokolniki station in 1935. In 1901 engineers P. Balinskiy and E. Knorre proposed a project of Moscow metro with the central station near the Saint Basil’s Cathedral, but the plan appeared to be too ambitious for that time. Consequently, the government declined the proposal, and Moscow metro construction was not started until 1930. As a result, the first line, which is now the part of the red line or Sokolnicheskaya line, covered stations from Sokolniki station to Park Kultury. The second line extended from Smolenskaya Ploschad to Biblioteka Imeni Lenina. Together two lines included 13 stations.
Since that time Moscow metro has been always expanding by building up new stations. Finally, modern Moscow metro system consists of 14 lines with total length of 364.9 km, not including Moscow Monorail and Moscow Central Circle, 214 stations – that is where the size does matter. Moscow metro is one of the busiest metros in the world, daily ridership reaches almost 9 mil. people in rush hours.
Though we appreciate history and traditions, modernization was vital for Moscow metro. Over the past few years, the changes concerned the whole metro network. Now you can consider the results – recently opened new stations and Moscow Central Circle, absolutely new trains with electronic displays for metro map, for tracking the route and next stations, screens for news, ads and information, places for charging your gadgets inside the trains and on the platforms, especially relevant – free WiFi, English announcement of the stations and changes to other lines, on the stations themselves better standardized navigation and visible information desks.
Here is our all-about-metro experience guide that will reveal to you a perfect mix of the legendary stations, modern minimalistic stations, advanced new trains and events that you should see yourself.
Square pylons are faced with white marble and surmounted by large mosaics and edged with elaborate gold-colored trim. The name of the fresco below is ‘Fireworks in Moscow 9th May 1945’.
- Depth: 53m
Alexandr Deineka and Vladimir Frolov created 34 ceiling mosaics depicting ’24 Hours in the Land of the Soviets’. In 1934 the Mayakovskaya metro project was awarded the Gran-Pri prize in New York. In 1941 Stalin visited the station to perform his report in honor of the October Revolution of 1917.
- Depth: 33m
The most striking fact about Komsomolskaya station is that its design is the illustration of the Stalin’s speech given November 7, 1941. In this speech, Stalin talked about Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy and other military leaders of the past, and accordingly these historical figures appeared on the mosaics of Komsomolskaya metro station. The concept contrasts the other major themes of metro decoration – the celebration of the victory over Nazi Germany and post-war labor. The station decoration is extremely rich – 68 octagonal columns faced with white marble, topped with baroque pilasters, chandeliers.
- Depth: 37m
As many others metro stations, the design of Park Pobedy also showcases and carries the war and victory theme – in World War II and in Patriotic War 1812. Another feature is not on the surface – if you are observant enough, you will notice that two platforms of the station have the same design but the opposite color scheme. What is more about the decoration – pylons are made of red marble, and two large mosaics belong to Zurab Tsereteli work.
- Depth: 84m
Arbatskaya metro station was among the first constructed in Moscow metro. However, during theWorld War II bombings significantly damaged the station. As the result, they had to build a new much deeper station in 1953. During the construction of the new station, the government has also made it more secure serving as the bomb shelter, making it – 41m deep, with platforms that are the second-longest (250m) after the Vorobyovy Gory metro station. The ceiling is elaborately decorated with floral reliefs and chandeliers. The design fully consists of baroque style.
- Depth: 41m
Novoslobodskaya station is located on the Circle line with the change for Mendeleevskaya station (grey line). Novoslobodskaya is one of the most gorgeous stations because of its 32 stained glass panels, the mosaics, and the elegant conical chandeliers. The stained glass panels lighted from the inside depict imaginary flowers, stars, and people of different professions. They made all stained glass panels in Riga under the sketches of famous Soviet artist and restorer Pavel Korin.
- Depth: 40m
Troparyovo metro station belongs to the Sokolnicheskaya line (red line) and was opened in 2014. Its interior design resembles forests due to the association with the park. All new stations were constructed under the Moscow extension project.
- Depth: 12m
In February 2018 Moscow Metropolitan presented another metro station – CSKA . The name of the station comes with the decision made by the CSKA fans. At first, the station was supposed to be called Khodynskoye pole. Furthermore, the station lobby includes sculptures of well-known CSKA athletes– Vsevolod Bobrov, Denis Denisov and Victor Khryapa. They represent three main club’s sports – football, hockey, basketball.
- Depth: 28m
The project for the metro station was ready in 1971. It should have worked to bound new railway station with public transport, but the project of a new railway station didn’t get the approval. Finally, the metro station in Rumyantsevo opened only in 2016. The designers created this station with noticeable Piet Mondrian artworks which immediately catches the eyes of the art-fans.
- Depth: 12m
This metro station opened its doors to passengers in February 2018. The name ‘Khoroshyovskaya‘ comes from the area Khoroshyovo. Lobbies of the metro station are extremely beautiful, with compositions based on the Aleksander Rodchenko, Kazimir Malevich, Moisei Ginzburg artworks decorate the lobbies’ interior. Avant-garde, suprematism, constructivism prevail in the interior design.
Besides transporting people, Moscow metro serves as a place for spending your leisure time.
MUSIC IN METRO
Moscow Transport Department and Moscow Metropolitan with the help of students of British High School of Design initiated this project in Moscow. Most noteworthy, the aim of the project is to amuse the passengers and develop their music taste. 220 participants have an opportunity to perform in public without any expenses and attract their fans. Since musicians perform on weekdays from 10 a.m till 5 p.m and from 8 p.m. till 10 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m., you will definitely have time to listen to their performance.
NIGHT IN METRO
It’s a unique educational project along with Night in Library, Night in Museum. Seems like already 11 Nights in Metro took place in Moscow Metro. Last year they showed a new season of Game of Thrones on Mayakovskaya station. Not to mention ballet, theatre, opera performances, concerts, and yoga classes, that were also taking place in Moscow Metro.
It is the other feature of Moscow metro, which appeals to passengers and tourists. 19 branded trains run in the metro. Their design reflects pieces of art, significant social phenomena, memorable dates, and facts. You will probably travel either in retro-train along the red line, or Cosmos-train along the purple line (Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya line), poetry-train along the blue line (Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line), cinema legends-train along the Circle line.
BEAR IN MIND
First of all, buy TROIKA card, top it up and use it on all types of public transport. Moreover, with the card you can pay for access to the Tretyakov Gallery in Lavrushinsky per, Moscow Zoo, Lunarium Museum in Planetarium, ice-rings in Gorky Park and VDNKh, parking in Zaryadye Park, bike-sharing service Velobike.
In addition to Troika card, download Yandex Metro app. Also choose English and build your route. While thinking of the route, pay more attention to the line colors and their numbers, rather than to Russian names, because Cyrillic alphabet is like a rebus for non-Russian speakers.
Yet, there are much more essential tips that will save you time in Moscow. Make sure to check it out
P.S: Be ready to get back on the ground and know what Moscow Transport is all about.