With 7 million people riding it/users on a typical weekday, Moscow metro is the second busiest transit system in the world after Tokyo. Opened in 1935 during Stalin’s era, it was originally intended to be ‘the people’s palaces’.
Its 185 luxury decorated stations feature marble, mosaics, stained glass, decorative tiles and chandeliers.
Most of the construction work was done by volunteers (apparently happy and proud to be chosen for the job) after the World War II, while the whole of the Soviet Union was still in shambles.
Their commitment carried them very deep; actually the deepest station Park Pobedy, lies 84 meters below ground. It was the period of the Cold War, with United States and Stalin wanting the metro to be a shelter from possible nuclear attacks.
Like most cities with underground transit, Moscow metro has its’ share of urban legends.
Ghosts, meter-long rats and tribes that live underground and never see the light of day are just some of them. One commonly believed-in legend (but officially denied) mentions the ‘Metro 2’ system is situated further below the original one and designed to evacuate Moscow VIPs in case of a nuclear attack.
If you do pay a visit to these elegant architectural masterpieces, here are a few beauties we definitely recommend – Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya, Arbatskaya, Belorusskaya, Kievskaya and Elektrozavodskaya.