40 images Created 21 Jun 2015
Travelling on on a subway is normally a chore, but on Moscow’s Metro eight decades of Russian history unfold as you hop from station to station. The Moscow Metro opened on May 15, 1935, beginning eight decades of development. As it celebrates its 80th birthday we take a tour around its most iconic stations: from baroque marble and granite through art deco stained glass and brass to modernist iron and glass, the range of styles reflect the mood and aspirations of the times in which they were built. Comfortable seats and lofty ventilated stations lured passengers downwards off the trams and into a subterranean world of wonder. Cool in summer and cosy in winter, the subterranean network also protected the Moscow public from bombing during WWII. From literary giants like Dostoyevsky and Putin to political icons such as Lenin and Khrushchev the stations' themes honour the figures and events that have shaped the Russia of today. It stands as a gleaming example of one of the positive achievements of communism, under which its most significant developments took place.