Moscow metro is one of the most astonishing works of art I have ever seen. What’s that? You’re asking why I’m calling one of the city public transport systems “a work of art”? Well, you see, everything is complicated in Russia. We can’t just build a transit system – we have to create an epic, a legend at least! And what can I say – the metro builders surely succeeded in that! tobabet4d

I can’t really describe you why I love Moscow subway so much – you have to see it for yourself. Those granite walls, huge stations and passages decorated with astonishing mosaics…however, the main thing about the metro is not its looks but rather its spirit, that mighty, darkish essence of the underground kingdom. Slight frightening? Maybe. Mysterious and attractive? You’d bet!

The story of metro in Moscow begins back in 1935, when the first line between “Sokolniky” and “Park Kultury” stations was built. Since then, our city’s subway was constantly expanding, transporting more and more passengers every year.

Speaking of passengers – did you know that Moscow metro transports around 9 million people a day? That’s more than many other Western European cities serve – and mind that they subways are significantly older. However, that’s no big deal – we beat Paris in 1936, despite the fact it had the busiest metro in the world.

Since then, things changed a little bit, and I think we slightly lose to Tokyo and New York. However, Moscow subway is still one of the busiest ones around – and there’s no doubt about that!

Think about it. The city would collapse long ago was it not to the underground transit system. In fact, Moscow would not be able to grow as much as it did – there’s no way all those people and cars would find a place on crowded Moscow streets. metrowaterblasting

Therefore, if Moscow is a tree, than the metro is its roots, something that holds the tree together and allows it to grow and function. No wonder the metro was always considered extremely important no matter the government.

If you’ve been to Moscow metro, you probably noticed that most of its stations are build deep underground. These days it may seem like a waste of time and money, but back then the effort was completely justified – Joseph Stalin was preparing to use it as a giant bomb shelter in times of emergency.

Guess what – those times did come, and people used the metro to hide from the Nazi bombs that fell on Moscow almost daily. However, even after we won the war, the threat didn’t go anywhere. On the contrary, that was the time nuclear weapons were introduced – and so the metro had to dig even deeper in case of the global nuclear conflict.

Stations were reinforced, plans were changed – and the construction moved further underground to make sure Moscow metro could withstand even atomic blast.
Those were grim, horrible times. I imagine how I would feel, taking a ride from home to work, thinking I may hear the alarm any minute now – and never see the sunlight again. Brrr, gives me goosebumps!

By the way, did you see those metal sections, built inside the walls of metro’s stations and passages? They in fact hide a giant blast doors that would act as shunts in case the bombs fell. Six minutes after “Atom code” would sound, those doors would separate the dead from the living up until the threat was gone.

Have no illusions – the metro is fully prepared for autonomous existence. Sure, it may not be as long as in Dmitry Glukhovskiy’s “Metro 2033” book, but rest assured you’ll manage to survive for a couple of months at least. There are warehouses full of food and water, and air filters are always ready to kick in if radiation level rises. lumecreation

Even though the war never came, its spirit always haunts the metro. Take a look at the old stations, especially those that sit on the ring line. Don’t you feel you’re in the bunker of some kind? Deep underground, completely isolated from the surface? That’s the feeling I sometimes get when I’m below, and I must say it’s pretty hard to shake it.

However, since the threat of the nuclear conflict is the thing of the past, let’s forget about it for a while and look on the bright side. While not all of metro’s stations were decorated, those that are the oldest ones usually have breathtaking artwork. Again, to a westerner that may not make sense – after all, it’s just a metro, right?

However, Soviet government felt it was very important to decorate the stations. I don’t know the exact reasons, but I guess that Stalin wanted to underline the victory of the Soviet people over poverty and hunger (although they were still haunting the post-Tsar Russia).

It was very important that the people could see themselves what powerful and rich state they were living at – in short, artwork was not only there to please the eye, but to also serve as a propaganda of the Soviet achievements. Most of the Muscovites were riding the ¬†twice per day at least – and when they saw all those magnificent statues and mosaics, they couldn’t help but to feel proud for their country. buypuppyonline

To tell you the truth, I fall for that myself from time to time. Yes, I know those are just pictures and yes, they have nothing to do with reality. However, the mere fact that Soviet people managed to build something like that so deep below Moscow makes me wonder if today’s generations are capable of that.

By the way, if you think the metro was built by highly paid professionals – think again. In fact, Moscow subway was initially built by “Komsomol” volunteers. These young men came from all across the country to participate in one of the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs in the Soviet Union.

They weren’t paid nearly enough, lived in far-from-perfect conditions, and sometimes were underfed. However, those people with burning hearts managed to do something that many considered impossible – and give the Soviet capital some of the biggest and advanced transit systems of those times.

I wonder if I could do that – “work for idea”, as we say. I guess the answer is “no”, mostly because the state abused its volunteers way too many times. People were working for near-zero wages, sacrificing their health and their lives for the sake of others. They built roads, mined coal, smelted steel – and did many other things they state couldn’t survive without. Moscow metro was just one of those achievements – just one of the many.