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The Moscow Metro: 80 Years of Russian History — In Pictures

Russia Insider takes a ride on the Moscow Metro

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The Moscow Metro is one of the most elaborate — and efficient — transport systems in the world. Every weekday more than 10 thousand trains and 8 million passengers pass through the metro's historic tunnels. It consistently ranks first in the world in terms of speed, safety and volume of traffic. 

The Moscow Metro opened 80 years ago, on May 15, 1935. Below is a short timeline of the metro's history — as well as some photographs we took of this incredible transport system!


1935. The first phase of the metro was opened and ran from Sokol'niki to Park Kultury. Now Moscow Metro includes 12 lines with 196 stations!

Sokol'niki was awarded the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition in Paris (1937).

1938. The second stage of the Moscow metro was opened, from Teatral'naya to Sokol.  Stations from this line are known for their distinctive elegance. The columns in Sokol  form an ornate dome, while the arches of the central hall of Mayakovskaya station are decorated with oval niches and gorgeous mosaics.


1943. The construction of the subway continued, despite the war. During 1943-1944, seven new stations were opened. 

1950. Stations are designed to glorify Stalin and the Great Patriotic War.


1957.The resolution "Concerning the Elimination of Excesses in Design and Construction" (1954) led to serious reform: New stations had simple designs and used unassuming materials such as reinforced concrete. A common feature of stations built during this period is the "centipede" — two rows with 40 columns each. Aviamotornaya is a good example of a station constructed using this simplified design.


1970–1980. A new architectural style combined elements of the Stalinist style with construction methods used during Khrushchev's reign.

Park Pobedy

1990-2000. Post-Soviet turbulence allowed for architectural freedom — limited only by a sharp decrease in financing. But traditional themes were still used. Park Pobedy is dedicated to the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

2010. New stations have modern designs, but still feel palatial. 


2015. 65 kilometers of new metro lines are under construction right now!

Happy 80th birthday, Moscow Metro! 

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