On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
I was in Moscow in March 2013. As I mentioned in an earlier OTR, I was there with my friend Natasha and stayed at the apartment of her mother’s friend. I explored a lot of Moscow on my own, as well as with Natasha, her family, and my hostess. Since I could read Cyrillic and knew a little Russian, I got around fairly well on my own. There are a few signs in English in the central area, but not as much in the outskirts. The Metro is great; you pay once when you enter the system and can go anywhere that connects to it.
The Moscow Metro opened its first stations in 1935. The stations built under Stalin were lavishly decorated with artworks and prize-winning architecture; palaces for the people as one architect said. Naturally, the Socialist Realism style predominates, but Art Nouveau and Art Deco are also represented. My source for the history and art of the stations is Moscow Metro Guide Book, which I picked up at Dom Knigi, Moscow’s largest bookstore. I haven’t found an online source for it, but you can find more information about the Moscow Metro on many sites. There are guided tours that hit the high points; I think they would be worthwhile to check out if you are in Moscow.
ТЕАТРАЛьНАЯ The Teatralnaya station opens onto Moscow’s theater district, including the famous Bolshoi Theater. The walls are decorated with bas-reliefs of dancers and musicians in the national costumes of various peoples of the USSR.
БИБЛИОТЕКА ИМЕНИ ЛЕНИНА The Biblioteka imeni Lenina or Lenin Library station is one of the oldest. Although the library itself has been renamed, the station retains the name of the founder of the Soviet Union. There’s a large mosaic of Lenin at one end of the station, but I thought this plaque was more interesting.
ПЛОЩАДЬ РЕВОЛЮЦИИ The Ploshchad Revolyutsii or Revolution Square station is lined with eight bronze statues depicting sailors, students, farmers, and other heroes of the proletariat. This sculpture of a soldier with his dog is typical, the dog having a shiny nose from being rubbed for good luck on the school exams.
НОВОКУЗНЕЦКАЯ The Novokuznetskaya station, completed in 1943, is adorned with mosaics showing peacetime scenes. This one shows a skier looking up at a train passing overhead.
ЦЕХОВСКАЯ The Russians love their writers, and the Chekovskaya and nearby Pushkinskaya stations pay homage to two of their greatest. These were added after Khrushchev, who ended Stalin’s policy of elaborate decoration.
КОМСОМОЛЬСКАЯ The Komsomolskaya station features mosaic panels depicting Russian folk heroes and military leaders.
ТАГАНСКАЯ The Taganskaya station contains majolica panels depicting men of the Soviet armed forces.
ПАРК КУЛЬТУРЫ The Park of Culture station depicts leisure activities, including of course chess.
КРАСНОПРЕСЕНЕНСКАЯ The Krasnopresnenskaya station commemorates the 1905 uprising near the Prasnaya River.