The Moscow Metro.
The Moscow Metro is not your average metro. It has often been called a museum and rightly so. Daily, 8 million people, hustle and bustle past the most beautiful sculptures, chandeliers, stained-glass windows, mosaics and marble. It is worth your while to go inside and to have a look. You will not be disappointed. Before we left for Moscow, I had a sneak peak of the metro. An email was doing the rounds with some amazing photos. But nothing could have prepared me for the beauty of this metro.
One of the busiest metros in the world.
The metro is huge! Massive escalators take you to different levels. They are very steep and run fast. Watch your step! There are rules to be followed. Always stay on one side of the escalator and leave space for people to pass. Yes, people are always in a hurry and run past you. It is amazing that they don’t fall.
History of the Moscow Metro.
The Moscow metro is one of the deepest in the world. Park Pobedy’ station, which is the deepest, goes 90m under ground! There is very little known information about the metro. All we know is that they were built to double as bomb shelters.
The first line opened in 1935 and the earliest stations—in the city center and along the ring line—were built as public palaces. Mayakovskaya station,which opened in 1938 must be the jewel of the Moscow metro. Russian artist Alexander Deineka created this vaulted ceiling of the grand central hall with 33 mosaic panels, based on the theme “One Day of Soviet Skies”. It is awesome!
Ploshchad Revolutsii station is decorated with bronze statues. One of them is a soldier with a dog. It is one of the favourites. Look closely at the photo and you will see that the face of the dog is shining because people touch it as they walk past. It is believed to be good luck! There are also Rooster statues in this metro.
Novoslobodskaya station opened in 1952 and is also very impressive. It sparkles due to its light-backed stained glass. Most of these designs were inspired by the Soviet era. Newer stations have been designed in a modern way moving away from the Soviet inspired designs. They are also beautiful but personally I don´t like it that much.
How to use the Moscow Metro?
The metro system is fairly easy to use but it can be complex without knowledge of the Russian alphabet. Luckily I had my “Knight in shining armor” with me, my hubby. Without him it would have been very difficult to get a grip on how the metro works. If you are not so lucky and cannot speak Russian, don´t despair. There are ticket machines situated everywhere and you can buy tickets from there. My advice try to figure out where you want to go the day before. A metro map is invaluable.
The Moscow metro is cheap, quick and on time. Trains depart every two minutes. The metro is very,very busy during rush hours ( 8:30 to 10am, 4 to 6 pm) and it is difficult to move around with suitcases. People are pushing and shoving. It is best to visit the Metro when it is more quiet and you have more time to enjoy its beauty. It is also very noisy!
In a crowded train, just before a station, you’re likely to be asked, “Vy vykhódíte?” or whether you’re getting off at the next station. If not, you’re expected to move out of the way. Riders are expected to give up seats for senior citizens, small children and pregnant women.
A metro under attack.
Sadly this beautiful metro have been under attack many times over the years.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] In 1977 a bomb killed 7 people and seriously injured 33. It went off in a crowded train between Izmaylovskaya and Pervomayskaya stations.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] In June 1981 a fire killed 7 people at the Oktyabrskaya station. A fire was also reported at Prospekt Mira station around that time.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] In February 1982 a fatal accident killed 8 people and injured 30 when an escaltor at the Aviamotornaya station collapsed. The emergency brakes were faulty.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] In 2004 two bombings took place in the Moscow metro. The first one was in February when an explosion wrecked a train between Avtozavodskaya and Paveletskaya stations. 39 people were killed and more than 100 were injured. The same group who were responsible for the attack organized another attack in August 2004.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] In May 2005 a city-wide blackout halted most of the metro.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] In March 2006 a construction pile of unauthorized billboard installation was driven through the roof of the tunnel on the Zamoskvoretskaya line and hit a train. No injuries were reported.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] One of the most recent attacks happened in March 2010 when 2 bombs exploded 40 minutes after each other. 39 people have been killed and 64 wounded during this rush hour attack.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] In mid-July 2010 Moscow was hit by wild fires and a severe heat wave. Temperatures in the metro reached 34 °C (93 °F) and a thick smog was hanging inside the metro.This continued for a couple of weeks and caused major concern for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Rules for taking photos inside the Moscow Metro.
Many travelers want to know if they are allowed to take photos inside the Moscow metro. Professional photographers want to know how to obtain permission for shooting inside the metro and how much does it cost.
As far as we know the rules are as follow:
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] Amateur photographers (without using stationery equipment) in Moscow metro are allowed and therefore no permission is necessary. Please note that rules are changed constantly. Always ask before you want to take a photo. Due to terrorism attacks the rule of Amateur photography can be changed without prior notice.
[v_icon color=”#1e73be” size=”18px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-arrow-right-2″] To obtain a permission for photography with stationery equipment, send a letter on the company’s letterhead to the head of Moscow metro Ivan Besedin to this fax: +7 (495) 631-3744 (telephone: +7 (495) 688-0291) and state the following: purpose of the filming, date, location (station), equipment and name of the person responsible for shooting. The staff of Moscow metro PR department will get in touch with the person responsible for shooting within 5-10 working days and advise him on further actions.
The Moscow Metro Museum.
The Moscow Metro Museum occupies the first and the second floor of Sportivnaya station south vestibule (36, Khamovnichesky val).