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Monday, September 28, 2015

Moscow's Metro Stations, Russia

Public transportation was a corner stone of Stalin's architectural and industrialization plans, and so he made the subway stations the cathedrals of Russia.  They are so spectacular that it is exceptionally hard to believe that they are first and foremost centers of transportation.  Even these gorgeous photos do not come anywhere near capturing the beauty that dozens of them exemplify.
First, they are all different.  Some have paintings, some have stained glass, some have intricate mosaics in the ceiling, some have statues.  They have different columns and different light fixtures.  You can recognize one station from another because they are unique and identifiably so.  They are also clean and well preserved.  No graffiti, no trash, few signs of deterioration over the time.  This may be a symptom of a totalitarian regime, but it is very refreshing.
Lastly, the subways run every 90 seconds.  Really.  It is a remarkable thing to behold.  The result is that there are always people walking in the stations, lots of coming and going, but very little in the way of waiting.  You have to make a plan to stop and view the magical art in many stations.  It largely has a communist slant on what is important and what is not, but it is beautifully rendered and even if inadvertently, it honors artists and artisans.

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