Moscow Metro Part 2: Komsomolskaya, Kurskaya, Mayakovskaya & Nakhimovsky Prospekt

Continuing alphabetically, here’s the next three stations!

Комсомолская – Komsomolskaya

Komsomolskaya is another of those odd stations to really be two stations – one on Line 1 and the other on Line 5. And it’s the station on line 5 that everyone talks about. We arrived there from Line 1 and were wondering what all the fuss was about, until we thought to walk to the Line 5 platform. Then we understood!

Komsomolskaya is incredible. Opened in 1952, it seems more like the hall of a grand Baroque palace than a metro station, painted in yellow with extravagant chandeliers and a high, barrel-vaulted ceiling. White marble faced columns line the aisle, and in the ceiling are bright and detailed mosaics inside elaborate white baroque frames. It’s all about the ceiling here. The station was designed to reflect the historical Russian fight for freedom and is said to have been inspired by a speech made by Stalin in 1941. The mosaics represent historic figures dating back to Alexander Nevsky in 1242 – Russia has plenty of history to draw on!

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Курская – Kurskaya

Kurskaya is a fairly simple station compared to some of the others. Built in 1938 it’s one of the earliest stations and was named for the Kursky railway station nearby. It has tiled walls and grey pylons, with a diamond-grill pattern on the arched ceilings. Over the platforms curved lights hang from simple chains in a lovely art-deco style. The floor is also tiled in grey, but despite the lack of colour the overall effect is rather nice.

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Маяковская – Mayakovskaya

Mayakovskaya was a big surprise after a lot of very heavy stations with thick columns and walls separating the central aisle from the platforms. It’s so incredibly open and weightless and light. It’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful in the system. While it may seem simple in comparison to elaborate stations like Komsomolskaya, it’s pre-WWII Stalinist architecture is spectacular in its own way.

Opened in 1938, it’s one of the oldest stations in the system and lies 33m below ground. During WWII, an air-raid shelter was located inside the station – as the architects were able to overlap the vault space and support it with narrow colonnades on either side, the platform was open and wider with far more empty space than other stations of the same period.

The design was inspired by poem envisioning a Soviet future, and the station’s decoration with graceful columns faced with stainless steel, pink rhodonite and white and grey marble portrays this beautifully. It looks very futuristic in comparison to other stations of the same period, looking forward rather than backwards for inspiration.

In the vaulted ceiling, hemispheric indents contain not only the light fittings but mosaics depicting the ‘Soviet sky’ – a celebration of their control of the sky, with images of different planes, helicopters, blimps, parachutists and more. It was gorgeous.

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Нахимовский Проспект – Nakhimovsky Prospekt

Nakhimovsky Prospekt was where I was politely told that photography was forbidden in the metro system. I’d already taken plenty of photos by that point fortunately.

This station probably wouldn’t have stood out to me if it wasn’t so different to the others. Opened in 1983, it’s far simpler and plainer than all the other stations we visited. However, the lighting was crazy! It was all green and gold and looked very science-fiction-like to me. The colours and the patterns of the lights made me feel like I’d stepped into an ‘80s sci-fi movie.

Nakhimovsky Prospekt’s  theme is apparently ‘Russian Naval Commanders’ and the history of the Russian naval fleet. We weren’t there very long as the lady who said I couldn’t take photos also asked us to leave, so I’m unsure as to how prevalent this theme is in the design. The station is a single-vaulted station and is comparatively rather shallow.

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