Moscow Metro Part 1: Arbatskaya, Belorusskaya, Elektrozavodskaya & Kievskaya

I’ve decided that the easiest way to organise the metro stations is alphabetically, so here goes!

Арбатская – Arbatskaya

Arbatskaya was built in 1953 to replace an old station that had been damaged in WWII by German bombing. Designed to also serve as a bomb shelter in case of nuclear war, Arbatskaya was built 41m below ground and with one of the longest platforms in the system. It’s also a little bit odd, as there are actually two ‘Arbatskaya’ stations – the older one was fixed up and reopened five years later.

Arbatskaya was basically our ‘local’ station while we were in Moscow – only a very short walk from our hostel – so any time we wanted to head out someone this was the starting point. It’s a beautiful station, with heavy white arches through the central section of the station seated on thick square pillars decorated in red marble. Floral motifs decorate the vaulted ceiling, along with ornamental brackets and brass chandeliers. The platforms are on either side, through squared off archways, and the walls are tiled in a pale yellow. The red marble continues around the pillars, and darker metal chandeliers welcome the incoming trains.

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Белорусская – Belorusskaya

Belorusskaya is another old station, opened in 1938 and named after the nearby Belorussky Railway Station. Creative with names? Not really. Guess where trains from Belorussky Railway Station used to go!

Belorusskaya station is decorated with Belorussian motifs and uses materials sourced primarily in Belarus. It’s a rather pink station, with the pylons faced in pink marble on the exterior and black marble on the platform passageways. In the central hall there’s a bust of Lenin. I’d been wondering when he’d show up in the metro!

Belorusskaya-8

We accidentally exited at Belorusskaya, and they had a wonderfully old station on the top. We didn’t see so much of the tops of stations, but this one was rather pretty. It coincided with a convenient wifi-stop for John at the KFC across the road. The station at the top had quite a few metro staff hanging around but no one stopped me from taking photos.

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Электрозаводская – Elektrozavodskaya

Elektrozavodskaya-1

Elektrozavodskaya, or Electric Factory, sits on the dark blue Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line and was opened in 1944, during WWII. It was named after a nearby lightbulb factory, and this informed the design in an obvious fashion. The ceiling has six rows of circular incandescent lamps inset in a lovely art-deco style, and the floor was tiled with a Grecian wave around the outside. I loved it. The simple rectangular pylons have decorative grilles with the hammer and sickle, and in the corner niches of the station are reliefs of some of the pioneers of the electrical industry. A photo of this particular station also featured on a USSR stamp in 1947, and the architects involved were awarded the Stalin Prize in 1946. I’m assuming that this was a big honour at the time.

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Киевская – Kievskaya

Kievskaya-15

Kievskaya was the very first station we saw in Moscow, as it was here that we first hopped onto the metro to head to our hostel after arriving in the city. Like many stations in Moscow it really has two separate ‘stations’ – one for each line it sits on. In the case of Kievskaya, each station is entirely different. The first one, which I imagine is the ‘main’ station and was opened in 1953, is white with high arches atop square pylons wrapped in red marble, and along the walls of the central aisle on both sides are detailed mosaics, each held within a white or yellow-gold baroque frame.

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The ceiling frescoes depict life in Ukraine, and a large mosaic occupies the entire wall at one end of the platform. This mosaic commemorates the 300th anniversary of the reunification of Russia and Ukraine. This is the ‘main’ Kievskaya platform, and undeniably the most visited due to its quasi-barogue splendour and wonderful Soviet propaganda art.

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However, we also visited another Kievskaya platform, entirely different to the main one and fascinating in a different way. An open station with a flat roof rather than heavy ornamental arches, it has tall fluted pillars lining the platform and ostensibly separating the central aisle from the platforms. Rather than chandeliers, it has circular lights built into the ceiling, each in a semi-spherical inverted space. It’s far more utilitarian than the ‘other’ Kievskaya, and yet beautiful in its

 Kievskaya-5 Kievskaya-4 Kievskaya-3 Kievskaya-1

As you can see, I’m really not joking about taking a lot of photos. I’ll put up the next few stations soon!

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