Photographer's Note

This is a post of one of my old travel photos I came across the other day. The color version wasn't great, so I went with this. It's kind of abstract-looking. This is one of the mosaics in the Moscow subway, which we toured when I visited with a school group way back in 1993, just a couple of years after the fall of the Soviet Union.

This is a ceiling in the famous Mayakovskaya Station, in the Tverskoy District in central Moscow. This station opened on September 11, 1938, as part of an expansion of the original Moscow Metro system. The system in its entirety is comprised of 200 stations and 207 miles of track, making it the fifth largest subway system in the world. Approximately 2.5 billion rides take place on the system each year. Engineers used vaulting supported by colonnades to achieve the high ceilings, making it almost cathedral-like. This particular style is known as the Deep Column Station style, which subsequently proliferated. It's located 100 feet underground, so it served as an air raid shelter during the war. On November 7, 1941, the anniversary of the October Revolution, Stalin addressed an assembly of party leaders and citizens in its great central hall. Stalin even reportedly took up residence during the war, because it was so protected. Moscow subway stations were also expected to serve as bomb shelters during the early years of the Cold War, up until the thermonuclear era, which made them essentially obsolete.

It's one of the most famous, due to the beauty of the architecture, which is, to my mind, curious, as it's often cited as one of the most sterling examples of pre-War Stalinist Architecture. It was designed by Alexey Dushkin in stunning Art Deco style. The columns are streamlined, faced with modern-looking stainless steel and pink rhodonite, set in contrast to gray marble walls with a flooring consisting of pink and white marble. Surrounded by the lights seen here are 35 ceiling mosaics are known collectively as the "24-Hour Soviet Sky," by Alexander Deyneka. In 2005, a second exit and a new vestibule was constructed, which revealed a 35th mosaic.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1149] (2034)
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