Inside the theater of Moscow’s metro

A young boy from a military school rides Moscow’s metrotrain. It’s not unusual to see military uniforms on the trains. (Didier Bizet)

The metro of Moscow is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world.

In 1933, the greatest architects of the Soviet era left their mark on the cityscape by creating one of the most important cultural heritage sites in Russia. When Stalin and the Communist Party’s Central Committee, the Bolsheviks, launched the development, it became a symbol of architectural prowess that was unequaled in civil engineering at that time. The builders were honored, and the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League that led the construction received the Order of Lenin. The city’s makeup was inspired by the overwhelming feeling of patriotism that existed at that time.

The worker’s union, with help from Joseph Stalin, built the most beautiful underground world, an empire of marble and stone palaces with royal aesthetics. The revolution and the defense of the motherland were two key ideas of the USSR and its socialist regime. These ideas were celebrated in mosaics and sculptures that appeared as early as when the line first opened on May 15, 1935.

The metro, which was named after Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, was designed to showcase the biggest communist regime to the world. According to the Moscow transport department, the rail system has more than 8 million visitors a day — making it the busiest metro system in Europe. It also holds the world record for timekeeping.

This palatial network is considered Moscow’s second urban attraction and allows visitors to step back in time to Soviet days. With its visually stunning design and passengers that seem to be from another age, no wonder it’s also a major source of inspiration for Russian cinema and theater.