Updated: Mar 7
What can you see on your travels besides museums and majestic churches? Among all St. Petersburg tours there is an interesting tour of the metro. Yes, people usually ask me about the Moscow metro, but the subway in St. Petersburg also deserves attention. So if you have free time, I strongly advise you to get underground. By the way, if you are on a cruise and one of the scheduled St Petersburg private tours is Peterhof, you can ask the guide to see the metro on the way.
What is so special about it? First of all, the metro is very clean, and second, the St. Petersburg metro is one of the deepest in the world, and third, it is a chance to see the beauty of the Soviet past. The St. Petersburg metro is the deepest in the world in terms of the average depth of stations. Many stations have original architectural and artistic design, 8 stations are recognized as objects of cultural heritage of Russia. The metro consists of 5 lines with an operational length of 124.8 km. There are 72 stations, from January 1, 2020, the cost of a single trip is 55 rubles.
The deepest metro station is "Arsenalnaya" in Kiev, 105.5 meters, the second "Poohing" in Pyongyang is at a depth of 100 meters, and the third "Admiralteiskaya" (picture on the left) in St. Petersburg is at a depth of 86 meters.
So, it is convenient to start the metro tour from the "Mayakovskaya" station.
A special feature of the St. Petersburg metro is the presence of closed-type stations (with platform sliding doors and without side platforms). We start here at the station named after the Russian Soviet futurist poet. Here you need to immediately change the line from green to red to go to the station "Ploshchad Vosstaniya".
The metro was designed under Joseph Stalin, so all stations of the first stage were provided with images of him, but it was opened at the beginning of the the Khrushchev Thaw, and all such elements were eliminated. The only image of Stalin remained at the station "Ploshchad Vosstaniya" in the form of a small figure in bas-relief.
Now you need to choose the direction "Prospekt Veteranov". You can go to the platform of each station to make a complete impression. All stations are decorated in different ways, for example, the "Vladimirskaya" (the next stop) lobby is decorated with large grilles with a five-pointed star.
The metro opened on November 15, 1955, although it was originally planned to open by 1942. WW2 greatly changed the plans of builders and engineers. Works resumed immediately after the end of the war. The first completed part of the Leningrad metro was the red line from "Ploschad Vosstaniya" to "Avtovo". "Pushkinskaya" station was planned to open in the first stage but its opening was postponed to the next year due to the fact that the inclined track with an escalator collapsed before opening.
"Technologichesky Institut" became the first station in the USSR with a cross-platform transition and the first transfer station in the Leningrad metro.
Mosaic is quite often used in metro. For example, on the panel at the station "Baltiyskaya" we see the leader of the revolution of 1917, Lenin, soldiers, sailors and workers who joined the Bolsheviks, the cruiser Aurora which gave the signal to storm the Winter Palace, and so on.
"Narvskaya" got its name after the triumphal gate located next to the lobby, in turn, the arch is dedicated to the victory over Napoleon in 1812. I love to show a sculptural decoration, we are surrounded by people of different professions: teachers, engineers, architects, founders, collectors of grapes, soldiers etc. This is an interesting message that they all get a job. This is how people lived in the Soviet era, everyone had to build a bright future of socialism. I am also always surprised by how handsome all men's figures, faces and how not sexually are represented Soviet women.
Next to the station "Kirovsky Zavod" there is a factory where women workers assembled tanks during the Second World War. The plant was located six kilometers from the front line. The bas-reliefs depict power machines, turbines, generators - all that the plant produced after the war.
"Avtovo" became the first in the St. Petersburg metro station without escalators. At the station, only 16 of the 46 columns have glass decoration. The contractor did not have time to complete the casting on time, and they were temporarily faced with stone, and then nobody did not return to this project because of Khrushchev's poor attitude to "architectural excesses". This station is really something!