Rus Articles Journal

Transport as art? Excursion in the St. Petersburg subway

For residents of megalopolises including for St. Petersburg, the subway became the fastest, reliable and convenient type of transport long ago. We do not imagine, as if lived without subway. But using daily this magnificent technical tool of movement, in continuous haste, we often do not even pay attention to beauty of finishing of stations, lobbies, or, on the contrary, their modesty. Ask passengers in the subway car: “What stations the most beautiful on what there are sculptures or images of writers, poets, stained-glass windows, etc.?“ - hardly someone will answer you correctly. And all stations differ in the shape, finishing of lobbies and halls. Underground and land lobbies are called by right “palaces“, the best architects and artists of our city worked on their registration. I invite you to look at least at some stations with a slow look.

The St. Petersburg subway is younger Moscow for 30 years, and, perhaps, is inferior to it on wealth and beauty of finishing of stations. The first line St. Petersburg, then the Leningrad subway of V. I. Lenin, became operational in 1955. It had 8 stations, Vosstaniya Square and Avtovo connected . In 1958 - m to year the first line (after its steel to call Kirovsko - Vyborg) passed near Neva to the Finnish station. I remember how being students, we often just rode in the subway and appointed meetings once again to admire beauty - abundance of sculptures, grandiose lamps, granite and marble finishing of lobbies and stations. Pleasantly it was simple to sit in underground palaces, especially in winter time when there it was so warm and cozy. Those first 8 metro stations and still, in my opinion, remain the most beautiful. The station Mayakovskaya , with red finishing and Mayakovsky`s portrait in the lower hall, and with a sculpture of the poet to the utmost in a land lobby is very beautiful . Avtovo`s station , reckoned as one of the most beautiful with fine twisted glass columns as , but it nearly three years under repair, and columns are hidden behind a covering.

Today the St. Petersburg subway has 5 lines with a general extent of 112,54 km and 64 stations . In 1961 the first site of the second line from Institute of technology to Victory park became operational, and now this branch connects the extreme southern district of the city of Kupchino and extreme northern - Parnassus.

Third, Nevsko - the Vasileostrovsky line, opened in 1967 - m to year, and by the beginning of 1980 - x connected Vasilyevsky Island and downtown to large residential and industrial regions on the left coast of Neva - Obukhovo and Fishing.

In 1985 started up the fourth, Right-bank line. Originally from Dybenko Street it went to the Old village. But to introduction to a system (on March 7, 2009) of stations Volkovsky and Zvenigorod there was a division of the Right-bank line. Now 4 - I, Right-bank, come to an end at Spasskaya`s station, being the shortest branch. Also Frunzensko - the Seaside line which goes from station Volkovskaya to Komendantsky Avenue was formed.

The St. Petersburg subway, by data from the official site, is the deepest in the world on an average depth of stations. So, Lenin Square and Chernyshevskaya stations have depth of 71 meter. At “Lenin Square“, as well as on “Chernyshevskaya“, identical, highest escalators in the world - height of raising of 65,8 m, length of inclined part of 131,6 m, 755 steps are installed. Descent on the escalator, I marked, takes more than a minute.

The majority of stations differs architecturally - the decorating reflecting historical appearance of the city. If the first stations of the first line of the subway once were the most beautiful, with rich art finishing, then the second and third branches were under construction without special “excesses“, with a minimum of various jewelry are modest “working horses“. And at old stations many art elements of registration disappear in the course of reorganization - reconstruction. Often in end faces of stations where there are stained-glass windows or pictures - a panel, there are some office devices, towers, even the protections closing these works of art.

You do not hurry in the subway, get accustomed to pictures and sculptures at stations. For example, at the Pushkin station in an end face of the central underground hall the beautiful sculpture of A.S. Pushkin of work of M. K. Anikushin is established. Behind it the panel of the artist of M. A settles down. Engelke, representing a corner of Tsarskoye Selo park. Over escalators the bas-relief with A. Pushkin`s profile is located. The panel is illuminated from below by fluorescent lamps. Thanks to soft, opaque paints, illumination and an arrangement of separate parts of composition the feeling of the moved apart walls, the arch taking an open air is created.

Magnificent it is possible to call registration of an underground lobby at Kirov Plant station. The underground hall of station is revetted dymchato - gray Caucasian marble. Forms prospect of the hall 31 couples of columns, two long lines connected by flat arches. The top part of all columns is decorated with the high reliefs cast from aluminum on an industrial subject. And in an end face of the hall there is V. I. Lenin`s bust. (sculptor N. V. Dydykin).

I very much like all stations of the new, recently open, fifth line going from Komendantsky Avenue to Volkovskaya`s station. For finishing of new stations not only granite and marble, but also new high-strength artificial materials were used. In the majority new stations spacious, light, there is a lot of panel and pictures corresponding on subject to the location or the name.

For example, decorating of station Volkovskaya is devoted the historian - road subject. The station is decorated with mosaic panels in equipment of the Florentine mosaic (artists Bystrov A. K. and Bystrov E. A.) Registration of station Zvenigorod is devoted to the Semyonovsky regiment which barracks were located once in this area. At station mosaic panels from smalt with the image of the very first semyonovets of Peter the Great, executed in masterful Russian academy of Arts (artist A. K. Bystrov) are established.

At the Sports station all is devoted to a sport subject. In a face wall of the top tier of station the text “the Ode to Sport“ P. Coubertin is located. One of walls is decorated by a big mosaic panel.

A subject of decorating of station Komendantsky Avenue - the sky and aeronautics. Once the military airfield was placed here. The lobby and the underground hall decorate a panel from a blue mosaic, and on walls eighteen mosaic medallions are placed. On four medallions - portraits of pilots and designers Utochkin, Polikarpov, Ilyushin, Kotelnikov. On twelve - images of air fights.

Registration of two stations “Alexander Nevsky Square - 1“ and “Alexander Nevsky Square - 2“ is devoted to this historic figure, at one of exits there is a bright mosaic panel with the image of fight, on another - a high relief with Alexander Nevsky`s combatants.

Generally, take a walk at a leisure in stations and lobbies of our St. Petersburg subway - you as if you will visit the museum!