Friday, 21 February 2014

Baumanskaya metro station

It’s been ages since I had a look at a metro station. 

Before I start I’ll have a metro station related gripe. Today someone trod on my foot - hard. The treading on the foot didn’t bother me, that happens in busy metro stations, what irked was that the culprit (who knew he’d done it) didn’t apologise. There is a word in Russian for sorry, ‘Izveneety’, but in over two years I haven’t heard it. Not once. I wasted my time learning it. 

When you know Russians, they are perfectly lovely people; but if they don’t know you, you don’t exist – and are treated accordingly. So if you come to Moscow on holidays do not expect all the social courtesies one finds in Western Europe, and don’t take it personally – that’s just how things are done here. 

OK, now on to something more positive. Baumanskaya metro station. If you have enjoyed gawking at the statues in Ploschad Revolutsi metro station, it’s worth hoping on the train and going two stops to Baumanskaya, where you’ll find some more. There’s also a mosaic portrait of Lenin. The station was completed in 1944, which surprised me a little as I thought the Russians might be a bit too otherwise preoccupied to be building metro stations. 

The date of the station's construction, 1944, is very much reflected in the martial nature of some of the statues.
 Nikolai Bauman, I read on Wikipedia, was a comrade of Lenin’s in the early days who ran foul of the authorities in 1905 and was beaten to death while in custody, thus becoming something of a martyr to the Bolshevik cause.

The statues are made of plaster, coloured to look bronze. Unlike the real bronze statues in Ploschad Revolutsi, this means they don't have golden shiny spots where people rub them for luck

This must be the guy who dug the metro tunnel - by the look of him, he could have done it single-handed.
 It’s worth getting out of the station and having a wander around as there is a beautiful cathedral in the neighbourhood – Yelokovo Cathedral.

Yelokovo Cathedral (and trolleybus lines)

Exterior wall mosaic

Monday, 10 February 2014


One sure way to have people look at you and think ‘he’s not from around here’ is to try and cross major, multi-lane Moscow roads at street level. Every couple of hundred metres are pedestrian underpasses, called perehods, which are used by more sensible folk.
Many perehods contain little shops selling odds and ends such as clothing, jewellery, toys and the like. Some months ago I read an item in the Moscow News about these shops and apparently the rents are astronomical, which surprised me considering the stuff they sell is hardly top-of-the-line and they are actually fairly dingy places to shop. That might help explain why I have seen a couple of perehods in recent months having their shops dismantled. 

Quite a number of perehods also contain the entrance doors to Metro stations. At the end of this one you can see the doors to Tverskaya & Pushkinskaya Stations.
The shops are quite tiny cubicles in which a woman (usually) shopkeeper spends her day.
Another view of the long perehod under Pushkinskaya Ploschad
Most, though, are empty tiled corridors, occasionally inhabited by buskers (the acoustics are good), old ladies begging, or some sad old guy sheltering from the cold. 

Opposite the entrance to Gorky Park, this perehod has become an art gallery.