Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Komsomolskaya metro station

It is now seven months since we returned from Moscow. Sometimes, it feels long past. Yet, if I close my eyes, I can clearly see the route I regularly walked to Novosloboskaya metro station. There is the art shop, with its plaster sculpted heads in the display window; the battered little statue of a bumble bee lady near the playground; the Vietnamese restaurant; the weekend farmers market.

I recently discovered that it is possible to create tabs on my blog. That few blogs carry tabs is hardly surprising – it is not at all obvious how it is done. During the subsequent course of tidying and adding some tabs, it occurred to me that many places I had visited and photographed during the course of my stay in Moscow had not made it on to my blog. A reason to keep going just a little longer…

I never covered the grandest metro station of all - Komsomolskaya.

 There could have been few positive things to be said about living under a tyrant like Stalin. Perhaps one is that when he said, ‘build a really grand metro station’, a really grand metro station was built – or else. In Australia, there would be long debate; endless expensive feasibility studies; a close scrutiny of how many coins were in the bottom of the public fiscal purse; and then we might get something that resembled a tiled public toilet.

Komsomolskaya lies beneath a major transport hub. Above ground is a huge open space surrounding which are several large railway stations, from one of which runs the line to St Petersburg. Nearby is one of the Stalin buildings – the Leningradskaya hotel. So it is a busy station. Try not to visit at peak hour.

A yellow wedding cake of a station, some countries would love to have an opera house as ornate as this subterranean train platform. Completed in 1952, it features mosaics from major conflicts in Russia’s history. From one end of the station, a bust of Lenin still watches...

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