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Russian Metro Stations: The artistic, the regal and the downright decadent

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Hundreds of thousands of fans have descended on the streets of Russia for the football, but they might just be missing the most hypnotizing piece of the country, hidden below the surface. 

Russian metro stations are a cheap means of transport for budget travellers, but they are also a wonder to behold; pulling on the religious, the opulent and the decadent to welcome its many visitors and locals. Here are five of the most awe-inspiring pieces of architecture hidden below the city streets, which are absolutely not to be missed.

1. Avtovo Metro Station, St Petersburg

Located just outside the city centre, the Avtovo station completely outshines the likes of Walthamstow Central or Tottenham Court Road, demonstrating the Russian dedication to decadence. Stepping off of the train whilst running late with your hair in a mess doesn’t seem to matter when commuting in Russia.

Despite the bedhead, stepping onto the platform at the Avtovo station will leave you feeling like Anastasia. This stunning Russian metro station completely lifts you out of any mundane commute and transcends you into a life of glamour and luxury, only known to Russian Czars.

2. Komsomolskaya Metro Station, Moscow

Redefining the meaning of grandeur, you would be forgiven for mistaking the Komsomolskaya Metro Station for a ballroom in the Winter’s Palace. With towering arches and sweeping chandeliers, the stress of a morning commute in Russian rush hour undoubtedly swaps chaos for romance.

Stepping off a carriage in the Komsomolskaya Metro Station is more of a leap into an extravagant waltz, like a dance from War and Peace, rather than an ungracefully chasing down your next train.

3. Elektrozavodskaya Station, Moscow

This 1940s station exhibits a famous harsh Stalinist style, which was later nominated and won the prestigious Soviet, Stalin Prize. With its ceilings lifted from a Stanley Kubrick movie, the station is one of the most fascinating pieces of Soviet architecture in the entire country.

The combination of the marble walls, mosaic floor and patterned ceiling creates an impressively provocative atmosphere, feeling as though you are wondering the halls of a living art exhibition.

4. Kievskaya Metro Station, Moscow

If the Elektrozavodskaya Metro Station felt like a living art exhibition, the sloping walls of the Kievskaya station feel more like tip-toeing through the halls of the Louvre. The towering rounded walls stretch out for what feels like years, with huge multi-tiered chandeliers impressively illuminating the way.

The walls are draped in huge rich paintings, with stunning golden frames. The gold markings extend to more than just the frames, following the details down the entire platform.

5. Novoslobodskaya Metro Station, Moscow

Russia has a close connection to religion, and this relationship is echoed in the construction of the beautiful Novoslobskaya Metro station. The walls feel more modest than other stations, substituting the kind of luxury seen in other stations for more religious imagery in the form of tapestries and murals. 

That being said, just because the platforms aren’t draped in gold doesn’t subtract from the impeccable detail and design of the station. With artwork dedicated to religious figures, the station feels as though a typical London tube station has been redesigned to match the theme of the New York Met Gala.

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