The World's Most Beautiful Subway Stations

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13 moscow prospekt mira

Prospekt Mira Station in Moscow, Russia

 

14 moscow fonvizinskaya

Fonvizinskaya Station in Moscow, Russia

 

21 moscow komsomolskaya

Komsomolskaya Station in Moscow Russia

 

22 moscow mayakovskaya

Mayakovskaya Station in Moscow Russia

 

40 st petersburg

Avtovo Station in Saint Petersburg, Russia

 

45 moscow park pobedy

Park Pobedy Station in Moscow, Russia

 

 

In 1933, the Soviet Union began construction work on what would become some of the world’s most beautiful subway stations. The Moscow Metro opened in 1935. Built mainly by hand, the train stations resemble a palace more than a place of transit. And they were palaces of a sort: they articulated, through architecture, the Soviet creed that the worker, not a king, queen or Tsar, reigned supreme. The irony—and tragedy—is that these palaces required the punishment of the very people they venerated: working conditions on these palatial subway sites were notoriously cruel.

 

01 naples toledo 

 Toledo Station in Naples, Italy

 

27 naples materdei

Materdei Station in Naples, Italy

 

Riyadh Metro Station South Arabia

Riyadh Station, Soudi Arabia

 

37 toronto museum 

Museum Station in Toronto, Canada

 

38 kiev

Zoloti Vorota Station in Kiev, Ukraine

 

36 shanghai bund tunnel

Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, Shanghai, China

 

16a munich marienplatz

Marienplatz Station in Munich, Germany

 

20 new york

World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York, United States

 

19 new york

Fulton Transit Center in New York, United States

 

31 washington union station

Union Station in Washington D.C., United States

 

Russia is not alone in beautiful subway stations—and not all share such a dark history. The popular perception of underground train stations as dirty and dusty and overrun with rats might account for most subway stations, but not all of them.

 

 02 kaohsiung

Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, Taiwan 

 

03 taiwan central park station taiwan

Central Park Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

 

06 prague malostranska

Malostranska Station in Prague, Czech Republic

 

07 madrid atocha

 Botanical garden inside Atocha Station in Madrid, Spain

 

08 paris arts 

Arts et Metiers Station in Paris, France

 

09 stockholm solna

Solna Subway Station in Stockholm, Sweden

 

11 dubai

Khalid Bin Al Waleed Station in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 

13 london canary wharf

Canary Wharf Tube Station in London, United Kingdom

 

15 north korea

Yonggwang Station in Pyongyang, North Korea

 

16 munich

Westfriedhof Station in Munich, Germany

 

Across the world, whether in London, Toronto, New York, Paris or Kiev, there are stations that offer much more to the eye. Tourists and locals come not to rush through to catch the connecting train but to pause and enjoy the space. Sometimes these stations are impressive in their relative ancientness, other times because they are dazzlingly modern.

 

26 budapest

Fővám tér station in Budapest, Hungary 

 

17a berlin heidelberger

 Heidelberger Platz Station in Berlin, Germany

 

12 lisbon

Olaias Station in Lisbon, Portugal

 

28 frankfurt bockenheimer

Bockenheimer Warte Station in Frankfurt, Germany

 

34 london westminster

Westminster Station in London, United Kingdom

 

50 london gants hill

Gants Hill Station in London, United Kingdom

 

35 warsaw

Plac Wilsona Station in Warsaw, Poland

 

London’s Underground, initially the Metropolitan Railway, is the world's oldest underground railway. It first opened in 1863 to address high levels of horse-drawn traffic, linking the City to the railway stations at Paddington, Euston and King’s Cross. Now it carries about 1.3 billion people annually across 270 stations.

 

 Underground1863 2

 

In 1884, when the Circle Line was added to its network, The Times described it as “a form of mild torture, which no person would undergo if he could conveniently help it.” The truth is that, over a century later and for all the beautiful stations, this remains the attitude of most commuters across the entire underground train-system—especially at rush-hour. Subway commuters in other countries are likely to agree. 


Subways of the World - COFL from Community of Lights on Vimeo

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