First opened in November 1955 as a subterranean Communist paradise, Saint Petersburg’s metro is not just the deepest in the world – but also one of the busiest with five subway lines, 67 stations, more than 3 000 trains and 2.5 million passengers a day.
When you buy your coin ticket – just 35 roubles to go anywhere you like – you take the stairs or escalators down to a veritable art gallery, filled with opulent chandeliers, marble, intricate mosaics, and heroic statues depicting smiling, muscular workers from collective farms in Kiev, Minsk and Siberia in the old Soviet Union. Each meticulously clean and graffiti free station tells a story about Russia’s past.
Many of the Metro stations, such as the 85 meter deep Admiralteyskaya, had to double up as bomb shelters during the Cold War with big blast doors and air filters that would’ve protected the people from an upcoming attack.
At the end of the platform in The Avtovo (А́втово ) station part of the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Line is a magnificent mosaic representing the Leningrad Blockade during World War 2
- The St Petersburg Metro is well worth seeing, but as with everything else in Russia, it’s well worth hiring a guide. I can recommend Tour de Force.
- Caroline Hurry was a guest of the Saint Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development