Mayakovskaya Moscow Metro Station
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Mayakovskaya Moscow metro station is one of the most beautiful subway stations we have. Built in 1938, it was named after a famous Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky.
Although Mayakovsky's poetry was translated to many languages including English, I wish you spoke Russian so that you could read the originals. His poems are elegant and powerful, and yet they are so very human...
Anyways, Mayakovskaya station is very deep - it goes below for 33 meters (100ft). No wonder - it was supposed to be a bomb shelter, and in fact it was. In 1941 there was a meeting on the station organized by Stalin himself. His speech was broadcasted on radio so that all the Soviet people could hear that Moscow was still intact and not willing to surrender.
The station has several exits, one of them is located right in the building of the well-known Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. That way I guess people won't have to be late for their favorite concertos! Plus, Mayakovskaya decor is very special. Everyone who's been there note that it's kind of ethereal unlike the heavy-duty, imperial style of other central and ring-line stations.
That impression is created by the elegant pillars and arcs spread throughout the place. By the way, if you look closely you'll notice they were decorated not only with marble and other kinds of stone but also with stainless steel. That steel is also special - the whole blocks were made in a zeppelin factory. By the way, the factory was lead by the father of the Russian cosmonautics Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.
The style of the station's interior is called Stalin's neoclassic, and it was so unique that in 1938 it received an award on the international exhibition in New York. Today it's still considered unique, and since 1980 the station has a status of architectural heritage.
The lamps are hidden inside the oval niches on the ceiling, this makes the lighting softer and more pleasant to the eye. In addition, each niche holds smalt panels designed by the famous artist Alexander Deyneka.
Each one of the panels is showing different episodes of the Soviet life, so you should definitely see them if you're a fan of those old, Soviet posters. The panels were made in Frolov's workshop in St. Petersburg, and I will surely write an article about it in the future!
From 2005 to 2007, the old southern entrance to Mayakovskaya was closed for renovation. However, the new northern entrance was opened to provide an alternative way in. As a result, the southern entrance was restored and renovated, but the station itself remained untouched. Well, I hope they renovate it soon because it sure needs some fixing!
The decor of the new entrance is very similar to the station's style. Huge mosaic panels on the ceiling look astonishing - they picture the sky just like the original panels by Deyneka. In addition, the panels look like windows in the ceiling, and with all that sky above you'll forget you're deep underground!
Apart from the sky, clouds and rainbow, the new entrances feature quotations from Mayakovsky's poems scattered here and there. Every Soviet citizen knew them by heart and not only because they were taught in school. As I said, Mayakovsky was extremely talented.
If you get to Mayakovskaya to watch all that beautiful decor, then afterwards you can exit to Tverskaya and 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya streets that are right near the center of Moscow. In short, you can get to many interesting places from there, but even if you don't have any plans I suggest you visit Mayakovskaya - it's very well worth it.
P.S. Here's one of Vladimir Mayakovsky's poems translated into English. Hope you'll like it as much as I do!
if stars are lit
it means - there is someone who needs it.
It means - someone wants them to be,
that someone deems those specks of spit
in the swirls of afternoon dust,
he bursts in on God,
afraid he might be already late.
he kisses God's sinewy hand
and begs him to guarantee
that there will definitely be a star.
he won't be able to stand that starless ordeal.
He wanders around, worried,
but outwardly calm.
And to everyone else, he says:
it's all right.
You are no longer afraid,
if stars are lit,
it means - there is someone who needs it.
It means it is essential
that every evening
at least one star should ascend
over the crest of the building.
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