Vorobyovy Gory Moscow Metro Station
Vorobyovy Gory Moscow metro station is adjacent to the famous Moscow Sparrow Hills. Many years ago, it was called "Leninskiye Gory" - Lenin's Hills. No wonder, since probably half of the places in USSR were named after Vladimir Lenin.
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Vorobyovy Gory was the first metro station in the world to ever been built on a bridge. Not only that, but above the metro bridge there is also a regular one with thousands of cars crossing it hourly. Frankly, it's hard for me to believe that managed to pull off such project back in 1959!
However, at that time there was a practical need to do so, because otherwise the builders would have to dig below Moskva River, and it would be much more expensive. I think it's good they decided to go for the bridge, otherwise we would have just another underground Moscow metro station.
The station as seen from Moskva River.
In addition, I find it kinda creepy having to ride below the river. Who knows what might happen if the water somehow finds its way in? The horror, the horror....
Unfortunately, the construction managers were in a hurry to finish the station just before some important Soviet holiday, and that seriously hurt the quality. In fact, there were so many problems that it was decided to close the station later on.
What's interesting is that from 1960 to 1983 the station continued to function despite the fact that Metro management knew it wasn't going to end well. At some point, several parts of duralumin canopy have fallen from 4 meter high roof right onto station's platform. Fortunately, no one got hurt back then. And then began to appear cracks in concrete structures.
The new interior.
After the station was shut down, bypass routes were laid on the bridge. I remember those times, when trains would travel between Sportivnaya and Universitet for unusually long. For some period, the view from bridge was covered with boards, so you couldn't really tell if you're traveling above or below the ground.
Soon after the station was closed, Perestroika has begun, and then came the 90s when the state couldn't afford anything but the most vital things. Needless to say, nobody even dreamt about restoring Vorobyovy Gory station.
The works began only around 2000. By that time, Moscow already had the Third Transport Ring, and it allowed setting up a bypass route for the cars that drove through the bridge for all those years. The movement of trains between Sportivnaya and Yugo-Zapadnaya was seriously restricted and even stopped for a month, but that allowed to completely fix and redesign the station.
Unfortunately, they didn't restore one thing - the huge escalator, using which you could ride straight to the top of the Sparrow Hills from the side of Kosygina street. These days, you will have to go by foot through Vorobyovy Gory park.
Although the paths and stairs in the park may not lead directly to the top, that's only because they are meant for people who came to walk around and enjoy. No matter how much you're in a hurry, I strongly advise you to not try any "unofficial" shortcuts, because they are very steep and dangerous. You can easily fall there and even get hurt, so don't do that unless you're a professional mountain climber!
Vorobyovy Gory metro station is very special. It has glass walls, so right after you exit the train, you're granted an excellent view on Sparrow Hills, Moskva River, Luzhniki and Moscow itself.
A view on Luzhniki Stadium.
Somehow, the station is almost not connected to public transport - there're simply no trams and buses that stop there. However, there is a pier near the southern exit, where you can board one of the river boats for a trip along Moskva River, but only during Summer.
You can also walk through the park and get to the top of Sparrow Hills observation platform. If you're still able to walk after that, you can walk to the building of Moscow State University, and from there you can board something that gets to Universitet Moscow metro station.
A temporary exhibition of Imperial Porcelain Factory (St-Petersburg) at the hall of the station.
In any case, you should plan the route in advance using a good map and possibly a guide, be ready for a really long walk, dress accordingly and take plenty of water with you. In short, imagine you're going for an out-of-town trip.
...but don't forget to leave the tent at home
On the other hand, if you're a couch potato like me, then all you have to do is get to Vorobyovy Gory station, gaze at the view, and then hop back on a train. Afterwards, you can exit the nearby Sportivnaya station and walk to Novodevichy Convent.
But hey, if you take that walk then know you aren't a true couch potato after all, and have a long way to go until you reach my level!
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