The entrance to Paveletskaya

The Moscow Metro station of Paveleskaya is probably not among the most beautiful, but it is brimful of Soviet symbols and it has a rather interesting story.

Paveletskaya was built to a design by Alexey Dushkin as a temporary deep (33.5 meters underground) pylon station of London type – with two side platforms, but without a central hall. Work on converting Paveletskaya to a fully functional station commenced in 1950; the station was reopened February 21, 1953, only 12 days before Stalin‘s death. We can, therefore, say that this station is one of the very last examples of Soviet architecture built under Stalin.

Paveletskaya is a station on the n.2 (green) line (Zamoskvoretskaya Line) and it is one of the two stations where the n.2 line intersects the circular (brown) n.5 line (Koltsevaya Line). To get to Paveletskaya station on the green line from the Paveletskaya station on the circular line (yes, this is one of those case when both stations have the same name) there is a passageway or you can use the escalator leading to the exit and then descend again on an escalator leading to the green line. This second option give you both the benefit of having to walk less (although it won’t take you less time to transfer) and you can see the imposing representation of the red USSR flag on the Red Square with a backdrop of Saint Basil’s cathedral, which you see pictured above this post.

The abundance of Soviet symbols continue underground with bronze-coloured inserts with hammer and sickle motive, which are the sole example of figurative art in this station, and which are actually painted ceramic castings. I find this, in a way, a fitting metaphor of the late Stalin year in the USSR: the country wanted to display lavishly its richness and power, but had to resort to cheaper alternatives and just make them look expensive. In the same way, under a public facade of greatness, not all was well.

Paveletskaya
The ornate inserts with hammer and sickle motive are actually not bronze, but painted ceramic casting. A fitting metaphor of the late Stalin years in the USSR.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, here’s a list of the other Moscow Metro stations I’ve already talked about (and shown pictures of!) here on the blog:

 

If you are planning to visit Moscow and you’d like a tour of the best metro stations, accompanied by a photographer and a native speaker (myself and my wife), do get in touch and we’ll make this plan come to life!

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