In Russia, Stalin conceived of the idea that the common man must also experience the grandeur of the palaces! As they spent a lot of time in the underground, he felt the Moscow Metro stations, started construction in1935, should be as grandiose as the castles and palaces. However, he was unable to build more than a few metro stations. Nikita Krushev constructed the majority of them, but the politics had changed in Russia! Stalin, where his statues and frescos existed, were removed, and he gets very little credit for his thoughtfulness for the common man.
We visited about twelve metro stations during the Walking Tour of the Metro. The most elaborate one was The Revolution Square Metro with bronze sculptures, just below the Red Square. There were sculptures of peace, two farmers with a rooster, one rooster was polished and the other was black. one was for good luck and people touched it so that it got the polished look. The replica was for bad luck and no one dared to touch it. Not being aware at first of this, I got photographed with the bad luck rooster!! Similarly there was a dog with a soldier. The polished nose of the dog spoke of the superstitious nature of Moscovites. It was thought that touching the nose of dog brought good luck in exams. So students lined up before exams to polish the nose of the dog!!!
The sculptures of war were various images of soldiers in scenes depicting war.
Lenin was prominent in many Metros in frescoes. Some in mosaic were in various hues of colours which were used to show expressions on his face.
In The Victory Square, one spot was prominently empty. Apparently the statue of Stalin had been removed from the
spot. But Big Brother was watching, in the modern form of a CCTV camera!!
There were metro stations with grand chandeliers and one with long pillar structures, which was used as a bomb shelter during the Second World War! One station had impressive stain glass paintings depicting many professions. There were doctors, scientists, artists and workers on the shop floor.
Frescoes and paintings on the roof and walls showed civilians, children greeting the soldiers with roses as they returned victorious from the war, Ukrarian ladies in their colourful costumes and so on. The grandeur was truly demonstrated for the common man!