Nikolai Shumakov, a modern-day metro architect and president of the Moscow Union of Architects, provides a forward to the map. His preface briefly explains Moscow metro history and the chief architects that designed and built them.
These start with the “Palaces of the People,” the city’s first metro stations. This was a Stalin-era effort to build luxurious stations that would become “a symbol of the capital of the Soviet Union,” according to the guide. Featured among these palatial platforms are the historical mosaics in Kievskaya and Komsomolskaya stations, the elegant pillars of Mayakovskaya station and the lucky bronze sculptures of Ploshchad Revolyutsii. There’s also Kropotkinskaya station, the remaining vestibule of the planned Palace of the Soviets skyscraper that was never built, and Chistye Prudy station, which served as the Soviet Moscow Air Defense Forces headquarters during World War II.
For the more standardized Khrushchev-era stations, Vassiliev focuses on the stunning exceptions. There’s the luxurious Arbatskaya station, dripping with white chandeliers and intricate carving and called “the most richly decorated and longest station in Moscow,” along with Oktyabrskaya station, notable for its very 1960s geometric color scheme.