The metro opened in 1935. Many entrance buildings are just as architecturally spectacular as the stations below. Some stations are very deep and have been planned to serve as bomb shelters.
Photo [metro.ru]: Entrance building of Arbatskaya station on the first metro stretch from 1935.
Moscow's metro stations are a heritage of the socialist regime, originally intended to be 'palaces for the people'. With their marble-clad walls, chandelier lighting, and other precious interior, many indeed resemble palaces or cathedrals [metro.ru], [metrowalks.ru], [beeflowers].
Photo [cla.purdue.edu]: Central part of the platform of Komsomolskaya station built in 1952 on the circle line.
Many sculptures, reliefs and murals are found in the stations [metrosoyuza.net]. Besides Moscow, some other cities of the former Soviet Union have metro stations of similar grandeur. However, the ones in Moscow are the most numerous and the most spectacular. Fortunately, even the new stations opened in the 21st century are of good architectural quality.
Photo: The platform of Kropotkinskaya station built in 1935.
Try the following tour, recommended by residents or metro enthusiasts:
Ride the Ring Line and get off at every station to explore the highly decorated platforms and councourses. Don't miss Komsomolskaya station, one of the most lavish ones. Some entrance buildings are also worth noting, like Arbatskaya. Visit the Metro Museum.
Moscow Metro Museum. This small museum (330 square metres) charts the history of Moscow's subway system in models and statistics. Since 1967. Location: Attached to the southern exit of Sportivnaya metro station. Address: Ulitsa Khamovnichesky Val 36, 3rd floor, Moscow 119048, Russia. At Sportivnaya metro station. Hours (check before visiting): Monday 11am - 6pm, Tuesday - Friday 9am - 4pm, closed Saturday and Sunday. Admission: 25 RB. Reference: moscow-taxi.com, transport.chipexpo.ru, russianmuseums.info.
Isolated circle - Kol'tsevaya Line - 19.4 km - 12 stations - round trip 29 minutes - opened 1950 - completed 1954. Proposed ring - Line 11, part of line 1 - Large metro ring, approved in the 1960's. Proposed ring - Line 4 - outside line 5 as extension of line 4's Mezhdunarodnaya branch, under discussion. Proposed ring - Regional rail ring within the city, under discussion.