March 19, 2016

2389 RUSSIA (Moscow) - Moscow Metro

2389 Moscow Metro - Taganskaya station (Koltsevaya Line)

Opened in 1935 with one 11km line and 13 stations, the Moscow Metro was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union. As of 2016, it has 200 stations and its route length is 333.3km, serving Moscow and the neighbouring towns of Krasnogorsk, Reutov and Kotelniki. It is organized in a spoke-hub distribution paradigm, with the majority of rail lines running radially from the centre of Moscow, mostly underground.

The first lines were built using the Moscow general plan designed by Lazar Kaganovich, along with his project managers in the 1930s-1950s, and the Metro was named after him until 1955. The Moscow Metro construction engineers consulted with their counterparts from the London Underground, the world's oldest metro system. Soviet workers did the labor and the art work, but the main engineering designs, routes, and construction plans were handled by specialists recruited from the London Underground.

The British called for tunneling instead of the "cut-and-cover" technique, the use of escalators instead of lifts, the routes, and the design of the rolling stock. The paranoia of the NKVD was evident when the secret police arrested numerous British engineers for espionage because they gained an in-depth knowledge of the city's physical layout. Engineers for the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company (Metrovick) were given a show trial and deported in 1933, ending the role of British business in the USSR.

Built under the command of Stalin, the Moscow Metro was one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects, with stations constructed as luxurious "palaces for the people". He directed his architects to design structures which would encourage citizens to look up, admiring the station's art, as if they were looking up to admire the sun and, by extension, him as a god. The art includes bas-reliefs, friezes, marble and bronze statues, stained-glass windows and mosaics made in good Byzantine fashion.

In stations can be seen the images of the former revolutionary and historical characters, their victories, sports, industry, agriculture, and warfare, as well as of common Soviet people such as workers, soldiers, farmers, and students. Russia's glorious architectural movement came to an end after Stalin's death, more precisely in 1955 after the Communist Party issued a decree eliminating "extravagance in design and construction." Sculptures were taken to storage facilities, and mosaics and reliefs were simply removed.

New stations that were built during this time were devoid of any "unjustified" elements. The party had a new theme: "kilometers at the expense of architecture." Fortunately, the original architecture of the early stations were left intact, which, after all these years still look amazing. Named after the Taganka Square, Taganskaya is a station on the Koltsevaya Line, opened in 1950 and designed by architects K. Ryzhkov and A. Medvedev.

This pylon station was built with the post-war flamboyance in mind, the overall design is based on the traditional Russian motives. The central feature of the station are 48 maiolica panels located on each face of the pylon, which contain apart from floral elements, profile bas-reliefs of various WWII Red Army & Navy servicemen. The panels facing the central hall are on a blue majolica background, whilst the platform panels are monochromatic. Lighting comes from a set of 12 gilded chandeliers with the same blue majolica center.

About the stamps

The first stamp is part of the series World Natural Heritage of Russia - Virgin forests of Komi Republic, issued on June 25, 2003:
• Stone Pillars on the Man-Pupuner Mountain (2.00 RUB)
• The Kozhim River (3.00 RUB) - It's on the postcard 2389
• The Upper Pechora (5.00 RUB) - It's on the postcard 2890

The second stamp, Russia - Regions - Concord Tower, was issued on June 4, 2014.

Tghe last stamp, dedicated to Eurasian Economic Union, was issued on May 21, 2015.

Moscow Metro - Wikipedia
Art and Decor of Moscow Metro Stations - Amusing Planet
Taganskaya (Koltsevaya Line) - Wikipedia

Sender: Maya (direct swap)
Sent from Moscow (Moscow / Russia), on 22.02.2016

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