Over the years, combined with my love for trains, metros, and public transportation, I have been fortunate to find some of the most beautiful stations in the world. Here are a few of my favorites (with help from tripsavvy):
Komsomolskaya Station, Moscow (above)
With its crystal chandeliers, marble pillars, and golden mosaics, you’d almost expect Moscow’s commuters to waltz through Komsomolskaya Station on their way to the platform. Constructed in 1952, the space was inspired by a wartime speech of Stalin, and the creative duo behind its extravagance (Artist Pavel Korin and architect Alexey Schusev) even won the Stalin prize for their work. Beyond its beauty is a blatant political mission. The station was also designed to promote Soviet propaganda, so you’ll find sculptures of fallen leaders and scenes depicting moments of Russian history. I was here in 2014, and was so impressed, plus the metro trains run every 6 minutes!
Metro Center Station, Washington, DC (2nd photo)
Designed by prolific Chicago architect Harry Weese in the late 1960s, the Metro Center station in Washington, D.C., is one of the most beautiful stops in the U.S. To conceptualize his brutalist design, Weese toured the country’s transit systems and determined that the capital needed a grand station to reflect its monumental architecture. The result is a series of vaulted cathedral ceilings with waffle-like coffered blocks and recessed lighting that creates a soft and serene ambiance. Inside, you’ll also find G. Byron Peck’s 1989 mural, “Scenes of Washington,” which was expanded in 2001 to depict more images from the Capital City. One of the highlights of visiting DC.
St Pancras Station, London (3rd photo)
St Pancras International isn’t a mere airport terminal for trains, it’s a spectacular Grade 1 listed building that will take your breath away, and a destination in its own right, with shops, restaurants & cafes. Originally opened in 1868, London’s magnificent St Pancras station was beautifully restored and reopened on 14 November 2007 to become the London terminal for Eurostar trains to Paris, Brussels and now Amsterdam, taking over from Waterloo which had been Eurostar’s London terminal since it started in 1994. St Pancras still serves its original purpose as terminus for the Midland main line trains to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham & Sheffield, and it now also hosts domestic high-speed trains to and from Kent. Underground platforms provide direct Thameslink trains south to Croydon, Gatwick Airport and Brighton. This might be my favorite in the world, providing a great wat to leave London for Paris.
Universidad de Chile Station, Santiago (4th photo)
Santiago has long been famous for its colorful murals, and one of its most vibrant works can be spotted inside the Universidad de Chile metro station. While waiting for the train, riders standing on the platform can admire a mural spanning over 12,000 square feet. The work by Chilean painter Mario Toral, titled “Memoria Visual de una Nación” (Visual Memory of a Nation), was completed in 1999 and depicts the country’s history from its pre-Colombian Indigenous roots to the violent Spanish conquest. To bring the magnum opus to fruition, Toral traveled around the county for two years, interviewing historians, poets, and representatives of Indigenous groups, before spending three years mapping out the mural that’s now a civic treasure. Despite the beauty of the station, Santiago stands out for the place where we first met the inimitable Barry the V!!!
I am sure each of you must have a favorite metro station.