Trekking with Becky

Photo Friday: Avtovo – The Most Beautiful Subway Station

Avtovo, in St. Petersburg, is the most beautiful subway station I have ever seen.  I never thought that I would use the adjective “beautiful” for a subway station, but when I came to Russia last year, that changed pretty quickly.

I’m still not finished my Moscow metro station conquest, and I didn’t get to see all of St. Petersburg’s, but I’m confident that even when I do finish all the Moscow stations, Avtovo will still be the prettiest subway station I’ve ever seen.  Don’t get me wrong, many other stations are incredible and beautiful, but they are in different ways.  Komsomolskaya is amazing for the historic mosaics and Novoslobodskaya for the stained glass, but Avtovo is in a class of its own.

Looking down the Avtovo tunnel; “B” is the “V” sound in Russian.

I admit that when I first got off the train and looked down the tunnel, I didn’t think Avtovo was going to be one of the best.

After all, it’s one of the older stations having opened on November 15th, 1955.  Also, since it’s the third station from the bottom of the red line, I wasn’t expecting it to be exceptional.  Stations toward the end of lines usually aren’t among the more impressive ones.

Looking down the track, I wasn’t surprised to see the gorgeous chandeliers, but my jaw dropped when I turned around and walked down the platform, my jaw dropped. ↓

 

Doesn’t Avtovo seem like a palace?

 

When the trains weren’t coming and going, I forgot that I was actually standing on a subway platform.  Walking down Avtovo’s platform made me feel like I was in a palace, but the columns are what really did it for me.  At first, I thought the grey columns were steel, but as I got closer, I realized that they’re GLASS!  Look! 😀 ↓

 

 

What would a detailed, ornate class column from 1955 Russia be without a communist star?

 

 

As you can see in the previous photo of the platform, the columns toward the end are marble. Apparently, they were only supposed to be temporary.  I think they look nice behind the glass ones.  What do you think?

I can’t think of a single metro station in Russia that doesn’t have marble.  Also, now that I think about it, all the old metro stations I’ve seen have a communist star or some sort of communist symbolism.  Most of them also have some kind of mosaic artwork, and here is Avtovo’s at the end of the platform behind the marble columns. ↓

 

The mosaic commemorates the Leningrad Blockade from 1941-1944.  It reminds me of the mosaic at the end of the Novoslobodskaya station platform.  Here’s a close-up. ↓

 

I can’t let you go without showing you this station’s ventilation grilles.  I was surprised to see that they don’t represent communism like others I’ve seen, like Prospect Mira’s for example.

 

 

Is Avtovo the most beautiful

subway station you’ve ever seen?

 

 

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36 thoughts on “Photo Friday: Avtovo – The Most Beautiful Subway Station

  1. Nadezda

    Becky,
    I not often go to this metro station, sometimes to my busyness. The first time I’ve been there I was surprised – why are so many decoration on the utilitarian place like a station for metro passengers? No doubt it was very expensive in those times,10 years after the war. But I think many people arriving there by train felt themselves like in a palace.

  2. Mandy

    Gorgeous! Who would have thought you’d find this in an old subway station in Russia? I’d love to visit someday, but with politics are going, who knows if that will ever happen? I kind of fell in love with the idea of visiting Russia after seeing the movie Anastasia as a kid. Plus the architecture there? *swoon* Thanks for sharing!

    With Love,
    Mandy

    1. Becky Post author

      Moscow has tons of incredible subway stations too, like this stained glass wonder – http://www.trekkingwithbecky.com/photo-friday-novoslobodskaya-station/

      Don’t worry so much about the politics – just come here if you can. There’s nothing to worry about when you’re here. 🙂 Russia’s amazing and bucket list worthy. The visa process is a major hassle, but it’s definitely worth it.

      I’ve never seen Anastasia. I’ll have to watch it now that I’ve been here for over a year.

    1. Becky Post author

      I guess the best thing would have been to take video but sadly, I didn’t think of it. St. Petersburg is an incredible city, and you have to spend at least a few days there. 🙂

  3. bruceschinkel19

    I love finding surprises like this when travelling! This subway station is almost worthy of being a destination in its own right.

  4. oregongirlaroundtheworld

    Holy wow! That is insane! I think Copenhagen needs to up their Metro game! Thank for you showing the detail up close – I did not think that was glass at first glance either and I love that mosaic. Super beautiful! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    1. Becky Post author

      I’ve never been to Copenhagen, but every city I’ve seen, other than Moscow and St. Petersburg, really needs to step up for sure! 😀 I think the worst subway stations I’ve ever seen were New York’s.

    1. Becky Post author

      I hope you make it here soon! Russia’s really something. Let me know if you make flight reservations, etc., and I’ll help you plan your itinerary. 😀

  5. katy@untoldmorsels

    oh my goodness, that is not what I expected a Moscow train station to look like. How opulent and ornate. After your apartment experiences Becky I am surprised you havent moved in! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

  6. daisythebus

    I’m just… um.. wow… what??? That is amazing. When the ventilation grilles are works of art you know the rest of the place is going to be very, VERY special indeed. Truly incredible – thanks for showing me this! Wow. #FarawayFiles
    p.s. Wow!

  7. Ruth

    Yes, it does look like the hall of a palace! I can’t believe those columns are made of glass. What a joy to use such a beautiful place daily (for residents) for such a common task as taking a train. I guess that is why I like Europe so much. Everything is grand there. #wkendtravelinspiration

    1. Becky Post author

      You’re right – everything is grand in Europe. It’s always interesting to see how every European country/region features its grandiosity in different ways.

    1. Becky Post author

      As far as I know, there aren’t any free tours, but I see tour groups every day. I’m thinking of creating the next-best thing to a free Moscow metro station tour. 😀

  8. Rhonda Albom

    This station is very ornate and beautiful. The ceilings must be very high if there are chandeliers over the trains. With all the vibrations from the trains, the chandeliers must be well attached.

    1. Becky Post author

      I find that all of Russia’s metro stations’ ceilings are high, although some are higher than others. Russia really loves chandeliers and light fixtures. Even in apartments with low ceilings, there are chandeliers. You’re right about them being well attached; I get nervous whenever I see chandeliers swinging in the wind, and they swing pretty hard.

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