Metro is still a very new concept for many in India whereas the west and the rest of the world have implemented this beautiful mode of transportation long before it was imitated by India. Moreover, these countries have also made their transition in the metro more creative by having characteristic artistic design that can identify each stop. Colorful walls, artistic sculptures and beautiful architecture make time spent in the metro worthwhile.
Here is the list of the most stunning stations that make you chuck your car and hop on a metro:
Stockholm Metro (Sweden)
Stockholm Metro was first opened in 1950, and today the system has 100 stations in use, of which 47 are underground and 53 above ground. The metro is 105.7 kilometres (65.7 mi) long. It was the idea of artists Vera Nilsson and Siri Derkert to use art to beautify the metro stations. Today, besides holding art exhibitions, the works of more than 100 artists are showcased across 90 stations in the country.Since the mid 1980s, the Stockholm Metro has been seriously affected by graffiti. Previously a train on which graffiti had been painted could remain in service for weeks and graffiti could remain in place at stations for months if not for years. Nowadays, however, trains with graffiti are taken out of service immediately and graffiti at stations is regularly cleaned up within a few days.
Paris Metro, France
Paris has one of the densest metro networks in the world, with 245 stations within 86.9 km of the city of Paris.
There are 300 stations on the route. Paris is the second busiest metro system in Europe, after Moscow. It carries 4.5 million passengers a day and an annual total of 1.479 billion (2009). The first line opened without ceremony on 19 July 1900. Designed by Hector Guimard, the Metro is famous for its architecture. Standard vaulted stations are lined by small white earthenware tiles, chosen because of the poor efficiency of early twentieth century electric lighting. From the outset walls have been used for advertising; posters in early stations are framed by coloured tiles.
Kievskaya Metro, Russia
Kiyevskaya features tall, octagonal pillars topped with elaborate capitals. The pillars were originally faced with Armenian onyx, but this was replaced with yellowish Gazgan marble after ten years. The platform is intricately patterned with Ukrainian designs executed in red, white, and gray granite. The three rows of circular ceiling coffers originally housed incandescent light fixtures but these were abandoned in favor of the current three-bladed fluorescent lamps in the 1960s. Built in 1954, the station stands out in terms of its great design and beautiful art. The artwork is inspired from Ukrainian life and folk motifs.
Athens Metro, Greece
As of December 2010, the system served 33 stations. It is being heavily used, earning a daily ridership of more than one and a half million passengers. During the construction of the metro tunnels, numerous artefacts of archaeological interest were discovered. Their discovery was brought about as a result of what is known as salvage archaeology. They protected and recorded the archaeological evidence that was uncovered which included ancient streets, houses, cemeteries, sanctuaries, public workshops, foundry pits, kilns, aqueducts, wells, cisterns, drains and sewage tunnels. Exhibitions of ancient artefacts and/or their replicas can be found at various metro stations, such as those of Monastiraki and Syntagma.
Komsomolskaya station, Russia
It is a Moscow Metro station in the Krasnoselsky District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow. The Komsomolskaya station is one of the biggest attractions in Moscow. It opened on 30 January 1952 as a part of the second stage of the line. Beginning with the large vestibule located among the former of the two train stations, the building features an immense octagonal dome topped by a cupola, and a spire crowned by a large star and imposing full-height portico with stylised Corinthian columns. Inside amid the Baroque-style ornaments, rich torches and chandelier lights, two escalators descend, one leading to the old 1935 Komsomolskaya-Radialnaya station, and the second to this one. The theme of the design, the Historical Russian fight for freedom and independence, is expressed in eight large ceiling mosaics by Pavel Korin. Designed by Alexey Shchusev, frescoed ceilings, chandeliers and artwork gives the look of a museum.
Alisher Navoi Metro Station, Tashkent
Tashkent’s subway owes its grandeur and scale to Russia but its elegant style to the local Muslim population. Finished in 1977 while Uzbekistan was still part of the Soviet Union, it was built amid a flurry of construction after a massive earthquake leveled the city in 1966. Alisher Navoi, one of three main hubs, is a suitably grand affair the signature element being a tight cluster of tall cupolas inlaid with metal in an Islamic design. Each station is unique and has rich showcase of art and replication of folklore, making it one of the most beautiful subways in the world. Tashkent Metro‘s total length is 30 kilometers and growing.
It is a driverless, fully automated metro network in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. The first section of the Red Line, covering 10 stations, was ceremonially inaugurated at on September 9, 2009, by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai. The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula. More than 110,000 people, which is nearly 10 per cent of Dubai’s population, used the Metro in its first two days of operation. The Dubai Metro carried 10 million passengers from launch on 9 September 2009 to 9 February 2010 with 11 stations operational on the Red Line. At 75 km, the Dubai Metro is frequently cited as the world’s longest fully automated metro network.
Bilbao Metro, Spain
In total, the Metro has 40.61 km (as of 2009) of rail tracks, with 38 stations (22 of them underground and 16 outside) and 74 accesses (not counting elevators) and 9 substations. Bilbao is famous for its grand stations designed by Sir Norman Foster. Another interesting aspect is the use of energy from renewable sources. Metro de Bilbao has installed brake energy recovery systems that stop the trains more effectively and get energy savings of 33 percent. It was the fourth Metro line to be built in Spain, after those in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Currently, it is the third largest Metro company in Spain by number of passengers carried (87,000,000 in 2009) behind the Madrid Metro and the one in Barcelona.