The subway, metro, underground – whatever you call it– these transport systems are much like the heart of a place; circulating people around, they ensure the steady flow of movement that populates the pockets of culture and commerce we know as the city. More often than not, we associate them with rodents, rubbish and weary commuters. However, at the other end of the scale they can be magnificent cave-like wonders, social and political reflectors, home to installation art and intricate mosaics.Check out these beautifully constructed underground spaces that go against the grain, showcasing some of the cultural and architectural highlights of their respective cities.
Rådhuset Station, Stockholm, Sweden
Based on a natural cave system, Rådhuset Station in Stockholm is so visually striking you could spend an hour in here soaking up the interior.Comprising a volcano-esque ceiling swallowing up huge roman-style pillars amid surreal adornment, a visit to this station will not disappoint.
T–Centralen station, Stockholm, Sweden
Toledo Metro Station, Naples, Italy
The Toledo Metro Station is the 13th Art Station in Naples. Constructed around the themes of water and light, the vivid blue mosaic paired with the art-deco tiling is pretty spectacular, so much so that 2012 saw it take home the title of the most beautiful station in Europe.
Olaias Station, Lisbon, Portugal
In keeping with the colourful tiling Lisbon is so famed for, architect Tomás Taveira sets off vibrant stained glass against metallic columns, making Olaias Station perhaps Europe’s most visually enticing.
Kievskaya, Mayakovskaya And Park Pobedy Stations, Moscow, Russia
One of the deepest subways in the world at 243 feet, Kievskaya, Mayakovskaya And Park Pobedy Stations are the biggest in the world outside of Asia. Constructed in 1935, the Moscow metro is considered to be one of the USSR’s most lavish architectural projects, with Stalin instructing architects to build, “palaces for the people”.
Avtovo Metro Station, St. Petersburg, Russia
The metro of St Petersburg really brings to life the social and political history of Russia. Comprising opulent chandeliers, reflective marble walls and soaring ceilings. The subways were created in this style as a psychological boost to residents in the face of the economic struggles faced by Soviet Russia.
Westfriedhof & Dulferstrasse stations , Munich, Germany
These incredibly sleek Munich stations are characterised by vivid orange tiles and the disitnctive 11 large lamps measuring 3.80 metres wide, created by renowned German Industrial designer, Ingo Mauer.
Westminster Station, London, United Kingdom
This Blade Runner-inspired London station was shortlisted for the Stirling prize shortly after its construction in 1999. Comprising stainless steel and concrete beams that are woven throughout the building amid a network of escalators, it is considered to be an architectural and engineering masterpiece.