Saturday, January 11, 2014

Moscow's Metro Stations

Today was our second day of classes. We split up into the same groups as yesterday with the same course subjects (literature and Russian mass media), although we had different professors.

In our literature class, we read a biography on Pushkin, who is the equivalent of England's Shakespeare. We each read out loud a portion of the biography and our professor asked us questions about the text. It was really wonderful to go more in depth about a writer and poet that I personally love!

We ate lunch in the cafeteria, with most of us getting a combination of blini (Russian pancakes), rice, vegetables and meat. It wasn't too long before we headed to our second class.

In mass media, we discussed Russia's education system. Russia has a similar school structure of elementary, middle and high school like America. Unlike America, however,  the grading system is from 1-5 and students have to choose much earlier in their academic career what they'd like to major in when they get to college. Our professor then asked us about what the education system was like in America and we had an interesting conversation about private versus public schools.

After class was my favorite part of the day - touring Moscow's Metro Stations! Mayya Volkevich, our previous language assistant in the Russian department at Wellesley, was our tour guide, so it was a lovely reunion and it was great to see a face we knew. She took us to Dostoevksovo Station first, which was my favorite station. It was a newer station and wasn't as ornately decorated, but as you might guess from the station name, it had a lot of art dedicated to the works of Dostoevsky.

Above is a picture of the Crime and Punishment mural on one of the walls. Depicted are a few key scenes from the novel, such as Raskolnikov killing the old woman with an axe, Sonya reading the Bible with Raskolnikov, etc. The artwork was particularly relevant because I just finished reading the novel for another Russian class at Wellesley, Russian 251! There were also scenes from The Brothers Karamazov as well as a portrait of Dostoevsky.

Afterward, we went to visit the Revolution Square station. The architecture here was a stark contrast in comparison to the Dostoevsky station. Both sides of the platform were lined with bronze statues of people during the Soviet period -  soldiers, students, mothers and fathers, and even a man with a dog, which, according to Mayya, is supposed to give you good luck if you rub the dog's nose. (Pictured below:)

Lastly, we visited Teatral'naya station, or the station for the theatre district of Moscow. This was again, very different from the previous two stations we saw. There were beautiful mosaics on the ceiling as well as mosaics throughout the platform: 

The Moscow Metro station is a sight to see in and of itself. All the stations are incredibly beautiful and grand. Mayya told us that Stalin wanted Moscow's metro station to embody the excellence of Russia, and I certainly think it does. I'm not sure how I can ride the T in Boston after seeing these breathtaking stations....

I end this blog post with a couple pictures of our metro station, Navaslabodskaya:

1 comment:

  1. Russia, we were told, believed that art was to be accessible and enjoyed by the masses without having to go to museums. Each one is more awesome that the previous. I have been to Moscow twice - and never ceased to be amazed by the art.