Natalya Grigorieva

Park Pobedy, 165th Station of the Moscow metro

'Park Pobedy' (Victory Park)

Moscow has welcomed its 165th metro station, Park Pobedy (Victory Park). The opening ceremony, timed to coincide with 58th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, was attended by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, members of the Moscow Government, deputies of the city council headed by Chairman Vladimir Platonov, the metro chief Dmitry Gayev, war veterans, and media people.

Addressing the gathering, Mayor Luzhkov pointed out that the new station was being commissioned on the eve of Victory Day to make it easier for war veterans and all city residents to reach the Poklonnaya Gora Hill, a place sacred to the entire nation. "The station is majestic," he said, "worthy of the memory of our war heroes." Mr. Luzhkov promised that the city government would budget the building of new metro lines and persuade federal authorities that Moscow needed them badly. "The building of new metro lines must never be stopped," he stressed. "This is our only possibility of relieving ground-passenger transport."

In the near future new lines will be built from the Park Pobedy Station. The city development programme for the next four years provides for some twenty new metro stations and 40 kilometres of lines.

The construction of the Park Pobedy Station was launched in 1987, but five years later all work was stopped for lack of financing. In 2000, however, work was resumed. Park Pobedy is the deepest station not only in Moscow and Russia but also in the world. Its lowest point reaches a depth of 97 metres. The station is located in an area with high watercarrying horizons and had to be built under them. Its escalators are the longest in the world, each 126 metres in length and having 740 steps. A ride upward takes about three minutes. Builders used the latest safety technologies; for instance, bright green lighting from below at the beginning and the end of the escalator. An estimated 50,000 people will descend to the station's platforms every day.

The interior decoration commemorates Russian victories in the Patriotic War of 1812 against Napoleon and the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. There are enamelled panels made according to an ancient technique by the President of the Russian Academy of Arts, Zurab Tsereteli. The walls are faced with red and white marble; the floor with black and grey granite.

As well as providing easy access to the Poklonnaya Gora Hill, that favourite recreation area of many Muscovites, the new station also solves many transport problems for the residents of Moscow's western neighbourhoods.

The Park Pobedy station welcomes its first trains

Photos by Sergey Kalachev and Sergi Shagulashvili

The ceremony of opening the Park Pobedy station is attended by veterans of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945

Moscow today & tomorrow, N6 - 2003.

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