Komsomolskaya (Koltsevaya Line)

Nikolai Galkin/TASS
The theme of Komsomolskaya, one of the most lavishly decorated Metro stations, is Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War. Its creators, most notably the great architect Alexey Shchusev and artist Pavel Korin, received a Stalin Prize for their work. Komsomolskaya's decorations are impressive: rows of columns, joined by arches, bear the lofty ceiling with moulds, bas-reliefs and mosaics, illuminated by gorgeous chandeliers. The key decorations are eight ceiling panels of smalt mosaic, encrusted with semiprecious stones, crafted by Pavel Korin. The mosaic panels tell the history of Russia's war victories, from Alexander Nevsky and Dmitry Donskoy to the taking of the Reichstag in Berlin. The two panels featuring Stalin had to be redone following the exposure of the personality cult, but fortunately, Pavel Korin did this personally, so the artistic value of the artworks remained undiminished. The Russian Arms themed bas-reliefs that used to decorate the vault abutments have been replaced with golden mosaic ornaments. The columns and walls of the station are faced with Uzbek Gazgan marble, the floors are red granite from Kuznechnoe. Overall, this station exemplifies the kind of Metro that, in Stalin's vision, the victorious nation deserved.