Ploschad Revolyutsii

Nikolai Galkin/TASS
Ploschad Revolyutsii, which opened in 1938, started a strategic new Metro line leading to what is now Izmaylovsky Park, but was then Central Park of Culture and Recreation Named after Stalin. The plan was to build a humongous stadium there. Stalin's bunker had been hidden underneath the stadium pit since before the war. The whole Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line stretched as if at attention in front of that unfinished construction site. The Metro builders had mastered sculptures, bas-reliefs and other elements of decor by then. The stations of the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line were to tell the Empire's story, as well as glorify it.

In that sense, the first station on the line, Ploshchad Revolyutsii, was more representative than the others. The station was mainly built according to the design of Alexey Dushkin, whose idea was to cut the heavy vault though with arches, and decorate the arch corners with bas-reliefs. With the right illumination, the figures of the bas-reliefs would seem to thrust forward, emerging from the stone. But the Metro management scrapped the bas-relief idea and decided to install some bulky sculptures instead. Dushkin thought the decision had killed the station architecturally. But today those sculptures have become a meaningful part of Moscow's urban folklore. It is believed that the nose of the dog on the Border Guard with Dog sculpture brings good luck if you rub it. People have all but rubbed out holes in some of the sculptures.