Elaborate underground architecture of Soviet metro stations photographed by Christopher Herwig

Art photography

#architecture #photography #public transport #Soviet Union

September 21, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Tashkent. All images: Christopher Herwig

After traveling in 15 cities in 7 countries and taking more than 15,000 photographs, Christophe Herwig (previously) compiled a new book that presents the diverse architecture of every underground metro station in the former USSR Soviet metro stations offers a rare look at mansion-quality chandeliers, ornate columns, and patterned ceilings that surround millions of commuters every day.

With a background in travel photography and documentary work for UNICEF and other United Nations agencies, Herwig first discovered the region while traveling through Russia by train. He then lived in Kazakhstan and more recently in Jordan, where he continued to work professionally as a photographer.

Herwig explains that he became interested in the underground architecture of stations during his visits to Moscow and Tashkent. Because many metro stations were used as nuclear shelters, they were considered military sites and photographing them was prohibited. “Although I probably could have gotten away with a few images, I really wanted to do the series properly and cover all the cities in the former USSR with metro lines not just a few flashy ones in Moscow,” he said. he declared to Colossal. “With the restrictions lifted in many cities, that meant I could give it a try.”


Herwig’s images take viewers on a journey through the architectural and political influences of decades past. Symbols of the Soviet era, relief sculptures of important events and people, and displays of opulence cover every square meter of the well-kept underground spaces. Often making trips to train stations early in the morning and late at night, Herwig says many of the otherwise busy hubs appear to be abandoned due to its focus of “using people for purpose and not hijacking it. ‘attention to space and station design’.

Soviet metro stations, published by FUEL, arrives September 24 and is available for pre-order today via Amazon. To see more of Christopher Herwig’s photographs, follow his travels on Instagram.






Kryvyi Rih


Soviet metro stations

#architecture #photography #public transport #Soviet Union

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