Known as one of the world’s grandest subway systems, the Moscow Metro is filled with materials more commonly associated with palaces or museums – marble and granite walls, bronze columns, and lavish chandeliers are just a few of the opulent textures you’ll find beneath the streets of Russia’s largest city. Despite their renown, the Moscow government almost never allows professional photographers to capture the beauty of the stations. But in 2014, photographer David Burdney was finally given that opportunity. Visiting the system late at night after the metro had closed, Burdney was able to capture each station in its best light, and completely devoid of people. Burdney’s original interest in the metro came from their unique role in Russian history. Know as “Palaces for the People,” the original metro stations opened in 1935 as an element of Communist propaganda. Employing the slogan “The whole country is building Metro,” leader Joseph Stalin enlisted nearly 75,000 workers to complete the system as a symbol of the government’s supposed care for its people.
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