Subway, work, sleep and sometimes it's beautiful! Parisian transport users have very little opportunity to be amazed during their daily commute (except for the Arts et Métiers station on line 11) and yet many countries have turned their undergrounds into a place of wonder. Renowned artists, architects and designers have fashioned the platforms and corridors of the subways in Naples, Stockholm, Kiev and Moscow into little gems. But like every treasure, it is buried under the ground... Le Petit Futé returns with you to the ten stations that could have made you smile at the idea of leaving your car in the garage every morning.
Toledo Station, Naples
Inaugurated in 2012, this totally futuristic station is the work of the Catalan architect and former friend of Salvador Dalí, Oscar Tusquets. The installation was created with small blue and white mosaic squares that symbolise a climb to seventh heaven... with the help of escalators! This project was commissioned by the City of Naples as it sought to renovate its metropolitan network. While passing through the heart of Naples, don't miss the Toledo station, an underground work of art within everyone's reach that has been designated the most beautiful metro station in Europe by the Daily Telegraph!
T-Centralen station, Stockholm
At 34 metres below the surface, dug out of the rock and then coated with concrete, this half-blue, half-fresh station seems to have come straight out of a cave. It is located in Norrmalm, between Sergels torg square and Vasagatan street and connects directly to Stockholm Central Station. It features what looks like tree branches in blue on a white background and at the top of the escalators, workers working on scaffolding and ladders. The effect rendered is superb and plunges into a two-coloured and soft universe
Mayakovskaya Station, Moscow
Inaugurated in 1938, it is a station of the Zamoskvoretskaya line of the Moscow metro, named in homage to the Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. On the ceiling, the vaults are beautifully decorated with hammer and sickle, while the columns are all coated steel. The favorite of Muscovites, without a doubt... Small anecdote, if the rendering is superb today, its construction was not the simplest since the vault of the first construction was covered with cracks. The government then called upon the great architect Alexei Dushkin, who found a solution to solidify the structure: lining the concrete pillars with a stainless steel structure
Marienplatz Station, Munich
Renovated in 2006, Munich's Marienplatz station is an optional stop of the Deutsche Bahn, a station of the Stadtwerke München and one of the most important underground stations in the Bavarian city. It's a long way from being in a tunnel... of the subway! Rather, you have to imagine entering a tunnel leading to a future world, with the clear appearance of the tiles contrasting perfectly with the orange walls, black pillars and neon lights on the ceiling. A beautiful piece of architecture that is a must-see in the Bavarian capital.
La Formosa Boulevard Station, Taiwan
Opened in September 2008, this sublime subway station in the city of Kaohsiung houses the world's largest work of glass, Dome of light, by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata and its 4,500 glass panels. The dome tells the story of human life through the four elements, Earth, Water, Light and Fire. With its 30 m diameter, the work is truly impressive and it took the artist four years to complete it. The final rendering is that of a very beautiful coloured fresco that one could look at for hours without tiring.
The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, Shanghai
Not officially considered a metro, the train ride is still worth the detour! To the rhythm of house music, tourists rush into the train for a unique light show made of beams and puppets of all kinds. Along a 647-metre-long route from Bund to Pudong, passengers are truly transported into a totally hallucinating universe, like a musical show that takes everyone to another dimension. Definitely worth a try!
Avtovo Station, St. Petersburg
Avtovo station is located on line 1 of the St. Petersburg metro. After passing through the neo-classical building with its breathtaking dome and mouldings, you land on the platforms, lit by castle-like chandeliers . There's no hurry to get in the train, the architecture is so striking! The most beautiful is undoubtedly the pillars which are covered with sculpted glass. You can also see the Soviet star and ears of wheat. It's simple, in this décor from another era, one almost wants an opera aria to resound and the dancers of a Russian ballet to enter the space
Olaias Station, Lisbon
Olaias is a Lisbon Metro station on the red line. For those who love stained glass and colours, these designer ceiling installations with their diverse shapes and a multitude of colours will flood you with a very invigorating light. The station opened for Expo 98 and the sets were created by various artists, including Graça Pereira Coutinho, Rui Sanchez, Pedro Calapez and Tomas Taveira. It is worth noting that in 2014, the station has been designated by CNN Travel as one of the twelve most beautiful European stations. And when you pass by chance or as part of a scheduled visit, you will understand it fully
Zoloti Vorota station, Kiev
A floor made of granite, chandeliers with candle-shaped bulbs, all in varnished white marble . Just breathtaking! If at first the architecture of this metro station was supposed to be military, Mykola Zharikov finally preferred to be inspired by a temple. A not necessarily simple bet when we know that at that time, Ukraine was part of the secular Soviet Union. In any case, the result is bluffing with beautiful stone columns, splendid vaults and mosaics that are classified. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful underground stations in Europe
Drassanes station, Barcelona
This superb metro station with its futuristic look and lines is the work of two Spanish architects, Eduardo Gutiérrez Munné and Jordi Fernández Río, founder of the ON-A Arquitectura studio. It almost feels like an episode of Star Wars when you think about it. With white dominating, and the colourful lines and shapes here and there, there's really something to make you think you're in another world. Located at the end of the Ramblas, it should also be noted that the metro station gives access to some of the key places of the Catalan capital: the Montjuic cable car, the viewpoint of Colon and Port Vell