Subterranean splendor

Metro Bits is a very nice site celebrating the world's subway systems. You can browse world metro lists, compare logos, and see metros with a view, but the section that really can't be missed is the one on Metro Arts and Architecture, featuring photos of beautiful metro stations from around the world. The picture below is a of station in Munich.

Moscow Metro boasts "the biggest photo collection on the web" of Moscow's impressively opulent subway system. K and I have often discussed the pros and cons of aesthetically pleasing subway architecture, and he would always tell me about the surpassing extravagance of Moscow's subways...I could never imagine what it was like until I saw these pictures. The site features beautiful panoramic images of twenty amazing stations around Moscow.

Then, of course, there are maps. Animals on the underground is a great site displaying images of animals traced out on the lines of the London Underground map. In addition to the pictures themselves, they have desktops, games, and merchandise. The elephant below is perhaps their most classic creation.

A more recent discovery is that this same trick can be performed with maps of Germany's various subways: Zoobahnplan is the colorful result. The site is in German only, but it shouldn't matter.

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Blogger Rachel:

I love it. There's something very Matrix'y ghost-in-the-machine'ish about people recognizing these animal patterns.

Anonymous orangeguru:

Brilliant! Thanks for these informations.

Anonymous ladysusan:

I like the Moscow metro site. Some of the stations look very much like church crypts. I wish the NYC subway were prettier.

Blogger bluewyvern:

I have very often wished the NY subway was prettier. It's what's started a lot of K's and my discussions of subway architecture...I believe that the subway is an incredibly important part of the city and should be subject to the same strict aesthetic requirements as, say, a tree-lined avenue or a public park. Other cities around the world show that it is possible to do better, and I believe that it is a valid use of funds to make the place where people spend hours of their day commuting a pleasant place -- it's also a matter of civic pride. And after all, where do all of your tourists eventually end up? What kind of image is your city projecting? K believes that the money can be better spent elsewhere, and that subways like Moscow's are a symbol of decadent indulgence (which I do agree with. It is indisputably too much).


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