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Photographer Travels to Uzbekistan and Finds Beautiful Metro Stations Built and Decorated by USSR Slav Architects

It is like entering the mines of Moria in Lord of the Rings…

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

After a longtime ban on photographing the Tashkent Metro was lifted this summer, Amos Chapple, a Kiwi photographer went underground to reveal the art, architecture, and nuclear-blast protection in Central Asia’s oldest subway system. However, beyond the stunning beauty of these Metro designs, we will reveal that actually a lot of Slavs have been the main masterminds when it comes to the design, architecture and layout of these beautiful Metros.

During the USSR it was mostly Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians that worked on these kind of projects, at least in the Soviet geopolitical influenced countries. Their help and design in making these Uzbekistan Metros were a form of help and a gesture of friendship from the Soviet Union to Uzbekistan, also a lot of the designs are actually about “technology” because many of these were and still are operational nuclear shelters. Architects gave their best to recreate the beautiful designs of Metro stations as the ones you can find in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

“Cosmonautlar Prospect” (Prospect Cosmonauts)

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

Until May 1992, was called “Cosmonautlar Prospect” (Prospect Cosmonauts). It is located at the intersection of Afrosiab Street (former Cosmonauts Ave.) and Prospect S. Rashidov (formerly Lenin Avenue), not far from TsUM and the legendary restaurant (formerly the Cafe) “Blue Domes”.
The column type station, shallow, with two underground vestibules, has underground passages.

Architects: S. Sutyagin, S. Sokolov; engineers-designers A. Zokirov, A. Braslovsky.

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL
Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL
Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL
Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL
Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

The station “Gafur Qulom” (Gafur Gulyam)

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

It is located at the junction of Abdulla Kadiri Avenue and Sebzor Street (formerly Gafur Gulyama) near the Tashkent Circus. The station is columnar, shallow, with two underground vestibules.

Architects: A. Tabibov, F. Muzaffarov; engineer-designer A. Zokirov. 

The artistic and architectural decoration of the station was made by the artist S. Sultonmuradov.

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

Station Ming O’rik (Thousand Apricot)

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

Station “Tashkent” (Tashkent)

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

It is located near the station square of the Severny railway station and Turkiston street (formerly Movarounnahr, formerly Oka yul). The station is columnar, shallow. It was the final station before the opening of the 2nd section of the Uzbekistan line. It has two underground vestibules, and underground passages.

Architect A. Tabibov, design engineer A. Zokirov and others.

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

A carefully monitored portrait of Alisher Navoi, considered one of the founders of the Uzbek poetic tradition.

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

Chandeliers in Chilonzor station, named after a region of Tashkent. Artists were brought in from across the Soviet Union to work on the Tashkent Metro. These 5-meter chandeliers were designed by Latvian artist Haim Rykhsin.

Novza station

Photo: Amos Chapple | RFE/RL

A Metro car rumbles into Novza station, named after a region of Tashkent. The underground mostly operates similar cars to the Moscow Metro, a model known for its screeching roar when driving at speed.

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