The “line,” however, would be quite a misnomer, they were about one and a half – in addition to the current route from Sokolniki to the Park of Culture, some trains diverted from Sokolniki through Okhotny Ryad, Imeni Kominterna (currently Aleksandrovsky Sad) and Arbatskaya to reach Smolenskaya Square. Even though the Soviet development of metro was decades behind Europe and the U.S. (the London Underground was built in 1863 and the New York subway began passenger service in 1868), the delay was compensated for with monumental grandeur as great palaces were built underground. The Academician Fersman even called the Moscow metro a museum of mineralogy where beautiful samples of marble, granite and limestone are on display. And the French writer Henri Barbusse believed that the superiority of the Moscow metro over the underground systems of other countries was of enormous importance, and the Soviet people could be rightly proud about it. We are still proud when we manage to look around in the crowd.
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