It is nice to have visitors because it turns us into local tourists. We wanted to show my brother Andy and his wife Chantal the famous Tashkent Metro subway system. I am embarrassed that I have not seen any of the stations.
The subway system and stations were very important to the Soviet government. Stalin wanted beautiful underground train stations to celebrate Soviet values and transport workers cheaply and efficiently. The Moscow system was the first and is an architectural and artistic gem. He decided that any city over 1 million people would have a similar system and Tashkent, fortunately, was one of the cities. It was completed in 1977 and every station has a theme that combined Soviet values and Uzbek culture.
We visited 3 stations today and I will certainly visit more to photograph them. The first station was Kosmonavtlar (above), a celebration of the Soviet space program. The attention to detail in the design and materials, the lighting, and the lack of graffiti and advertising made it visually stunning. The trains were full today, Thursday, around 12:00 noon. The Pakhtakor (Grower) station near the soccer stadium has a cotton industry theme as you can see below in the mosaic.
The final station we visited was “Alisher Navoi”, the 15th-century poet, thinker, and statesman. The stations look more like cathedrals than train stations.