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Do You Know About Moscow Underground World?

26 February, 2015

Do You Know About Moscow Underground World?

Do you know what’s secretly hidden under the streets of Moscow? The Moscow Metro? Well, there’s even something more! It’s the Moscow Underground World.

Walking along Moscow улицы (streets) and бульвары (boulevards), you might not be aware that under your feet there’s another city. A mysterious maze of secret passages and hundreds of tunnels that extend for dozens of meters lead to bunkers, catacombs and warehouses in the subterranean of the city. Still most of them are off limits, but some other offer you the possibility to enter and explore this underground world.

Their entrances are usually concealed from common people’s eyes. So you can easily pass many times by an ordinary building of the 19th-century that lead to a 65 meters depth bunker which dates back to beginning of the Cold War. Bunker n. 45 was built in the 1950s next to Таганская (Taganskaya) metro station. This underground fortification served as headquarters of the General Staff of the Air Force and it was designed so that they could keep working even if the city was under nuclear attack. From 2006 it opened to the visitors, who can explore the secret tunnels of the bunker and wonder how it could be during the Soviet-era. In the same location you can visit the Museum of the Cold War and its interactive exhibition. It is possible to try on military uniforms and use the communication equipments of the Soviet-era to feel like real radiotelegraphist and experience the thrill of pushing the red button that was connected to the nuclear warheads.

Next to Измайловская (Izmailovskaya) metro station, there’s the entrance to Stalin’s bunker. It was built in 1930s and conceived as the headquarters of the Supreme Commander of the Soviet Union. Stalin worked there in particular from late November to the beginning of December 1941. In the bunker there are only essential facilities, but what’s impressing it’s the 17-kilometer underground tunnel that lead straight to the Kremlin. On 5th December 1941 Stalin reached the Kremlin by this tunnel when the Red Army began his counteroffensive during World War II. From the 1996 the bunker is part of the Central Museum of Armed Forces.

Неглинная (Neglinnaya) River extends for 7.5 kilometers and flows through an underground pipe for most of its length. This underground river is ancient as the Russian capital and the first references about it date back to the old chronicles about Moscow. Neglinnaya origins near Марьина роща (Marina Roshcha) passes under the city center and reaches Александровский сад (Aleksandrovsky cad) before joining the Moscow River. It is possible to take excursions along part of the river flow. A private company organizes guided tours though the stone tunnel, but they can easily be cancelled because of the frequent floods. You can enter the river tunnel through the sewer close to Сретенский Бульвар (Sretensky Boulevard) metro station. Neglinnaya River is considered one of the most mystical places of Moscow and many visitor often saw ghosts during their excursion.

Сьяновские каменоломни (Syanovskye kamenolomni or Syani) are huge stone mines that date back to the 17th century. They provided the limestone to build the fortresses and churches of Moscow. Their exploitation continued during the Soviet period to reinforce airplane runways, then it turned into a military hospital and later into a seismic station. In 1974 the Syani mines were closed and in 2007 they opened to the public after having being restored by local inhabitants and regular visitors. They developed a particular subculture around the mines, so next to natural attractions you can find examples of underground folklore. The tunnels are 0.4-3.5 meters high reach up to 30 meters depth. The total length it is 90 kilometers, but most of their passages has still to be explored. From Домодедовская (Domodedovskaya) metro station you can take bus number 439 to the bus stop Почта(Pochta).




This post was brought to you by Jessica, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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