Strange to write about a means of transport? Maybe, but I do like taking it and will explain why. Firstly, it’s essential if I want to get anywhere fast. Secondly, even though it’s not too big with its three lines, it is an interesting world of its own. And thirdly, unlike “purely technical” subways in many other cities, Prague Metro is not just an underground transportation network but it also represents a true historical monument.
Stations built during the communist era still bear the symbols and signs of the previous regime. It isn’t hard to notice that the old stations are richly decorated and constructed mostly of marble, glass and metal. Many include Socialist realism artworks – a mosaic (Florenc, Namesti Republiky, Karlovo namesti, Haje, Dejvicka…), a statue (Namesti Miru, Flora) and perhaps the most complex “design” as for ideology you can find in Andel. Built in cooperation with Soviet engineers and artists it was supposed to represent the friendship between USSR and CSSR. Now it’s turned into one of the busiest stations with a huge mall on the surface.
This melange of old and new is what I really like about Prague Metro. Of course the network is still growing – 16 stations since 1989, some of which I find great pieces of modern architecture (Rajska zahrada, Strizkov) and another 4 coming in 2014.