Zoloti Vorota Metro – the most beautiful metro in Kyiv
After we published the first in our Metro Monday series on the metro stations in Kyiv, people started telling us about Zoloti Vorota metro. It was the most beautiful, they all said. In fact, a quick Google found that the Daily Telegraph named it as one of the 22 most impressive underground railway stations in Europe back in 2013. That sounded like it was worth a blog post so we set out to have a look.
Zoloti Vorota actually means ‘Golden Gate’. This was the site of the main gate to Kyiv in the 11th century, although the structure standing there now is a reconstruction.
The metro at Golden Gate has been decorated in the theme of ancient Rus, with mosaics, arcs, and vestibules in the style of castles. It’s really impressive.
Coming down the first escalator, you are faced with a huge mosaic panel which you go under and into a domed vestibule. The walls have fake windows and candle style lights the give the impression that you are in an ancient castle. Interestingly, this vestibule was apparently constructed above ground and lowered down to its level later.
Through there, you go down the second escalator. The Zoloti Vorota metro station is built into a hill and the platforms are very deep. Thus, two separate escalators are needed, taking you around 300 feet down. At the foot of this escalator is another huge mosaic panel, and then the main concourse.
The whole space is made up of curved columns, each decorated with mosaics depicting the history of Kievan Rus, including pictures of the various Grand Princes including Vladimir the Great, who converted Kiev to Christianity and ancient Kievan Rus churches, as well as mythical creatures from Slavic mythology.
The lights in Kyiv metro stations are often completely different, and in Zoloti Vorota metro, the lights are huge chandeliers, holding lights in the shape of candles, making it feel as if you are indeed in an ancient building.
The metro has two entrances/exits, one at either end of the concourse, with different mosaic panels at each end, including St Michael, the patron saint of Kyiv, and St George, from the coat of arms of Moscow.
The entrance to the metro also has a big exhibition of photos of the metro’s construction and the dates of all the stations opening.
For more on Kyiv metro stations, check out our post on Teatralna, which also has some spectacular decorations and an interesting history.
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