Beauty and subways don't always go hand-in-hand, especially for the millions of daily riders slogging their way to work or school every day across the world. But the underground isn't always drab, dingy and dreary, as evidenced by these seven stunning subway station designs.
Bright and cheery colors highlight the Candidplatz Station on Munich's U-Bahn. Named after the 16th-century Flemish painter, the station blankets every aspect of the station in a never-ending flow color. The modern, bright station is far from the line's only appealing stop. The U-Bahn also features the with as much natural light as you could dream of while staying underground.
One of the deepest stations in the Naples subway line is also one of the most visually spectacular. Opened in 2012, the Toledo Metro Art Station features a multi-level construction that integrates the remains of walls from the Aragonese period in the late 1400s and includes a blue mosaic that grows more intense as visitors descend. The subterranean lobby connects with the popular district above via natural light streaming in through cones in hexagonal patterns.
Much of the Blue Line in Stockholm's subway station has bedrock ceiling and walls, giving designers a chance to paint the undulating rock for maximum impact. The T-Centralen, the only station to serve all three lines in Stockholm, takes it to the next level, painted to look like a cave. Opened in 1957 and intricately decorated in the 1970s, expect T-Centralen to serve as the pinnacle of the bedrock-filled Stockholm line.
If you're into industrial materials, enjoy the Arts et Metiers stop in Paris, nearby the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers. Open since 1904, the station's new look took shape within the last few decades with copper walls and giant cogs and gears adorning the ceiling. Expect to see portholes breaking up the copper, all in a steampunk style.
Stained glass isn't just for churches. If so, the Formosa Boulevard Station in Taiwan would be a cathedral by virtue of its massive stained glass "Dome of Light" installation. Artist Narcissus Quagliata used countless colors to decorate one of the busiest stations in the city while taking visitors on a circular journey of life at the same time.
Marble. Gold leaf. Mosaics. Even chandeliers. The Kievskaya Station in Moscow is pretty much the most elaborate and up-scale subway station in the world. In an attempt to reflect the culture of the Dorogomilove District nearby, the 1954-built station was originally designed to show unity between Russia and Ukraine, and all 18 of its mosaics harken back to the era of the Soviet Union.
Built in 1904 and operational for the next 41 years, New York City's most beautiful subway station is also no longer in use. Still seen by passengers who ride beyond the Brooklyn Bridge stop on the 6 line for the turnaround, the gorgeous tile and iron work showcase the era of this station while arches and windows give distinct character.