At 50 meters deep, Toledo station in Naples feels filled with light
Part of the oldest metro, London's Westminster looks super-futuristic
A Frankfurt station shows a train car crashing through the sidewalk
Opening in 1863, London has the world’s oldest underground railway but it also has, in austerely beautiful Westminster, one of Europe’s most futuristic-looking stations.
The first metro might have been uncomfortable and unhealthy (toxic steam often entered the train cars due to poor ventilation) but it soon became clear that few cities of any size should be without one.
By the mid-1920s, Paris, Madrid, Berlin and Milan had their own subterranean networks – with cleaner, electric-powered trains and often also beating London’s Tube in the aesthetic appeal of their stations.
Moscow joined the party in 1935 and now boasts one of the busiest metro systems in the world – carrying more than 6.5 million passengers a day.
But as the following stations show, more than 150 years after the London Underground opened, there’s a lot more to a great subway stop than getting from A to B.
1. Westfriedhof, Munich (Germany)
Inaugurated in 1998 to little fanfare, this otherwise ordinary looking station took on new life just three years later.
In 2001, Westfriedhof’s platform was aesthetically enhanced by 11 enormous, domed lighting fixtures that continuously bathe the surroundings in haunting shades of blue, yellow and red.
2. Toledo, Naples (Italy)
Opened in 2012, Toledo station defies its depth – at 50 meters, one of the deepest in Naples – with a design based around themes of light and water.
A work called “Light Panels” by Robert Wilson illuminates the station corridor furthest underground.
This stunning station has competition: it’s part of the city’s network of so-called Metro Art Stations.