The shimmering interior of the Tashkent subway system.
The subway in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is striking.
But it was also a nuclear bomb shelter and photography was illegal on national-security grounds.
The ban was lifted in 2018, allowing photos of its chandeliers, marbles, and Soviet memorials.
The subway system in Uzbekistan’s capital city is one of the world’s most beautiful metro systems but, because it was also designated as a nuclear bomb shelter, it was considered too strategically important for photos of it to be shared widely.
But with the photography ban lifted in 2018, we can see inside the metro system filled with art, sculpture, and vibrant colors that serves the city’s 2.4 million people
Here’s what the subway looks like:
The subway system is the oldest in central Asia. It opened in 1977, when Uzbekistan was part of the Soviet Union.
This artwork is in the Kosmonavtlar station, which translates to Cosmonauts Station. It has a space theme and contains multiple portraits of astronauts, including Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly to space.
Lots of the stations have themes. The Pakhtakor Station’s columns resemble foliage and it has mosaics of cotton balls in a reference to the country’s cotton picking industry.