The Kiev Metro is an extensive system that everyday transports around 1,3 million passengers. The Kiev Metro is also home to the deepest subway station in the world – Arsenalna.
52 subway station and 70 kilometers of rail serve every day the people in Ukraine’s capital Kiev. In comparison with Moscow’s metro, Kiev’s metro is not that grand. But I still think it’s beautiful with great ornaments in some stations.
As the third metro system under construction in the Soviet Union, the plans for Kiev’s subway was big. These big plans are dated back to the year 1934 when the capital of Ukraine was changed from Kharkiv to Kiev.
In 1960 was the construction finished at the first line. Later on, the metro was completed with two additional lines. And also two more lines are in the planning stage and will be completed somewhere between the year 2020-2030. The sixth line is far away in the future but still mentioned.
The deepest metro station in the world
The Kiev metro has 20 deep-lying stations. They are built in an era where nuclear bombs could hit anytime and are therefore planned to work as a shelter for the population of Kiev if war broke out.
But it not only fancy cold war thoughts that created these deep stations. A fact that made especially the Arsenalna station that deep, is the geography of Kiev which makes metro construction a real challenge. Where Arsenalna is located, a high river bank rises above the rest of the city. These elevations in the terrain are pretty unique for a subway system. The result is a distance of 105,5 meters between surface and platform. This is almost 20 meters more than the world’s second deepest metro station; Admiralteyskaya in Saint Petersburg (86 m).
When riding up or down to the platform in Arsenalna, the ride takes almost five minutes. The name Arsenalna is from the military equipment factory Kyiv Arsenal located nearby. In the lobby, there was a tribute to the factory, but this was removed during the cleaning of Soviet symbols in Ukraine in the 1990s.
Sights close to Arsenalna
If you live or your hotel is located on the east side, Arsenalna station is a great place to start exploring Kiev. First, have a look at the station. When you’re up, walk to the left for 10-15 minutes and you will see many of Kiev’s famous sights. You will probably end up at the Mother Motherland monument which is an impressing Soviet victory monument.
If you prefer to walk to downtown from Arsenalna, you will at least have a downhill towards it.
I think Arsenalna is the most interesting subway station in Kiev. Not the busiest, not the biggest. Just the deepest.