Kievsky Station, Moscow

Kiev railway stationKievsky Station stands on the former site of what used to be called the Dorogomilovskaya Settlement. The name Dorogomilovo is first mentioned in the annals of this area in 1412 during the reign of Grand Prince Vasily III.

Around the same time, so-called "sovereign coachmen" were resettled here from the village of Vyazma. The "coachmen" were peasants who had been exempted from all duties, but in return they had to work on the Yamsky Chase, transporting passengers and goods.

At the end of the sixteenth century, Boris Godunov settled coachmen on both sides of Bolshaya Dorogomilov Street, which became a settlement of coachmen for hire. In 1638, the settlement had 74 courtyards, while by 1653 the number had risen to 87.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the Moscow-Kiev-Voronezh Railway Company had gained momentum and decided to build a line between Moscow and Bryansk. This convenient connection between Moscow and Kiev estalished the conditions for the effective economic development of vast areas of Russia. Permission from the Council of Ministers to construct the line was obtained in the summer of 1895.

Dorogomilovo was singularly appropriate for these purposes. It had plenty of vacant, unoccupied land without any major built-up areas. In fact, it mostly consisted of gardens, wooden warehouses and wasteland. Railway facilities could therefore be built here without incurring any major costs for the demolition of houses and buildings.

Borodino Bridge (preview) The Railway's Board asked the authorities to give it plot of land known as Berezhkovsky Gardens. The City Duma did not object, but pointed out to the Board that with the construction of goods and passenger stations, traffic over the bridge across the Moscow River and along its bank to the goods station would increase significantly.

Meanwhile, the river bank here was not developed, and every year was eroded by the annual floods, while Borodino Bridge had fallen into disrepair. The city therefore demanded the construction of an embankment on the Moskva River from the bridge to the railway's property and, most important of all, a new bridge at Borodino.

In all, Moscow transferred 88,660 square Russian fathoms of land to the railway for tracks and stations in Dorogomilovo. The main part of this land was leased to farmers in Balabanov. The line avoided the land adjacent to the Church of Our Lady of Tikhvin.

Between 1897-1899, the empty land that was once on the outskirts of Moscow turned into a huge construction site. The largest segment of land was allocated to the freight station, where a solid brick warehouse appeared fairly quickly, along with covered iron sheds for storing goods and a freight office building which has survived to this day.

Bryansk StationBy March 1899, the station was almost ready. On 29 June 1899, the rooms and halls at Bryansk station were dedicated. The first station building was an elongated structure with two entrances with a provincial appearance. No other station in Moscow was the subject of such caustic cartoons. Also ridiculed were the building's "county" appearance, the paraffin heaters which filled the passengers' noses with smoke, and the railway company's meanness, that "graced Moscow with this pigsty."

The postcards of those days portray graphically the expressionless wooden building with a facade of 45 Russian fathoms. A Russian fathom is equal to 2.13 m. The building had a total area of 200 square fathoms.

The new Bryansk station did not beautify the town - it was a dull, one-storey building which gave rise to the impression that it was just a temporary solution, perhaps because many people expected to see a monumental station in the capital. But the "temporary" passenger station stood for fifteen years.

The railway was opened on 1 August 1899. The first post and passenger train travelled from Moscow to Bryansk. The station had been richly and creatively decorated by the time it was opened. Particularly revered icons were brought to the pavilion which had been placed in front of the station. The opening of the new line was attended by the Moscow authorities, the Moscow mayor, Prince V. M. Golitsyn and numerous guests of honour headed by the line's builder, the engineer M. I. Grigoriev.

Only two passenger trains ran after the new line was opened, but freight transportation began actively increasing from the early days. Dorogomilovo was the only place in Moscow where rail shipments could be linked up easily with the Moscow River and developing navigation.

In 1912, the Railway's Board was able to allocate funds for the construction of a new station building. The architect I. I. Rerberg was commissioned with the project's development. The main facade with columns, which the architect conceived in a strict neoclassical style, faced the Moscow River. At that time, the whole area up to the river bank was built up, with a profusion of small houses, stables and barns. The foundation stone of the new station was laid literally just two months before the outbreak of the First World War, on 28 May 1914.

Despite the difficulties of wartime, the building was erected in strict accordance with the plan. Bright, double-height rooms with columns evoke no memories at all of the old station corridor, which passengers barely managed to squeeze into with their bags and suitcases.

Kiev railway stationThe roof over the arrival platforms was created by the architect V. G. Shukhov. This grandiose and majestic, yet elegant design of glass and metal resembles a transparent dome floating in the air. Today, the roof stands as an architectural and engineering monument.

Following a detailed survey of the load-bearing structures in 2003, it was decided to carry out repair and restoration work on the roof. The cost of repairs amounted to over 700 million roubles. All restoration work was carried out in accordance with old drawings and sketches. The modernised roof is glazed with sheets made of monolithic polycarbonate coated with a special layer for protection against ultraviolet radiation. In addition, the station renewed its platforms and laid additional tracks.

Construction of the station continued for several years and was completed after the revolution in 1920.

The new station has become the personification of continuity between the old and the new eras, which, according to the contemporaries Rerberg and Shukhov, was to become the age of the "New Renaissance." The building was atypical of Moscow's early twentieth century architecture, when the preference was for modernity.

In 1934, Bryansk Station was renamed Kievsky. The new name was associated with the railway's main line, and then with the administrative and territorial district which was established in 1936 and included Dorogomilovo.

On 10 July 1935, a master plan was approved for the reconstruction of Moscow, according to which "the area of Kiev Railway Station will expand to Dorogomilov Street and will be architecturally designed in harmony with the ensemble of the Moscow River."

In 1937, an underground line was built to Dorogomilovo. Between 1940-45, a building designed by the architect D. N, Chechulin was erected on the north side which included a suburban cash hall and vestibule for the Kievsky metro station.

Kiev railway stationAfter the war, in 1952-1953, a new station was built. Its central hall was designed by the architects L. V. Lilje, V. A. Litvinov, M. F. Markovsky and V. M, Dobrovolsky, while the elevated lobby was planned by the architects I. G. Taranov and G. S. Tosunov. In 1954, an underground station hall for the Kiev Ring Station was also built.

In 1976, premises were built for automatic left luggage lockers to store passengers' carry-on luggage. During the restoration work in 1979-1981, the roof of the platform hall was slightly modernised and elements of the original interior decoration recreated.

Kievsky Station connects Moscow with the cities of Ukraine and Moldova. International trains to the "far abroad" depart from Kiev Station for Rome, Istanbul, Athens, Vienna, Sofia, Budapest, Prague, Bucharest and Belgrade. Direct electric trains from Kiev Station connect Moscow with cities such as Aprelevka, Naro-Fominsk, Balabanovo, Obninsk, Maloyaroslavets and Kaluga.