The Moscow Metro was one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects, with stations constructed as luxurious “palaces for the people”. Built under the command of Stalin, the iron-fisted leader ordered the metro’s artists and architects to design a structure that embodied svet (radiance or brilliance) and svetloe budushchee (a radiant future). He directed his architects to design structures which would encourage citizens to look up, admiring the station’s art, as if they were looking up to admire the sun and—by extension—him as a god. With their reflective marble walls, high ceilings and grandiose chandeliers, many Moscow Metro stations have been likened to an “artificial underground sun”. Below collection of David Burdeny images.