The ornately designed Kievskaya Metro in Moscow // The ornately designed Kievskaya Metro in Moscow (Martin Moos/Lonely Planet)

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The ornately designed Kievskaya Metro in Moscow

Subways aren't the first things that jump to mind in a discussion of beauty. But there are plenty of breathtaking underground stations - usually of a futuristic bent. Our vote, however, goes to an old school example. Moscow's 1930s subway stations have to be the most ostentatious stopping places in the world. Decked out with the huge chandeliers, vaulted plaster-moulded ceilings, arches and hand-painted frescoes of a state ballroom, you half expect commuters to break into a spontaneous waltz.

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