Sofia’s residents have been long dreaming of the capital’s new metro line and finally that dream came true!
On August 26, 2020, the new metro line 3 was officially opened. This line which connects two of the main neighbourhoods in Sofia – Krasno Selo and Hadji Dimitar and has interchanges with the two other lines of the subway thus making it more convenient to use than ever. Also this line is expected to be extended even further by the end of the year up to the Ovcha Kupel neighborhood.
It is 8 km long and currently has 8 metro stations – “Krasno selo”, “Bul. Bulgaria ”,“ Medical University ”,“ National Palace of Culture 2 ”,“ Patriarch Evtimii ”,“ Orlov Most ”,“ Teatralna ”and “Hadji Dimitar”. The construction began in 2016 and encountered many difficulties along the of the route therefore deadlines had to be changed many times.
Anyhow now that it is finally fully operational the new line is extremely modern and contemporary, and there are a lot of new features:
- One of the best novelties is that the stations have automatic safety doors against accidents at the end of each platform. The glass partitions are one meter and 60 cm high and are synchronized with the doors of the metro trains. They open simultaneously when the train arrives to board the passengers and as it leaves the doors close again;
- 20 brand new Simens metro trains were delivered and in time are expected to be fully automated thus eliminating the need of a driver. The trains have a very nice and bright design, with very good air conditioning and are quite quiet. They differ from the trains traveling on the other two lines in that they have an upper current collection and not a contact rail;
- In each metro train there is a separate place for disabled people and mothers with baby strollers;
- Also there are unified schemes everywhere, through which you can easily navigate.
The architecture of the eight stations of the new line is the work of 4 prominent Bulgarian architects and their teams. Krasen Andreev and his team are the author of the design of MC “Krasno selo”, “Bul. Bulgaria ”and“ Eagle Bridge ”. Irena Derlipanska is an architect of the “Medical University” and “Patriarch Evtimiy” stations, and Farid Paktiaval is the one of the “National Palace of Culture 2.” And the last one – Architect Konstantin Kosev and his team are the authors of the design of “Teatralna” and “Hadji Dimitar” stations. But we don’t mind international architects to be invited to create the design for the future extensions of the metro line 😉
Ah, now I want to walk you through the new metro stations and share my opinion about them 🙂
“Krasno Selo” Metro Station
Extremely impressive station, quite bright and spacious. The walls of the station are white, and there are red and blue elements made of glass on them, and in the box office there is a strange panel with historical figures, which somehow I do not see how it relates to the concept of the station.
Metro station “Bul. Bulgaria”
One of the most stylish stations along the route. The station is designed with the colors of Bulgaria’s national flag – white, green and red. In the box office, a panel of Bulgarian style “high tech” welcomes passengers.
“Medical University” Metro Station
Quite broken architecture, with the predominant part focused on the blue range.
In the middle of the station there is an arch resembling the arch of the Medical Academy, which is in the area. Quite a spacious and spectacular station.
Metro Station “ National Palace of Culture 2”
This is probably the most beautiful station ever built! Here a connection is made with line 2, and the transfer between the two lines is quite convenient. The station is quite modern, with one half in white and the other in yellow and the colors contrast very well.
In one of the exits leading to Hristo Botev Blvd. there is a spectacular image of Hristo Botev himself.
“Patriarch Evtimiy” Metro Station
The main element in the layout of the station are the embroideries, which are “woven” in a quite original and interesting way into the interior of the station.
The lighting hanging from the ceilings is also quite nice and modern.
“Orlov Most” Metro Station
This is, perhaps, the most boring and impersonal station in terms of architecture. The combination of green and brown has nothing to do with it, and at the end of the station the eagles from the Eagle Bridge are implemented as bas-reliefs thus bringing a little variety here.
Here a connection is made with line 1 and although the transfer distance is the longest it happens quite quickly.
“Teatralna” Metro Station
The theme of the station, as you can guess from its very name, is the theater stage. In the middle of the platforms there are spectacular panels with pictures of the National Theater “Ivan Vazov’’. However, these pictures are sort of magic ones as you can see both the exterior and interior of this theater depending on where you are standing on the platform.
Аt the box office there is another spectacular panel depicting the eyes of the audience as seen from the stage while the theater curtain is closing.
With only one exception being that the National Theater is located quite far from here and is not connected to the location of the station, it can be said that this station is one of the hallmarks of the metro.
“Hadji Dimitar” Metro Station
This is the last (so far) station of the new line, which as a solution is also quite original – light blue – yellow geometric shapes intertwine and create the feeling of refraction of light in a crystal.
Of course, there are some small details that are a little annoying, but I will try not to emphasize them too much:
- • At none of the other 2 lines is it reported in the trains that a given station connection is made with the new line, as well as that there are no signposts stating it. We hope that it will not be necessary to wait a year for these two things to be done;
- • the lack of island platforms;
- • short trains – 3 in composition, but hopefully at the right load they will lengthened.
So here we go! Congrats on the new acquisition of the residents and guests of the capital city! Undoubtedly, this is the fastest and most environmentally friendly transport, which thousands of passengers benefit from on a daily basis. While we are waiting for the next extensions, we wish everyone a smooth and pleasant journey 🙂
This post is also available in: Български (Bulgarian)