Kropotkinskaya (Russian: Кропо́ткинская) is a station on the Sokolnicheskaya Line of the Moscow Metro. One of the oldest Metro stations, it was designed by Alexey Dushkin and Ya. Likhtenberg and opened in 1935 as part of the original Metro line. The station was originally planned to serve the enormous Palace of the Soviets (Dvorets Sovetov), which was to rise nearby on the former site of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Kropotkinskaya was therefore designed to be the largest and grandest station on the first line. However, the Palace project was cancelled by Nikita Khrushchev in 1953, leaving the Metro station as the only part of the complex that was actually built.
Kropotkinskaya was constructed in a massive open trench measuring 176 metres (577 ft) long by 25 metres (82 ft) wide. The tunnels from Biblioteka Imeni Lenina were constructed using the cut and cover technique. The combination of unrestricted space and dry soil made for ideal conditions, and construction of the station took only 180 days from start to finish. Kropotkinskaya was completed in January 1935 and opened five months later, on 15 May 1935. The station was named Dvorets Sovetov until 1957, when it was renamed in honour of Peter Kropotkin, a geographer, philosopher, and anarchist theoretician born in the vicinity.
Since it was to serve as the gateway to the Palace of Soviets, great care was taken to make Kropotkinskaya suitably elegant and impressive. The station has flared columns faced with white marble which are said to have been inspired by the Temple of Amun at Karnak. Contrary to popular opinion, the marble used in the station did not come from the demolished Cathedral. The spacious platform is covered with squares of gray and red granite and the walls, originally tiled, are now faced with white Koyelga marble. The station is illuminated by concealed lamps set into the tops of the columns.