"My discovery" Moscow by eugini2001

Moscow Travel Guide: 4,139 reviews and 9,625 photos

A little bit of history and facts

I personally was not that excited about my visit, because I’ve never liked Moscow that much and heard that it’s just a big village. I discovered a lot of interesting sites and a lot of history there though. I was quite happy with my trip. Also I noticed that a lot of churches were restored and some were not destroyed at the Stalin time, especially ones in Kremlin.
The city is named after the river (old Russian: гра́д Моско́в, literally "the city by the Moskva River"). The origin of the name is unknown, although several theories exist. One theory suggests that the source of the name is an ancient Finnic language, in which it means “dark” and “turbid”. The first Russian reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yuri Dolgoruki called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski to “come to me, brother, to Moscow.”Nine years later, in 1156, Prince Yuri Dolgoruki of Rostov ordered the construction of a wooden wall, which had to be rebuilt multiple times, to surround the emerging city. After the sacking of 1237–1238, when the Mongols burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants, Moscow recovered and became the capital of the independent Vladimir-Suzdal principality in 1327. Its favourable position on the headwaters of the Volga River contributed to steady expansion. Moscow developed into a stable and prosperous principality, known as Grand Duchy of Moscow, for many years and attracted a large number of refugees from across Russia.

Nowadays Moscow is the largest metropolitan area in Europe,and ranks among the largest urban areas in the world.It is also the seventh largest city proper in the world, a megacity. The population of Moscow (as of 1 June 2009) is 10,524,400.
It is located on the Moscow River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union, Tsardom of Russia and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. It is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, one of the World Heritage Sites in the city, which serves as the residence of the President of Russia. The Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) and the Government of Russia also sit in Moscow.It possesses a complex transport system, that includes 3 international airports, 9 railroad terminals, and the world's second busiest (after Tokyo) metro system which is famous for its architecture and artwork. Its metro is the busiest single-operator subway in the world.


One of Muscovite told me this story about Moscow State University:" Boris Iofan made a mistake placing his draft skyscraper right on the edge of Sparrow Hills. The site was a potential landslide hazard. He made a worse mistake by insisting on his decision and was promptly replaced by Lev Rudnev, a 53-year-old rising star of Stalin's establishment. Rudnev had already built high-profile edifices like the 1932-1937 Frunze Military Academy and the 1947 Marshals' Apartments (Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya, 28), which earned the highest credits of the Party.

Lev Rudnev set the building 800 meters away from the cliff. The opening ceremony was followed by less glorious events - building camps for Gulag laborers, mostly German prisoners of war. A so-called Site-560 (Строительство-560), run by Gulag, supervised the workforce that reached 14,290. While the constrution was ongoing, some inmates were housed on the 24th and 25th levels to reduce transportation costs and the number of guards required. A story, possibly apocryphal, exists about inmates who tried to escape the tower on self-made plywood gliders. Another apocryphal story asserts that the MGU foundation requires permanent freezing (otherwise it will slide into the river) and the basement is occupied by huge cryo freezer. Actually, the foundation is stable, and the 'freezer' is an ordinary centralised air conditioner.Can you imagine how expensive to have and support this building , maybe that’s why Muscovites pay so much for tax collection."

The main tower, which consumed over 40,000 metric tons of steel, was inaugurated September 1, 1953. Being 240 metres tall, it was the tallest building in Europe from its completion until 1990. It is still the tallest educational building in the world.

  • Last visit to Moscow: Oct 2009
  • Intro Updated Jun 9, 2010
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