"Moscow - Capital of Mother Russia" Moscow by MikeAtSea
Moscow Travel Guide: 4,059 reviews and 9,262 photos
Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia, and the largest city in Europe, with its metropolitan area ranking among the largest urban areas in the world. Moscow is the country's political, economic, religious, financial, educational and transportation centre. It is located on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union and the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the pre-Imperial Russian state.
Moscow is a major economic centre and is the world's billionaire capital, home to the largest number of billionaires in the world; in 2007 Moscow was named the world's most expensive city for the second year in a row.
The first Russian reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yuri Dolgoruki called upon the prince of the Novgorod Republic to “come to me, brother, to Moscow.”
Many turbulent years followed, the Mongols burned it down, Swedish troops arrived, so did the Polish-Lithuanian army, the plague of 1654–1656 had killed half the population of Moscow. The city ceased to be Russia’s capital in 1712, after the founding of St. Petersburg by Peter the Great on the Baltic coast in 1703. When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, the Muscovites burned the city and evacuated, as Napoleon’s forces were approaching on 14 September.
In January 1905, the institution of the City Governor, or Mayor, was officially introduced in Moscow, and Alexander Adrianov became Moscow’s first official mayor. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, on March 12, 1918, Moscow became the capital of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Soviet Union less than five years later. During the Great Patriotic War the a part of World War II after German invasion in the USSR, the Soviet State Committee of Defence and the General Staff of the Red Army was located in Moscow.
In 1941, sixteen divisions of the national volunteers (more than 160,000 people), twenty-five battalions (18,500 people) and four engineering regiments were formed among the Muscovites. That November, German Army Group Centre was stopped at the outskirts of the city and then driven off in the course of the Battle of Moscow. Many factories were evacuated, together with much of the government, and from October 20 the city was declared to be under siege. Its remaining inhabitants built and manned antitank defences, while the city was bombarded from the air. It is of some note that Stalin refused to leave the city, meaning the general staff and the council of people's commissars remained in the city as well. Despite the siege and the bombings, the construction of Moscow's metro system, continued through the war and by the end of the war several new metro lines were opened.
Moscow’s architecture and performing arts culture are world-renowned. Moscow is also well known as the site of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its elegant onion domes, as well as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Seven Sisters. The Patriarch of Moscow, whose residence is the Danilov Monastery, serves as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Moscow also hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics. For a long time, the view of the city was dominated by numerous Orthodox churches. The look of the city changed drastically during Soviet times, mostly due to Joseph Stalin, who oversaw a large-scale effort to modernise the city. He introduced broad avenues and roadways, some of them over ten lanes wide, but he also destroyed a great number of historically significant architectural works. The Sukharev Tower, as well as numerous mansions and stores lining the major streets, and various works of religious architecture, such as the Kazan Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, were all destroyed during Stalin’s rule. During the 1990s, however, both the latter were rebuilt.
The stunning, yellow-and-white Russo-Byzantine facade of the Grand Kremlin Palace stands on the crest of Borovitsky Hill... more travel advice
The original Kazan Cathedral was built in 1636 in honor of the Kazanskaya Icon and to commemorate Tsar Mikhail Romanov's... more travel advice
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