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Explore Moscow

Those who've visited Moscow remember the co-existence of antiquity & modernity; the harmony of gray colored buildings with richly colored domes; the existence of medieval cathedrals and churches with Neo-Modern architecture. Fo those who have yet to visit the city, the richness of Moscow 's culture - its monuments, its architecture and its history, sends a beckoning call.

The Capital of Russia.

Whenever one sits down to count some of the most ancient cities in the world, Moscow is a name which comes to one's mind almost immediately. The capital of Russia, Moscow is a city which inspires feelings of intrigue and mystery, along with awe for its Imperial history and Communist past.

History of Moscow.

Moscow is the capital of Russia, and its largest and most important city, in terms of politics, culture, economy, infrastructure and education. This ancient city, located on the banks of River Moskva, is home to almost 7% of the total Russian population, with close to 10.4 million inhabitants. The city's history dates back to the 12 th Century, when Moscow was a small town inhabited by an archaic Finnish speaking people.

It was in the year 1157 that Yuriy Dolgorukiy ordered a moat and wall to be built around this little town, which later became the capital of the Russian Empire under the aegis of Ivan III , after Russia was freed from the Tatar rule in the year 1480. Though under the rule of Peter the Great, Moscow lost its sheen with transfer of the Russian Capital to St. Petersburg , it was regained when Lenin reinstated Moscow as the Russian capital in the year 1917, following the success of the Russian Revolution.

After the death of Lenin in 1924, Moscow witnessed a struggle for power, which was one by a man named Joseph V. Stalin, a propounder of industrialization and development in the Soviet Union . Stalin's regime was marred by the radical and often harsh crack-downs on the people opposed to his system of belief. He, along with his Secret Police saw to it that no voices of dissension were ever heard in Moscow, thanks to the widespread arrests, tortures and execution without trials.

The Stalin Era is recounted as the era of Great Terror in the Russian history. During his regime, Stalin razed to the ground some prominent ancient architectural monuments, in a bid to modernize Moscow .

Moscow: Its ancient heritage and monuments.

Despite its turbulent history, Moscow has still retained glimpses from its past, in the form of monuments and structures dating back to the Middle Ages. The city's skyline is till date dominated by a number of onion shaped domes which shine brilliantly under the radiant sun.

The city which was known as 'sorok-sorokov' or 'forty times forty' due to the onion shaped domes has many world famous structures which are easily recognized by the eager tourist. The Kremlin, The Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, The Bolshoi Theater and the Christ Saviour Church, are but some examples of the magnificent architecture one gets to see in Moscow . The Ostankino Tower in Moscow is the tallest building on its skyline.

From the red, blue and white domes of the Cathedrals to the Towers of Ivan's Great Bell; from the ten-lane avenues of the Stalin era to the Seven Skyscrapers of Stalin - Moscow is a patch-work quilt of various ages and their designs. From Baroque to Classical; From the Revivalist Russian to Modern Architecture, examples of each different type can be found in the city.

Art & Culture in Moscow.

Moscow is a treasure trove for visitors who are avid art & culture followers, for the city is dotted with beautiful galleries and museums to keep the visitor occupied for days. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts which has the largest collection of Western European Art. Built in the year 1898, this museum is located a stone's throw away from the Kremlin Wall, the museum has a rich collection of art dating from the 14 th to the 19 th Century.

Works of famous artists such as Rembrandt, Manet, Picasso, Boticelli, Monet are displayed here. Another must visit site is the State Tretyakov Gallery, which has some invaluable masterpieces of old Russian Art. Close to 50,000 works of art, some as old as the 9 th Century are housed here, made by renowned Russian Artists such as Andrei Rublev, A.N. Benua, K.A Somov are displayed here.

Moscow is also well known for its rich ballet and theatre tradition. World renowned theater, The Bolshoi is situated here, as well as the Malyy theatres. Operas and ballets are performed at regular intervals by the famous State Symphony Orchestra and the Bolshoi Ballet Company; and if you get a chance, don't miss an opportunity to watch them in action.

Culturally the Russians prefer eating home food, which consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and root vegetables such as turnip and beets. A wide variety of breads and porridges are available in Moscow and the preferred drink of the people is Vodka, which keeps them warm in the harsh cold in the winters.

For the visitor, though Moscow offers a varied dining experience, with a number of good restaurants serving excellent food to its guests. The world cuisines which are available to the visitor ranges from Fast Food, European , Chinese, Indian, Japanese, to American. In addition there a number of restaurants which serve traditional Gerogian food such as Shashliks and Caucausian food such as Shawarma.

Transport in Moscow.

The heart of the city is the Kremlin, and all roads in Moscow lead you to this historical site. The roads in Moscow are a series of concentric circles and radials, which lead out from the Kremlin into various directions. The city has wide avenues built during the Stalin Era, with as many as 10 lanes streets to aid everyday commuting.

The residents of Moscow are hospitable to visitors and expect respect for their culture and country in return. Today's Moscow presents a desirable harmony of the simple country life with modern facilities. From multiplexes, shopping malls, and departmental stores to gardens, parks and weekend retreats, Moscow has something for everybody.

The public transport in Moscow boasts of an advanced metro/subway system called the Moscow Metro which connects 171 stations through its 12 line routes. This subway system is one of the oldest and largest in the world, and was started in the year 1935; today it transports close to 7 million passengers everyday, and has an average of one train every 90 seconds during rush hour.

On the airlines front, Moscow is served by 5 airports, Sheremetyevo International Airport , Domodedovo International Airport , Bykovo Airport , Ostafievo International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport .

Moscow is also an important centre for education and is home to a number of colleges and universities. The largest among them being the Moscow State University, which has close to 30,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate programs and about 7,000 students in its Post Graduate programs.

The Bauman Moscow State Technical University is a renowned institute offering technical degrees to students, and if a student deisres to pursue a course in international relations and democracy, The Moscow State Institute of International Relations is the choice.

Moscow is a city with a lot of character. Not many cities in the world have had a heritage which is as glorious and barbaric at the same time. Moscow has seen its share of upheavels and jubilations, and has emerged stronger with every experience. The city is an epitome of the spirit of the Russians - Constant, Sturdy, Proud and Accomodating.

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