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Old Moscow.

Moscow is a city of great historical and cultural traditions, attracting millions of tourists from all over the world. The first mentioning of Moscow in historical annals dates back to 1147. At that time it was a little settlement founded by Prince Yury Dolgoruky. A grand monument to the founder of Moscow is on the city’s central Tverskaya street.

The oldest part of Moscow brings one to the epoch of Tzar Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible, when an intensive stone construction began, religious and cultural life bloomed. However several severe fires caused devastating damage to Moscow with only few buildings survived.

Memorial to Juri Dolgoruk.

Most Moscow sights are architectural constructions built in the 15th — 18th centuries, however, architectural monuments of earlier periods may be found: some Kremlin cathedrals, monasteries, palatial residences of boyars and princes. Considerable changes took place under Tzar Peter I, who in 1712 transferred Russia’s capital to the newly built city of St. Petersburg. It was not until 1918 that Moscow regained its status of the country’s capital.

Moscow played a decisive role in Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s invaders in 1812. The events of those days are recreated in the Borodino Panorama Museum, generally visited on INTOURIST city tours. After the battle at Borodino Napoleon’ army approached Moscow to find out that the city was abandoned by its residents. They left with the retreating Russian army and set their houses on fire so that they were not looted by the Frenchmen. A month-long stay in the devastated city put Napoleon’ army on the verge of ruin, forcing it to retreat from Moscow and later from Russia.

Moscow State University.

By the late 19th century Moscow’s role in the development of Russian culture grew as new museums, picture galleries and theatres were opened. Among them are world renown Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, Tretyakov Picture Gallery, The Bolshoy and Maly Theaters.

Radical changes in the architectural image of Moscow fall on the Soviet period as many old-time buildings were pulled down to the ground to be replaced by new Soviet style architectural constructions. Among them are the seven high-rising buildings called Stalin’s Skyscrapers.

In 1980 Moscow hosted the Summer Olympic Games and in 1998 First World Youth Games.
In the past decades many historical sites were fully reconstructed, including the Cathedral of St. Saviour, Voskresensky Gate and the Church of the Virgin of Kazan in Red Square.

In 2012 Moscow will celebrate its 865th anniversary.

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