Interesting facts about Moscow

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Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia.

The city is situated on the banks of the Moskva River, which flows for just over 500 km (311 mi) through the East European Plain in central Russia.

As of September 2018, the population of Moscow is about 12,200,000 people. It is Europe 2nd most populous city after Istambul.

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The city of Moscow covers a total area of 2,511 square kilometers (970 square miles).

The width of Moscow city from west to east is 39.7 km (24.7 mi), and the length from north to south is 51.8 km (32.2 mi).

Teplostanskaya highland is the city’s highest point at 255 meters (837 feet).

The name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River.

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The city of Moscow gradually grew around the Moscow Kremlin, beginning in the 14th century.

It was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Moscow (or Muscovy), from 1340 to 1547 and in 1713 renamed as the Tsardom of Russia by Peter I “the Great” (when the capital was moved to Saint Petersburg).

When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, the Moscovites were evacuated. It is suspected that the Moscow fire was principally the effect of Russian sabotage. During that fire almost all the buildings were destroyed and few ancient buildings keep intact.

moscow napoleon

Moscow was the capital of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1918, which then became the Soviet Union (1922 to 1991), and since 1991 has served as capital of the Russian Federation.

Today, Moscow is not only the political center of Russia but also the country’s most populous city and its industrial, cultural, scientific, and educational capital. For more than 600 years Moscow also has been the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Moscow Kremlin usually referred to as the Kremlin, is a fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and the Alexander Garden to the west. It is the best known of the kremlins and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. Also within this complex is the Grand Kremlin Palace that was formerly the tsar’s Moscow residence. The complex now serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation and as a museum.

moscow kremlin

Red Square is a city square (plaza) in Moscow, Russia. It separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and now the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow since Moscow’s major streets, which connect to Russia’s major highways, originate from the square.

red square

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is a church in Red Square. It was built from 1555–1561 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. It was the city’s tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600. According to legend, the builder of Saint Basil’s Cathedral was blinded so that such a beautiful structure could never be built again.

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Lenin’s Mausoleum also known as Lenin’s Tomb, situated in Red Square in the centre of Moscow, is a mausoleum that currently serves as the resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. His preserved body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924, with rare exceptions in wartime.

lenins mausoleum

The Bolshoi Theatre is a historic theatre in Moscow, originally designed by architect Joseph Bové, which holds ballet and opera performances. The Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera are amongst the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world. It is by far the world’s biggest ballet company, with more than 200 dancers. The theatre is the parent company of The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, a world-famous leading school of ballet.

bolshoi theatre

In 1935 the first line of Moscow Metro was opened and put into operation. It is one of the most beautiful metroes in the world famous for its art, murals, mosaics, and ornate chandeliers. The Metro is one of the deepest subway systems in the world; for instance the Park Pobedy station, completed in 2003, at 84 meters (276 ft) underground, has the longest escalators in Europe.

moscow metro

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a central park in Moscow, named after Maxim Gorky. In August 2018, the Park’s 90th anniversary was celebrated.

gorky park

There are 96 parks and 18 gardens in Moscow, including four botanical gardens. There are 450 square kilometers (170 sq mi) of green zones besides 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi) of forests.

Moscow is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders.

Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth.

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The Patriarch of Moscow serves as the head of the church and resides in the Danilov Monastery (monastery on the right bank of the Moskva River in Moscow).

Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome, The Whitestone One, The First Throne and The Forty Forties.

Jean-Michel Jarre was commissioned by the mayor of Moscow to give a concert at the Moscow State University in celebration of the city’s 850th anniversary. It was the largest concert ever with an audience of 3,500,000 people.

There are about 80 billionaires in Moscow.

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