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Moscow, Russia

Moscow is the largest and one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. Its population is over 10 million. Moscow plays a significant part in industrial, scientific and cultural life of modern Russia. The city features the best theaters of the country, plenty of universities, exhibition halls, libraries, and plant facilities. Some of Moscow museums are well known all over the world. Among them are the State Tretiakov Gallery that possesses the richest collection of Russian art in the world, the State Historical Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and many others. Life of many persons of art such as poet Marina Tsvetaeva, writer Mikhail Bulgakov, patron of art Pavel Tretiakov was closely connected to the Russian capital.

The Muscovites blandly call their native city «gold-domed Moscow». This definition is absolutely right, since Moscow is the place where magnificent churches and cathedrals were erected. Some of the city temples are unique, so that the specialists mark out the certain style that is called «Moscow church architecture». The most famous temples of Moscow are Saint Basil Cathedral and Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

The distinguishing characteristic of Moscow is a radial circular city planning that was formed at the end of the 16th century. Another feature is the landscape with its hilly relief and steep turns of the Moscow River. The Kremlin, Arbat, Novodevichy convent, Poklonnaya Mountain, and Red Square are the unique historical and architectural monuments of Moscow. The tourists from all over the world come to the Russian capital to admire its beauty.

Moscow was always important for Russian history. For the first time the city of Moscow was mentioned in chronicles in 1147. In the first half of the 13th century Moscow became the center of independent principality, and by the end of the 15th century it was turned into the capital of the Russian State. Gradually Moscow changed into one of the most significant politician and cultural centers of the country: Russian book-printing was started, the first Russian theater was founded, and the first Russian newspaper was published in Moscow.

Moscow and Muscovites had to undergo many severe trials. It was Moscow that united Russian people in their struggle against the foreign invaders, including the Tatars that seized the Russian lands for two and a half centuries, Polish-Lithuanian interventionists in 1612, and Napoleon troops in 1812. After Napoleon's intrusion into Moscow, the fire destroyed 2/3 of the city constructions. When the Russian army set Moscow free, it took many efforts to restore the city.

Napoleon was the last foreign invader who managed to intrude into Moscow. In winter of 1941 when the Fascists were approaching Moscow, Russian troops did their best to keep the enemy off. In the bloody battle for Moscow the Russians won their first significant victory during World War II. The Fascists were driven away from Moscow walls; the city obtained the honorable status of the Hero.

Moscow still means much for Russia. In Moscow, the Russian government headed by the President sits, and the important decisions are taken. Moscow with its history and unique charm became the symbol of the Russian Federation.

Each year Moscow is getting more and more beautiful. It turns into the marvelous architectural ensemble where the ancient temples neighbor the modern buildings, and the old curved streets are perfectly combined with wide thoroughfares. The city has changed dramatically, but still it attracts the visitors with the atmosphere of the ancient city that was poetized and glorified plenty of times.