||Moscow is the capital of Russia. The terrirory
is devided into 10 administrative okrugs.
First tribes appeared on the territory of the future Moscow in
the neolitic epoch. The oldest settlments, dated as three thousands
years before our era, were discovered within the area of the present-day
In the second half of the first millenia of our era slavic tribes
occupied areas near Moscow, these were "vyatichi", who
are regarded as a kernel of the future Moscow population.
The reference to a Moscow, as to a town, is registrated in the
old manuscript of 1147. In 1156, prince Yury Dolgoruky erected timber
walls around Moscow with a moat. He is frequently regarded as a
founder of Moscow, and his monument is among the most honored in
Tatar-mongolian invasion in 1237-38 produced a great destruction
of Moscow. However, Moscow recovered rather rapidly (in the second
half of 13 century), and became capital of the independent Moscow
During the 14 and the first half of 15 centuries Moscow was a relativly
large city with big industrial/trade population.
In the end of 15th century, during Ivan
III princing, Moscow becomes a capital of Russia. Moscow Kremlin,
that was built in the beginning of the 15 century, is a benchmark
of that epoch. For the purpose of improving the defence of Moscow
and of its inhabitants, a number of defence buildings and big closters,
like Novodevichy - from south-west, Donskoy and Danilovsky - from
south, Simonov and Novospassky - from south-east and Andronnikov
- from the east, were constructed.
Development of commerce and trade served impetus for new advance
in the science and arts. So, a number of fundamental manuscripts
(like "Domostroy", "Stoglav"), great architectural
buildings (like "Kremlin" and "Pokrovsky chirch")
and the first Russian printed book - "Apostol" by Ivan
Feodorov were created.
Moscow has been attacked by Polish-Lithunian army in 17th century
and was conquered by them. Then salesman Minin and prince Pozharsky
organized people's militia, and Moscow was liberated in 1612.
During the reign of Peter the First, arts and science in Moscow,
and in Russia in whole, progressed strongly. In 1755 Moscow University
was opened, in 1703 the first printed newspaper ("Vedomosti")
Moscow architecture reached its peak level of perfection in the
second half of 18th century due to advanced Russian architects V.I.Bazhenov
(Pashkov's house), M.F.Kazakov (Senat bilding).
In 19th century Moscow remains an importantly political, govermental
and economical centre. During French innvasion Napoleon said: "If
I'll capture Kiev, I'll take Russia by it's feet, if I'll capture
Petersburg, I'll take it by it's head and if I'll capture Moscow,
I'll destroy it's heart".
Folk army has been organized in 1812
to withstand the French invasion, and a famous Borodino battle took
place in August not far from Moscow. This battle is thought to be
a prerequisite for the victory in the War, although the battle itself
was more a failure than a victory. Moscow was left to Napoleon's
troops, but before that it was burnt by moscovites almost entirely.
Fires and hunger compelled the French army to leave Moscow, where
the Russian army entered very soon - in October. After the liberation
of the city a commission was authoritized for Moscow reconstruction
after the fire, and talented architects were its members (Beauve,
The present-day appearance of Moscow centre was founded in those
times. Thus, Alexandrov Garden, Theatre Square appeared with Bolshoi
and Maly theatres, as well as the buildings of Manezh and the First
A new manner of living became usual inm Moscow after its reconstruction.
Earlier, at the turn of the centuries Moscow was a feudal town,
whereas after the 1812 it lost features of the aristhocratic town
and acquired those of a bourgeois one. To the end of the 19 century
it became the second industrial centre in Russia (after Saint-Petersburg),
partially due to the rapid growth of railway communication.
A first telegraph line was constructed in 1852, it connected two
Russian capitals, and the town railway with horses ("konka")
started operating in 1872. In 1867 gas illumination of many streets
has been initiated, and the first electric lanterns appeared in
Prechistenka gates in 1883. First telephone lines were organized
between Moscow and Petersburg in the late 90-ies.
The XIX century is known to be a "golden age" for arts
and science, and Moscow was a birthplace for many famous artists,
writers, painters and scientists; a number of outstanding politicians
were also moscovites. You are, of course, familiar with the following
names, whose talent and ideas made the glory of Russia: Pushkin,
Gogol', Tolstoi, Chekhov, Herzen, Pirogov, Sklifosofsky, Vasnetsov,
Serov, Levitan and many others.
Communistic ideas of Karl Marx became
popular in Moscow, they were studied in secret meetings by workers
and intelligentsia, who became very enthusiastic about them and
organized revolutionary groups. Their activities resulted in a series
of rebellions, one of them was mentioned frequently as a most successful
- Krasnaya Presnya rebellion of 1905. July strikes of 1914 were
the next conspicuous stage in the revolutionary process, which was
finalized by the February and the "Great October" Revolution
of 1917. The new government was headed by V.Lenin and the capital
was again transferred from Petersburg-Petrograd to Moscow.
The Soviet Union was announced December,30, 1922 by the All-Russia
Communist Party of Bolsheviks (VKPB) and Moscow became it's capital.
The social structure of Moscow inhabitants started to change in
the 20-ies on the account of peasants leaving their villages in
search of job and "new life"; later on the most poor part
of population came to Moscow as non-qualified workers on factories
and in house building. Thus, the percentage of workers living within
the Garden Ring (central region) increased from 5% to 45% during
this first decade. Hence, Moscow architecture changed: the proportion
of blocks inhabited by workers increased drastically, the city sprawled
outside, many churches were destroyed or transformed into "Palaces
of Culture", clubs, stores for vegetables or for building materials.
The most active construction of living blocks was initiated by Niklita
Khruschev in the 60-ies, and many families moved from extremely
overcrowded multi-family apartments, where more than 5 persons were
living in one small room to individual, although small apartments.
They were constructed quickly to meet the urgent demands, and, therefore,
they are far from being beautiful and diverse.
Today Moscow is the largest economic, political and scientific
centre of Russia. In territory of city the set of the large enterprises
of various industries operates: black and nonferrous metallurgy,
mechanical engineering and metal working, building materials, light
and food-processing industry, defense enterprises etc.
In Moscow the largest automobile, aviation and machine-building
factories, the enterprises of the textile and food industry, city
construction are located. Moscow is the largest transport centre
of Russia and the East Europe.
The "opening" of Russia to the West and changes in political
situation caused many changes in the attitude of people to their
town, its ecology and nature, national and cultural traditions.
Therefore, looking forward it is possible to feel optimistic about
the future of our city.