A great city, the capital of Russia, Moscow was founded in 1147 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky. It grew from a small town on the banks of the calm Moskva River into a giant city with a population of more than 9 million people and a territory of more than 900 square km.
For the period of more than 850 years of its existence Moscow never lost its place for the Russian people as the country's heart and soul. It is the seat of the Russian parliament, and home to Russia's most renowned theatres and film studios. It is the country's most important hub: all the great rail lines radiate from it, and almost all flights to the former Soviet republics still go through Moscow airports.
The heart of the city is the Kremlin. It is the symbol of Russia, the place from where Moscow began to grow. It is flanked by the Red Square, that is crowned by the gorgeous St. Basil's Cathedral.
On the streets of Moscow the new meets the old: ancient churches are situated close to the awkward bulks of the «Stalin Gothic»; elegant mansions, built in «modern» style, are the neighbors of the Soviet skyscrapers on the New Arbat; and next to the Kremlin is the noisy and crowded main thoroughfare — the Tverskaya Street with neon advertisements of famous foreign companies and firms, private stores and restaurants.
In Moscow you will enjoy the visit to the Armoury Chamber — the collection of state regalia and coronation garments; the Tretiakov Gallery — the treasure house of Russian art, ancient Russian icons (11th — 7th centuries), graphics and sculptures; the world famous Bolshoi Opera and Ballet House; the St. Trinity Sergius Monastery in Zagorsk — one of the major Orthodox centers in Russia situated at the distance of 71 km from Moscow; the metro system containing 125 «stations-palaces» with unforgettable decorations.
Those interested in ancient history may visit churches and cathedrals some dating back to the 15th century.