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Moscow is the capital of Russia, and one of the two federal cities, it is in the center 
of the Central Federal District. It is the largest city in Europe with 10,470,318 permanent residents. In 2008 Moscow was named the most expensive city in the world. Additionally, it is an important 


center for politics, culture and science. Moscow is located on both sides of the Moskva River. It has three international airports, nine railway stations and, since 1935, a metro network. The origin of it name is unknown, although there are several theories. The most popular theory states that the origin of the name comes from an ancient language, which means "dark" and "turbid". The first Russian reference to Moscow dates from 1147 with mention of Yuri Dolgoruky, nine years later, in 1156. Prince Yuri Dolgoruky of Rostov ordered the construction of a wooden wall that surround the city and had to be rebuilt several times.


The city of Moscow is governed by a mayor. Moscow is divided into ten administrative districts and 124 okrugs. Moscow is the center of Russian political power. The Kremlin is at the heart of the city in the Central okrug. There is the official residence of the President of Russia and houses numerous military barracks. Moscow has a continental climate with harsh and long winters and short mild summers. 


The population of Moscow is very multicultural. Russians are the greatest ethic group in Moscow. Other nationalities include Ukrainians, Tatars, Russians and Armenians.


In Moscow different architectural styles exist side by side. These range from Renaissance to Baroque to modern architecture. In the historical center of Moscow prerevolutionary buildings predominate, interrupted by ugly Stalinist buildings. Stalinist buildings are usually located in the streets and most important avenues such as Tverskaya Street, and avenues Kutuzovski, Leninski and Leningradsky. Lately, the buildings in Moscow have been trying to adapt to modern times. 


Among the most famous legacies of the Czars is the Kremlin, which is surrounded by a “ginger bread” wall, and there are several granite faceted palaces. There are several churches such as the Annunciation or Ivan III of Russia, also known as the Great Ivan. Next to the Kremlin is Red Square with the famous St. Basil's Cathedral, world famous for its domes of colors. This plaza is also the National Museum of History and the GUM, one of the largest shopping malls in the world! The national art gallery Tretyakov is the most important in Moscow. Another work of Soviet times is the Moscow Metro, a subway sumptuously decorated. Gorky Park offers gardens for relaxation and recreation. 

 

The churches and monasteries in Moscow are very numerous. One of them is the spectacular church Laura of the Trinity Sergius in Sergiev Posa. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Another notable monastery in the city is the New Monastery of Our Savior, which safeguards Moscow from river flooding. In Moscovite churches are the frescoes and icons of Russia. These highly decorative frescoes are found in many churches in Moscow. Last but not least, are the monasteries on the outskirts of Moscow, hidden architectural gems of antiquity, for example the Monastery of Novo-Dyevich (The Convent of the Maidens).

 


 

 

 

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