Introducing Moscow

Moscow (Russian: Москвa) is Russia's 869-year-old capital. Moscow, a genuinely iconic global capital, has played a critical role in the growth of both Russia and the world. The sight of the Kremlin complex in the city center is already rife with meaning and tradition for many. Moscow was the old Soviet Union's capital, and traces of its former existence can still be seen today. It has played a key role in the history of the world's largest nation as the capital of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and, today, the Russian Federation. 

Today, Moscow is a vibrant, exuberant capital city brimming with life, music, and, on occasion, traffic. Moscow, a vast metropolis, is home to several monuments, Soviet-era monoliths, and post-Soviet kitsch, but it still continues to pave the way forward as Muscovites enter the twenty-first century.

Moscow is also Russia's and the former USSR's educational capital. There are 222 higher education institutions in the state, including 60 state universities and 90 schools. Few of these have a broad range of services, but the majority are focused on a single sector. This is a holdover from the Soviet era, where there were only a few broad-spectrum "universities" and a vast number of narrow-specialization "institutes" in the Soviet Union (mostly in Moscow & St.Petersburg). Moscow has some of the world's best business/management, scientific, and arts colleges. Moscow is also a renowned learning destination for international students.

Moscow is the financial and diplomatic capital of Russia and the former Soviet Union countries. Since an extension in 2012, it now has a population of about 13 million people and an area of 2,511 square kilometers (970 square miles). The Moscow metropolitan area is home to one-tenth of all Russian people. After Istanbul, Moscow is Europe's second most populous city. Moscow is in the UTC+3 time zone and does not observe daylight saving time.

For several years after the Soviet Union's dissolution, the economy has changed, and the industrial period has brought with it a vast range of building schemes, modern architecture, and newer transportation networks to replace the derelict ones that existed during Soviet times.

Moscow is a huge metropolis located on the Moskva River, which winds through the district. The historical center is located on the river's northern side. The Yauza River, which flows into the Moskva east of the Kremlin, is the other main waterway.

The three 'Ring Roads' that loop the city at different distances from the center, loosely matching the shape of the walls that used to surround Moscow, describe most of the city's geography. The Boulevard Ring (Bulvarnoye Koltso), constructed in the 1820s where the 16th century walls used to be, forms the innermost ring road, with Red Square and the Kremlin forming the very center. It connects the Christ the Savior Cathedral in south-west central Moscow to the Yauza's mouth in south-east central Moscow.

The Garden Ring (Sadovoe Koltso) gets its name from the fact that in Tsarist days, landowners near the road were required to cultivate gardens to keep the road looking nice. The road was widened during the Soviet era, and there are no gardens there anymore.

The Third Ring Road, built in 2004, is not popular with visitors, but it is a busy highway that handles some of Moscow's traffic. It loosely resembles the outline of Kamer-Kollezhsky val, Moscow's customs frontier from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. The Moscow Ring Road (abbreviated MKAD-Moskovskaya kolcevaya avto doroga), a 108 km (67 mi) long motorway that encircles the entire city (similar to London's M25 and Paris' Périphérique), defines the city's outskirts.

Written on 08/19/2017 - 09:16 by Shawn Blake

Last modified on 04/25/2021 - 13:03

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