In March of 1918 Moscow became the Russian capital. The supreme rule of state power and many central institutions moved to Moscow from Petrograd. It was extremely difficult in the years of the Civil war to imagine the image of a new city in deserted and unheated Moscow.
Moscow’s rapid population growth occurred during the twenties and thirties. In 1931 work began to develop the Master Reconstruction Plan of Moscow, a plan which many people abroad considered to be a vain dream. The city grew and changed, the streets and squares became wider, the wooden houses of the former outskirts disappeared.
But the buildings of cultural and historical value were carefully preserved. Today, as ever, the Kremlin together with Red Square is the heart of Moscow. Here Moscow began more than eight hundred years ago.
Since then, the city has grown so vast, that it cannot possibly be embraced all at once, as the present and past are so closely interwoven, illustrated in the contrasts
of architecture, new and old, side by side.
Certain villages, and distant country estates have become the new residential areas of Moscow. New dwellings have developed not only within the established parts of Moscow but new neighbourhoods have also appeared in Tyoply Stan, Orekhovo-Borisovo, and Yasenevo.
In 1812, Moscow suffered the invasion of Napoleon’s army that forced all Muscovites to leave their city. Moscow was burned down but was never conquered.
Once the enemy was driven away, its inhabitants began the arduous task of rebuilding Moscow.
These days when building new structures, Muscovites take great care to preserve the city’s unique monuments. Moscow’s architectural ensembles have been formed across centuries with each generation adding new features to the appearance of the city.
The Russian capital has thousands of libraries, schools, kindergartens and nurseries, hundreds of clubs and cinemas, dozens of higher educational establishments, theatres, museums and stadiums.
Neither words nor convincing figures, however, can give a complete idea of the vast expanse of Moscow. One has to visit Moscow plants and factories, to stroll about its streets and squares, to see its new residential areas. The Kremlin is now both a piece of living history and an ensemble of masterpieces of Russian architecture. The first thing that meets the eye are the redbrick walls of the Kremlin, reinforced by 20 towers, five of which are also gates. The Kremlin’s towers are unique in appearance. Built in 1485, the Tainitsky Tower is the oldest. The tallest of them is the Trinity Tower which is 80 metres in height. The Bolshoi Theatre was opened in 1825. The theatre seats 2,150 people. The company has more than 900 members.
Regarding the State Tretyakov Gallery, the gallery’s works of Russian fine arts range from unique mosaics and icons of the 11th century to works of contemporary artists. The gallery is named after great Russian Connoisseur Pavel Tretyakov who left his collection as a gift to the nation. It has become one of the most popular places of interest in Moscow ever since.