Moscow is the capital of Russia, its political, economic, commercial and cultural centre. It was founded 8 centuries ago by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky in 1147. Gradually the city became more and more powerful. In the 13th century Moscow was the centre of the struggle of Russian lands for the liberation from the tartar yoke. In the 16th century under Ivan the Terrible Moscow became the capital of the new united state. Although Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg, Moscow remained the heart of Russia. That’s why it became the main target of Napoleon’s attack.
After the October Revolution Moscow became the capital again. Now Moscow is one of the largest cities in Europe. Its total area is about nine hundred square kilometres. The population of the city is over 8 million. Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The heart of Moscow is Red Square. The Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral are masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture. On the territory of the Kremlin you can see old cathedrals, the Palace of Congresses, the Tzar-Cannon and the Tzar-Bell, the biggest cannon and bell in the world. St. Basil’s Cathedral was built in the mid-16th century in memory of the victory over Kazan. One of the well-known Kremlin museums is the Armory Chamber. The famous golden cap of Monomach, the first Russian imperial crown of Catherine the Second and many other historical items are exhibited there. There are more than 80 museums in Moscow. The Historical Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the Tretyakov State Picture Gallery are world famous and are the largest. Moscow is famous for its theatres. The best-known of them are the Bolshoi, Maly and Art theatres. Moscow is the seat of the Russian Parliament (the Duma) and the country’s political life.