Moscow, city (2010 est. pop. 10 562 000), capital of Russia and of Moscow region and the administrative center of the Central district, W central European Russia, on the Moskva River near its junction with the Moscow Canal. Moscow is Russia’s largest city and a leading economic and cultural center. Moscow is governed by a city council and a mayor and is divided into boroughs. The five major sections of Moscow form concentric circles, of which the innermost is the Kremlin (see under kremlin ), a walled city in itself. Its walls represent the city limits as of the late 15th cent. The hub of the Russian railroad network, Moscow is also an inland port and has several civilian and military airports. Moscow’s major industries include machine building, metalworking, oil refining, publishing, brewing, filmmaking, and the manufacture of machine tools, precision instruments, building materials, automobiles, trucks, aircraft, chemicals, wood and paper products, textiles, clothing, footwear, and soft drinks.
Points of Interest
Adjoining the Kremlin in the east is the huge Red Square, originally a marketplace and a meeting spot for popular assemblies; it is still used as a parade ground and for demonstrations. On the west side of Red Square and along the Kremlin wall are the Lenin Mausoleum and the tombs of other Soviet political figures; on the north side is the completely rebuilt Kazan Cathedral (constructed in the 17th cent., razed by Stalin, and rebuilt in 1993); and at the southern end stands the imposing cathedral of Basil the Beatified (constructed 16th cent.). One of the most exuberant examples of Russian architecture, the cathedral has numerous cupolas, each a different color, grouped around a central dome. In front of the cathedral stands a monument to the liberators Menin and Pozharski.
To the E of Red Square extends the old district of Kitaigorod [Tatar city], once the merchants’ quarter, later the banking
section, and now an administrative hub with various government offices and ministries. Tverskaya Street (formerly Gorky Street), a main thoroughfare, extends N from the Kremlin and is lined with modern buildings, including the headquarters of the council of ministers; it is connected with the St. Petersburg highway, which passes the huge Dynamo stadium and the central airport. Near the beginning of Tverskaya Street is Theater Square, containing the Bolshoi and Maly theaters. Encircling the Kremlin and Kitaigorod are the Bely Gorod [white city], traditionally the most elegant part of Moscow and now a commercial and cultural area; the Zemlyanoy Gorod [earth city], named for the earthen and wooden ramparts that once surrounded it; and the inner suburbs. In the Bely Gorod is Christ the Savior Cathedral; demolished in 1931 to be replaced by a never-built Palace of Soviets, it was rebuilt in the 1990s. A notable feature of Moscow are the concentric rings of wide boulevards and railroad lines on the sites where old walls and ramparts once stood.
Except for its historical core, Moscow was transformed into a sprawling, often drab, but well-planned modern city under the Soviets. Post-Soviet Moscow has seen renewed construction, including the Triumph-Palace (866 ft/264 m, 2003), which echoes Stalin’s Gothic-influenced Seven Sisters skyscrapers and is the tallest building in Europe. The tallest freestanding structure in Moscow is the Ostankino Tower (1967), a broadcast tower and tourist attraction that rises 1,771 ft (540 m). Among Moscow’s many cultural and scientific institutions are the Moscow State Univ.