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Moscow (Russian: Москва, Moskva in English transcription), is a city of 9 million inhabitants and the capital of Russia. It was formerly the capital of the Soviet Union, and of Muscovy, the pre-Imperial Russia. It is the site of the famous Kremlin, with its elegant onion domes, which serves as the center of the national government. The Patriarch of Moscow serves as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.


The first reference to the town of Moscow is from 1147 when it is an obscure town in a small province. In 1156, Prince Yury Dolgoruky[?] built a wooden wall and a moat around the city. They were not terribly successful, however, as in 1177 the city was burned to the ground and its population was murdered. In 1237-1238, the Mongols captured the city, burning the city to the ground and mudering the inhabitants; it recovered from this and became the capital of an independent principality. In 1300 it was being ruled by Prince Daniel[?], the son of Alexander Nevsky, and amember of the Riurikovich[?] line. It good position at the headwaters of the Volga river let it slowly expand. Moscow is also stable and prosperous for many years and atracts a large numbers of refugees from across Russia. By 1304 Yuryi of Moscow[?] contest with Mikhail of Tver[?] for the throne of Vladimir[?]. Ivan I eventually defeats Tver[?] becomes the leading city Vladimir, and also the Mongols sole tax collector. Ivan also wins an important concession from the Khan, unlike other principlaities Moscow would not be divided up among his sons, but would be passed intact to his eldest. The Khan of the Golden Horde had long been trying to limit Moscow's power, but when Lithuania's growth begins to threaten all of Russia, the Khan tries to strengthen Moscow to couter ballance Lithuania. and it was one the most poweful cities in Russia. Ivan III finally breaks Russia free form Mongol control and Moscow becomes capital of all of Russia.

Moscow ceases to be Russia's capital when in 1700 Peter the Great constructs St. Petersburg on the Baltic coast. When Napoleon invaded in 1812, the Moscovites burned the city and departed; Napoleon's troops soon left, defeated by hunger and the cold. After the Russian revolution Lenin once again makes Moscow the capital, and it remains so to this day.


Local transport includes an excellent subway system, called the Metro. Begun in 1935, it has 11 lines and more than 150 stations.


Moscow was the host city of the 1980 Summer Olympics, although the yachting events were held at Tallinn.

See also: Moscow (disambiguation)

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