The capital of Russia, Moscow is mostly renowned for the Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s cathedral. Moscow, the ultimate seat of power to the top brass bureaucrats and politicians, including the Russian president, is also home to corporate giants, big software companies, and crowning global fashion brands. The city has finally molted from the formidable capital of erstwhile Soviet Union to the most happening mega metropolis found in the northern most region of earth. Moscow, that once terrified the world, is emerging to become one of the most sought after business and financial centers of Russia. Not to mention, the constellation of cultural and tourist attractions that the city is dotted with, adds the icing to the cake! From a brief look around the city, one could sum up that the ancient city has its own amazing tale to tell—a tale that spans for more than 800 years. Memorials, museums, theaters, cinemas are few of the attractions that the city offers to the people who come to soak themselves in Russian culture and tradition. Home to legendary artists, writers, poets, intellectuals, and athletes, the lively city by the river Moskva is throbbing with energy, creativity, and jubilation. Spirit of freedom is everywhere and Moscow doesn’t shy away to share the spirit with all. Find out more interesting facts about the amazing city in the following lines.
Language(s) Spoken: Russian
Area: 1,091 sq. km
Population: 11,503,501 (2010 census)
Interesting And Fun Facts About Moscow
- The biggest city of Europe, Moscow was first mentioned in 1147 by Yuri Dolgorukiy, the founder of Moscow. ‘Come to me, brother, to Moscow’, were the words that he used to call upon the prince of Novgorod-Severski to Moscow.
- The federal city day is celebrated on first Saturday and Sunday of September. In 2011, the city celebrated its 864th birthday.
- Grand Duchy of Moscow, Tsardom of Russia, and now the Soviet Union have been the progressive states of Moscow.
- Kremlin, an ancient fortress in Moscow, was built around 1331 and is today used as the residence of the Russian president. It is also an executive branch of the government of Russia.
- Mongols burned the city and killed its habitants during the sack of 1237-1238, but the city recovered and rose as the capital of the Vladimir-Suzdal principality in 1327.
- During the 17th century, Moscow experienced the popular uprisings, such as, the liberation of Moscow from the Polish-Lithuanian invaders (1612), the Salt Riot (1648), the Copper Riot (1662), and the Moscow Uprising of 1682, which relieved Moscow from political, social, and economic troubles.
- In 1712, capital of Russia was shifted from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, which was founded in the year 1703. Later, Moscow was reinstated as the capital of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and then after the Russian Revolution of 1917, it was declared as the capital of Soviet Russia.
- The capital city of Russia faced epidemics in 1570-1571, 1592, and 1654-1656. The last plague, the plague of 1771 that enveloped central Russia, took up to 100,000 lives in Moscow.
- Although Moscow has experienced hostility in the past, today it has emerged as the preferred destination for Western style retailing, services, architecture, and lifestyles.
- In 2010, Moscow recorded the lowest unemployment rate in Russia that stands at 1% compared to the national figure of 7%.
- In 2011, the Forbes magazine ranked Moscow as the city with greatest number of billionaires that totaled to 79, displacing New York City by three.
- The Russian parliament in Moscow is known as ‘Duma’.
- The widespread transit system of Moscow includes 9 railroad terminals, 4 international airports, and the Moscow metro, which has the second highest rider ship after Tokyo.
- Moscow metro which was opened in the year 1935 is famous for its elegant architecture with art, murals, mosaics, and elaborate chandeliers. The Moscow metro has a total of 182 stations, which boast of one of the deepest subway systems and Europe’s longest escalator in Park Pobedy.
- While traveling in Moscow, you won’t be able to distinguish between hailing a cab and hitchhiking as there is an old Russian tradition where drivers offer rides to strangers in exchange for some fee. Keep it in your mind; there is no ride for free in Moscow!
- Moscow is home to Orthodox Christianity which once had 1,600 churches until the revolution of 1917 that resulted in the destruction of many of them. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many of the churches are being restored.
- There are four concentric ring roads that encircle Moscow city: Bul’varnij Circle, Sadovoe Circle, 3rd Circle, and MKAD circle.
- Built during the Stalin’s rule, the seven buildings of Moscow, the Hotel Ukraina, the Hotel Leningradskaya, Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Apartments, the Kudrinskaya Square Building, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Red Gates Administrative Building, and the main building of the Moscow State University, have identical architectural style. These buildings are evenly spread around the city and are known as the Seven Sisters in English and Vysotki or Stalinskie Vysotki in Russian. The typical architectural style is called Stalinist Gothic.
- Moscow has many iconic buildings of architectural excellence and it is home to many world heritage sites, like the Kremlin, Red Square, Kolomenskoye Palace, and Novodevichy Convent.
- The Ostankino Tower in Moscow is the highest tower in Europe. It held the record of being world’s tallest self supporting structure from 1967 to 1975. Annually, stairs race competition is organized at the tower for people above ten years old. The fastest record made was 11 minutes and 55 seconds.
- The Russian State Library in Moscow, which was founded in 1862, is the biggest in Europe and second biggest in the World after Library of Congress in USA.
- The most expensive street in Moscow is Tret’yakovskiy proezd which has franchises of many plush brands, like Armani, Gucci, Lil Sander, Chopard, Brioni, Prada, and Tiffany&Co.
- The flag of England and Moscow have the same figure of St. George in armor and riding a horse back while slaying a dragon with his lance.
- The people of Moscow are known as Muscovite in English and Moskvitch in Russian.
- Moscow is a city with great military legacy. After the German invasion of USSR in Second World War, the city served as the major strength of the Russian military and was chosen as the location of the Soviet State Defense Committee and the General Staff of the Red Army.
- The major sports events hosted by Moscow include, the 1980 Summer Olympic Games and the first World Youth Games of 1998. Moscow has won the right to host the World Cup FIFA 2018.
- Moscow’s green cover that includes parks and gardens is much more than other Western cities of comparable size. Izmaylovsky Park, created in 1931, is one of the largest urban parks in the world. The park’s area is about 15.34 square kilometers (5.92 sq mi) which is about six times greater than the Central Park of New York.
- The largest Botanical garden in Europe is the Tsytsin Main Moscow Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences, founded in April 1945.
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