Moscow is the capital of Russia, its political, economic, commercial and cultural centre. It was founded 8 centuries ago by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky. Historians have accepted the year of 1147 as the start of Moscow's history.
Gradually the city became more and more powerful. In the 13th century Moscow was the centre of the straggle 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. Though Peter the Great moved the capital to St Petersburg in 1712, Moscow remained the heart of Russia. That is why it became the main target of Napoleon's attack. Three-quarters of the city was destroyed by fire during Napoleon's occupation, but by the mid-19th century Moscow had been completely restored. 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 (ancient Moscow occupied the territory of the present-day Kremlin). The population of the city is over 9 million.
Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The heart of Moscow is Red Square. It has more historic associations than any other place in Moscow. The Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral (Vasily Blazheny) are masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture.
There are a lot of beautiful palaces, old mansions, cathedrals, churches and monuments in Moscow. Now Moscow is being reconstructed and we all hope that in a few years the city will become even more beautiful..
Moscow is a city of students. There are over 100 higher educational institutions in it. Moscow is the seat of the Russian Parliament (the Duma) and the centre of political life of the country.