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The first tribes inhabited the territory now occupied by the city of Moscow in the Late Stone Age. The oldest settlements, according to the traces found within the city limits, date back as far as 3000 BC. Later the territory was inhabited by Finno-Ugric (the name of the city has Finno-Ugric origin also) and Slavic tribes.

The first record of a small town of Moscow is dated 1147 in a letter, which the Zuzdal Prince Yury Dolgoruky wrote to Prince Svyatoslav; this date is agreed upon being the date of its foundation, and Yury Dolgoruky is considered its founder.

In the 13th century Moscow became the centre of the independent Muscovy principality and by the 15th century it turned into the capital of a newborn state. Since then Moscow has become one of the biggest cities throughout Europe.

In 1485-1495 Ivan III built new brick walls and towers of the Kremlin. They are still standing as strong as ever in spite of several wars, the Civil War included, that crippled Moscow, and in spite of fire, which overtook the city on several occasions.

Moscow has always been the cultural centre of the Russian State. The first Russian book was published here in 1564 by Ivan Fyodorov. The first Russian academy, Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy, was also established in Moscow in 1686.

Only once was the magnificence and power of the capital put to question, when Peter the Great has moved the capital of the Russian Empire from Moscow to the newly-built Saint-Petersburg in 1713.

In spite of the capital being in other part of Russia, Moscow still remained the main city of the state, its cultural and trade centre. Thus in 1755 the first Russian University, Moscow State University, was set up here.

In 1812 the French troops led by Napoleon entered Moscow, but they found it deserted. The Russian high command decided to leave the city to the enemy. Napoleon and his army were met only by the fire, which was destroying the city. Instead of defeating the Russian Empire by striking at its heart, they were left in a burning city with no proper place to sleep or buy food. Still worse the winter and the cold were approaching. In panic Napoleon fled the city and the country, leaving his army behind.

Russian people were victorious in this war, but the city of Moscow was in ruins. It was greatly rebuilt after these events, some might say it became a different place.

The events, which made Moscow the capital again, began back in 1896 with the coronation of the last Russian Tzar Nickolai II, when a terrible throng on Khodynsky field caused a jam resulting in 1300 dead. Since then Moscow has been one of the centres of the revolutionary movement in Russia. Its working class played a significant role in establishing the Soviet government.

In 1918 Moscow was re-established in its rights as the capital of the Soviet Russia.

The Soviet Russia as its leaders saw it had to be the most beautiful, the most powerful and the most prosperous country in the world. In a sense it really was all of this, but the price for achieving such status paid by the Soviet people was so high that it depreciated all progress. Still there are some traces of the Soviet Russia left that remind us of the good old times. For example one of the most entertaining things about Mocow is its metro, the most beautiful subway in the world, which was opened in 1935.

In 1939 World War II broke out. For the USSR it remained a war outside its boundaries until 1941 when the German troops invaded the country. But at the end of 1941 the German Army was defeated in the Battle for Moscow for the first time in World War II.

Many severe changes have taken place during the last 15 years, and Moscow is becoming more and more attractive to foreigners and more and more different from the rest of the Russian Federation with each day. Today Moscow is just another old European city with its long history, places to visit and sights to see.




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