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Moscow

Moscow (Russian: Москва́, romanised: Moskvá, IPA: [mɐˈskva] see also other names) is the capital and the largest city of Russia. It is also the largest city in Europe, with Moscow metropolitan area ranking among the largest urban areas in the world. Moscow is the country's political, economic, religious, financial, educational and transportation centre. It is located on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union and the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the pre-Imperial Russian state. It is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, which serves as the ceremonial residence of the President of Russia. Moscow is a major economic centre and is home to the largest number of billionaires in the world;[1] in 2007 Moscow was named the world's most expensive city for foreign employees for the second year in a row.[2] It is home to many scientific and educational institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities. It possesses a complex transport system, that includes one of the world’s busiest metro systems which is famous for its architecture and artwork.

The city is named after the river (old Russian: гра́д Моско́в, literally "the city by the Moskva River"). The origin of the name is unknown, although several theories exist.[3] One theory suggests that the source of the name is an ancient Finnic language, in which it means “dark” and “turbid”. The first Russian reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yuri Dolgoruki called upon the prince of the Novgorod Republic to “come to me, brother, to Moscow.”[4]

Nine years later, in 1156, Prince Yuri Dolgoruki of Rostov ordered the construction of a wooden wall, which had to be rebuilt multiple times, to surround the emerging city.[5] After the sacking of 1237–1238, when the Mongols burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants, Moscow recovered and became the capital of an independent principality in 1327.[6] Its favourable position on the headwaters of the Volga River contributed to steady expansion. Moscow developed into a stable and prosperous principality for many years and attracted a large number of refugees from across Russia.

Under Ivan I the city replaced Tver as a political centre of Vladimir-Suzdal and became the sole collector of taxes for the Mongol-Tatar rulers. By paying high tribute, Ivan won an important concession from the Khan. Unlike other principalities, Moscow was not divided among his sons but was passed intact to his eldest. However, Moscow's opposition against foreign domination grew. In 1380, prince Dmitri Donskoi of Moscow led a united Russian army to an important victory over the Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo which was not decisive, though. Only two years later Moscow was sacked by khan Tokhtamysh. In 1480, Ivan III had finally broken the Russians free from Tatar control, allowing Moscow to become the centre of power in Russia.[7] Under Ivan III the city became the capital of an empire that would eventually encompass all of present-day Russia and other lands.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Moscow".