Moscow

MOSCOW is an “eternal third Rome”, the capital of Russia. In 1997 Moscow celebrated its 850 anniversary and made a feast in honor of two Yuries – builders of Moscow: Yury Dolgoruky, who founded Moscow in 1147 and Yury Luzhkov, the present mayor, who in many respects created the modern appearance of Russian capital.

Nowadays the capital’s square is 1035 sq. km, that is nearly three times more than the square of Paris. Without doubt outskirts of the city will not impress you by alternation of vacant sites and urban residential regions built earlier during Soviet period. Please be patient because acquaintance with centre of the city and tours along old streets will raise your mood. At first sight you may not call Moscow a beautiful city from architectural point of view. But Moscow has its hidden beauty which will satisfy your curiosity and will ensure understanding of the essence of an old Russian city.

Kremlin – the first “residential quarter” of Moscow, rises along the left bank of the Moskva-River. This majestic triangle concentrating political power for a long time was a “forbidden city” first of Russia tsars and afterwards – of the Soviet state. Real fortified town with its own squares, churches and cathedrals, the Kremlin is opened for visitors, and without doubt is one of the most visited places despite the fact that it is still the residence of Russian Government. A centre of political power, monument, museum, city-museum or simply a city? That is a question which is not easy to answer. Undoubtedly the Kremlin combines all those definitions. Kremlin is a fortress (that is translation) – the symbol of Russian state, of all Russian people.

Red Square with unforgettable ensemble of architectural monuments of various epochs, among which the most known is St. Basil’s cathedral (cathedral of the Intercession on the ditch). This cathedral which seems to appear from The Arabian Nights tales is a symbol of Moscow and the most prominent monument of Russian architecture. According to the legend the Russian architect Postnic was blinded by the order of Ivan the Terrible to prevent him of constructing similar monument.

Moscow museums. World known are Museum of imitative arts named after Pushkin, Tretyakov gallery, Kolomenskoye and many other places – all of them represent historical and cultural heritage of the Russian capital.

What is Moscow Metro? Without doubt the only answer will be: the most comfortable means of transport of Moscow. This will be the answer of any Muscovite. Constructed in the Stalin era in 30-s and nicknamed underground palace, the Metro is rather a museum than means of transportation. And that is the most visited museum in the world, because more than 7 millions of Muscovites choose metro for traveling, without paying any attention to stations decorations.

The first project of Moscow Metro was proposed by engineer Balinsky in 1902. But Moscow Duma (Parliament) rejected this project considering it very expensive. One more argument against it was that the capital of Russian Empire was Saint Petersburg. In 1918 Soviet government moved to Moscow. Moscow once again received the status of capital, and this fact preconditioned steadfast growth of the city population. However only in 1922, after the end of Civil war, the construction of Moscow Metro was seriously considered for the first time. The final resolution was passed by Soviet government in 1931. In autumn of the same year the construction of the first station was started. On the 15th of May, 1935 the first lines of Moscow Metro were put into service. The length of the first lines was 11.6 km, they had 13 stations. Since then the construction of subway never stopped, even during the war. Stations in the centre of Moscow are of deep bedding (up to 80 m). Muscovites used them as bomb shelters in the course of hostile bombardment during World War II.

Today the Metro connects city’s centre with suburbs, industrial regions, new residential areas. The total length of Metro lines is about 300 km. The number of stations reached 160. Additional 20 stations are under construction. Moscow Metro consists of 11 lines, one of which – circular runs nearly under the Sadovoye ring, 10 radial lines and 7 railway terminals, that is especially comfortable for arrivals.

All the Metro stations are faced with marble. Architects chose this material not for nothing. Firstly it is eternal, secondly it is impervious to water, and thirdly it is simply beautiful. Marble for facing of stations was delivered from all the regions of the former USSR.

All the Metro stations are very well lighted. You will not find similar lamps because they are works of art by themselves.

Famous sculptors, artists and architects considered it an honour to participate in decoration of the Metro stations. In the process of decoration they used paintings, mosaic, sculptures. Mosaic panels at the stations constructed during the period of 1930-50-s are real works of art.


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