Portal:Moscow

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Moscow


Moscow (UK: /ˈmɒsk/ or US: /ˈmɑːsk/; Russian: About this sound Москва , tr. Moskva, IPA: [mɐˈskva]; see also other names) is the capital and the most populous city and the federal subject of Russia. It is also the largest metropolitan area in Europe, and ranks among the largest urban areas in the world. Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, religious, financial, educational, and transportation center of Russia and the world, a global city. It is also the seventh largest city proper in the world, a megacity. The population of Moscow (as of 1 September 2009) is 10,535,100.

It is located by the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Moscow sits on the junction of three geological platforms. Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union, Russian Empire, Tsardom of Russia and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. It is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, one of the World Heritage Sites in the city, which serves as the residence of the President of Russia. The Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) and the Government of Russia also sit in Moscow.

Moscow is a major economic centre. It is home to many scientific and educational institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities. It possesses a complex transport system that includes four international airports, nine railroad terminals, and the world's second busiest (after Tokyo) metro system which is famous for its architecture and artwork. Its metro is the busiest single-operator subway in the world.

Over time, the city has earned a variety of nicknames, most referring to its pre-eminent status in the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим), Whitestone (Белокаменная), The First Throne (Первопрестольная), The Forty Forties (Сорок Сороков).

A person from Moscow is called a Muscovite in English or Moskvich in Russian.

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A view of the cathedral

The Cathedral of Intercession of Theotokos on the Moat (Russian: Собор Покрова пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву), popularly known as the Cathedral of Basil the Blessed, is a Russian Orthodox cathedral erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–1561. Built on the order of Ivan IV of Russia to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, it marks the geometric center of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century. It was the tallest building of Moscow until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.

The original building, known as "Trinity Church" and later "Trinity Cathedral", contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local Fool Vasily (Basil). In the 16th and the 17th centuries the cathedral, perceived as the earthly symbol of the Heavenly City was popularly known as the "Jerusalem" and served as an allegory of the Jerusalem Temple in the annual Palm Sunday parade attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and the tsar.

The building's design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, has no analogues in Russian architecture: "It is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium of Byzantine tradition from the fifth to fifteenth century... a strangeness that astonishes by its unexpectedness, complexity and dazzling interleaving of the manifold details of its design. The cathedral foreshadowed the climax of Russian national architecture in the 17th century but has never been reproduced directly.

The cathedral has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum since 1928. It was completely secularized in 1929 and, as of 2009, remains a federal property of the Russian Federation. The cathedral has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

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Mathias Rust (born July 1968 in Wedel, Schleswig-Holstein, West Germany) is a German man known for his illegal landing near Red Square in Moscow in 1987. As an amateur aviator, he flew from Finland to Moscow, being tracked several times by Soviet air defence and interceptors. The Soviet fighters never received permission to shoot him down, and several times he was mistaken for a friendly aircraft. He landed on Vasilevski Spusk next to Red Square near the Kremlin in the capital of the USSR.

Rust's intentions, as he stated, were to create an "imaginary bridge" to the East, and he has claimed that his flight was intended to reduce tension and suspicion between the two Cold War sides. Rust's successful flight through a supposedly impregnable air defense system had a great impact on the Soviet military and led to the firing of many senior officers, including Defence Minister Sergei Sokolov. The incident enabled Mikhail Gorbachev to speed his reforms (by removing numerous military officials opposed to him), and reduced the prestige of the Soviet military among the population, thus helping bring an end to the Cold War.

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A black and white picture of about a hundred people marching with a large red flag to the right.
Credit: V. Andreyev

A 1946 soviet stamp showing the June 1945 Moscow Victory Parade.


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