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Clockwise: Kremlin Savior Tower, Moscow City, Red Square, Bolshoi Theater, Lomonosov University, Cathedral of Christ the Savior
flag coat of arms
coat of arms
Federal district Central Russia
City with
subject status
Inner structure 12 administrative districts
Lord Mayor Sergei Sobyanin
Founded 1147
City since 1147
area 2510  km²
population 11,503,501 inhabitants
(as of Oct. 14, 2010)
Population density 4583 inhabitants / km²
Height of the center 156  m
Time zone UTC + 3
Telephone code (+7) 495-499
Post Code 101xxx – 135xxx
License Plate 77, 97, 99, 177, 197, 199, 777
Geographical location
Coordinates 55 ° 45 '  N , 37 ° 37'  E Coordinates: 55 ° 45 '0 "  N , 37 ° 37' 0"  E
Moscow (European Russia)
Red pog.svg
Location in the western part of Russia
List of cities in Russia

Moscow ( Russian Москва́  [ mɐskˈva ] , Moskwa ) is the capital of the Russian Federation . With around 12.4 million inhabitants (as of 2017) it is the largest city and with 15.1 million inhabitants (2012) the largest agglomeration in Europe . Please click to listen!Play

Moscow is the political, economic, scientific and cultural center of Russia, with universities and institutes as well as numerous churches, theaters, museums and galleries. In the city area there are some of the highest European skyscrapers and the striking Seven Sisters , as well as the 540 meter high Ostankino Tower , the tallest structure in Europe . Moscow is the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church , the patriarch resides in the Danilov Monastery , and the largest Russian Orthodox church building is the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior . There are over 300 churches in the Moscow metropolitan area .

The Kremlin and the Red Square in central Moscow are available on the 1990 UNESCO - list of world cultural heritage . With eight long-distance train stations, four international airports and three inland ports, the city is the most important transport hub and largest industrial city in Russia.


Geographical location

Moscow by night from the ISS (2014)

Moscow is located in the European part of Russia, an average of 156 meters above sea ​​level in the hill country between the Oka and Volga and on the partly steep banks of the eponymous Moskva , a tributary of the Oka, which in turn flows into the Volga.

The Moskva crosses the city in meanders from northwest to southeast over a length of around 80 kilometers. Within Moscow, the width of the river is 120 to 200 meters. About 120 small rivers flow towards the Moskva. With the exception of 14, they were all laid in underground pipe systems. The 128-kilometer Moscow-Volga Canal , which was completed in 1937 and branches off to the north in the west of the city, provides a navigable connection between the river and the Ivankovo ​​reservoir and the Volga.

With a few exceptions, the city limits are the 109-kilometer-long outer motorway ring ( MKAD ), laid out in 1962 . The urban area has an area of ​​2511 square kilometers. The green areas make up about a third of the urban area. This includes around 100 parks and over 800 well-kept facilities, enriched by around 500 ponds.

Around the city there is a 30 to 40 kilometer long urban forest belt with numerous recreational and entertainment facilities. The area of ​​the urban forest belt is 1725 square kilometers. The largest forest area with over 120 square kilometers is the Lossiny Ostrow National Park (in German: "Elk Island") in the northeast of the city, the second largest is Bitza Park on the southwestern outskirts.

Administrative division

Moscow administrative districts

Moscow is the administrative center of Moscow Oblast , which includes the greater Moscow area without the city itself. Moscow is an independent subject within the Central Federal District .

While Moscow Oblast is divided into 36 Rajons and 36 urban districts , the city itself is divided into 12 administrative districts (in Russian administratiwny okrug ). These in turn consist of a total of 146 districts (also called Rajon for the administrative districts that existed before 2012, Posselenije for the two administrative districts that were added in 2012 , literally "settlement", meaning a "municipality"). Most of the districts (Rajons) unofficially consist of two or more smaller districts, which is mostly historical.

In 2011 a change in the structure of the city and oblast was decided; the Russian government announced plans to enlarge the city by one and a half times. The incorporation of a large area southwest of the metropolis, up to the border with the Kaluga Oblast , was completed on July 1, 2012. In addition to the urban districts around the cities of the same name, Troitsk and Shcherbinka , parts of the Leninsky Rajons (with the city of Moskovsky ), Naro-Fominsk and Podolsk were subordinated to the city of Moscow . The two new administrative districts Nowomoskowski and Troitsk were created for this purpose . A (provisional) joint prefect was appointed for the two districts. New government buildings, a modern financial center and apartments for millions of people are to be built in the area. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced at a press conference on July 1, 2012 that the expansion would help the “mega-city” of 20 million people to develop “harmoniously”.

Each of the administrative districts has a prefect (the two new districts have a common one) who reports directly to the Moscow mayor. The prefects are appointed by the mayor. Each of the administrative districts has its own parliament, which consists of eleven elected representatives. The administrative districts of Moscow are:

Administrative district Russian name Number of
(2002 census)
(2010 census)
2010 to 2002 (%)
Center (1) Центральный 10 701.353 741.967 +5.8
North (2) Северный 16 1,112,846 1,100,974 −1.1
Northeast (3) Северо-Восточный 17th 1,240,062 1,359,508 +9.6
East (4) Восточный 16 1,381,797 1,452,759 +5.1
Southeast (5) Юго-Восточный 12 1,109,121 1,318,885 +18.9
South (6) Южный 16 1,593,065 1,716,808 +7.8
Southwest (7) Юго-Западный 12 1,179,211 1,362,751 +15.6
Vests (8) Западный 13th 1,029,004 1,285,914 +25.0
Northwest (9) Северо-Западный 8th 779.965 942.223 +20.8
Zelenograd (10) Зеленоградский 5 215,727 221.712 +2.8
Novomoskowski (11) Новомосковский 11 - 144.231 -
Troitsky (12) Троицкий 10 - 90,815 -


  • In 2002, the Moscow Federal District still included the urban-type settlements of Nekrasovka (7,803 inhabitants), Vnukowo (20,100) and Vostochny (12,700) , which were not subordinated to any administrative district of the city of Moscow . In the meantime, the three settlements were subordinated to the southeast, western and eastern administrative districts. When calculating the increase, the population of the settlements was taken into account.
  • For the administrative districts of Novomoskowski and Troizki created on July 1, 2012, the 2010 census is based on the population of the respective urban districts and rural communities that were still part of Moscow Oblast at the time. In 2002 the city districts and rural communities did not yet exist in this form.


With its fully humid climate, Moscow is in the cool, temperate climate zone with a continental climate . The average annual temperature is 5.4 degrees Celsius, and annual precipitation is around 700 millimeters. Most of the precipitation falls in July (90 millimeters), the least in March (33 millimeters).

In winter, the temperature in Moscow is usually −4 to −10 degrees Celsius, but temperatures below −20 degrees Celsius are sometimes measured. But there is also a thaw quite often. The winds are moderate and the air is dry. The wind chill factor is therefore relatively low. Heavy frosts are therefore relatively easy to bear. In summer the average temperature is between 17 and 19 degrees.

The Moscow mean temperature in December is −5.4, in January −7.5 and in February −6.7 degrees Celsius. Summer in the capital is usually warm and sunny, but can also be very hot - temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius are not uncommon. The long-term average temperature is 17.1 in June, 18.4 in July and 16.4 in August.

In spring, the average temperature in March is −1.4, in April 6.3 and in May 12.8 degrees Celsius. In autumn the average temperature in September is 10.8 degrees Celsius, in October 5.0 and in November -1.6 degrees Celsius.

According to calculations by Moscow phenologists , the snowmelt in the city begins around March 16, and the icefall on the Moskva around April 12. The first thunderstorms are to be expected around May 2nd, the first night frosts around September 14th, and the first snowfall around October 28th. The Moskva will freeze over again around November 18. A solid snow cover forms around November 23rd.

In Moscow, the climatic conditions in the inner city, the suburbs and even more in the surrounding area are different. In the city center it is drier and warmer. The average temperature in the suburbs is 2–3 degrees Celsius lower than in the city center. The highest temperature was officially measured on July 29, 2010 at 39.0 degrees Celsius in downtown Moscow, the lowest on January 17, 1940 at −42.2 degrees Celsius.

Model calculations on the consequences of man-made climate change from 2019 show that Moscow would already be relocated to another climate zone if the RCP4.5 scenario, which is assessed as optimistic, occurs ; According to this, the climate in Moscow in 2050 would already be more similar to the previous climate in the Bulgarian city of Sofia , which is located much further south than the previous one in Moscow.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Moscow
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) −6.2 −3.9 2.4 10.6 18.6 22.4 23.8 22.0 15.8 8.4 1.3 −3.4 O 9.4
Min. Temperature (° C) −12.7 −11.6 −5.9 1.8 7.6 11.4 13.1 11.7 7.0 2.1 −3.4 −8.9 O 1.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 42 36 34 44 51 75 94 77 65 59 58 56 Σ 691
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.0 2.5 4.1 5.7 8.5 9.2 8.8 7.6 4.8 2.5 1.1 0.6 O 4.7
Rainy days ( d ) 11 8th 8th 9 8th 11 12 10 11 10 12 12 Σ 122
Humidity ( % ) 85 83 78 71 64 67 72 77 81 83 86 87 O 77.8
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Ethnic groups

In total, members of more than 100 nationalities and ethnic groups live in Moscow today. 84.83% of the population at the 2002 census were ethnic Russians . The largest ethnic minorities were: Ukrainians (2.44%), Tatars (1.60%), Armenians (1.20%), Azerbaijanis (0.92%), Jews (0.76%, both in Moscow statistics) ethnic as well as religious group), Belarusians (0.57%), Georgians (0.52%), Moldovans (0.35%), Tajiks (0.34%), Uzbeks (0.23%), Mordvins (0.22%), Chuvashes (0.16%), Vietnamese (0.15%), Chechens (0.14%), Chinese (0.12%), Ossetians (0.10%), Koreans ( Korjo -Saram ) (0.08%), Kazakhs (0.08%), Pashtuns (0.06%), Bashkirs (0.06%) and Germans (0.05%). However, the influx of illegal immigrants from the area of ​​the former Soviet Union is not recorded. In addition, there are regular seasonal workers in the city, who usually leave Moscow after a few months.

There is limited xenophobia against “blacks”, in the Russian style, people with dark hair color, which includes immigrants from both the Caucasus and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia . The terror of individual Chechens in Moscow is considered to be the cause of increased hostility towards immigrants.


Christianity is the dominant religion in Moscow, with the majority of Christians belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church. Other religions popular in Moscow are Islam , Buddhism and Judaism .

Around 2008 there were 410,000 Muslims in Moscow. The oldest mosque is the Moscow Historical Mosque. It was erected in the Tatar suburbs in 1823 in gratitude for the heroism shown by the Tatar and Bashkir regiments during the Patriotic War of 1812 and reopened in 1993. The second mosque in Moscow was the Dschuma Mosque or Friday Mosque , which was built in 1904 with the funds of the wealthy Tatar merchant Salih Ersin. In 2011 it was destroyed and replaced by a new building that opened on September 23, 2015. Another important mosque is the Memorial Mosque, which was built between 1995 and 1997 in the Western Administrative District. All three mosques belong to the jurisdiction of the “ Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of the European Part of Russia ” ( Duchownoje uprawlenije Musulman ewropejskoj tschasti Rossii ; DUMER), which is headed by Mufti Rawil Ismagilowitsch Gainutdin . He is also the chairman of the Russian Mufti Council , which is based in Moscow.



Moscow was the easternmost city in the network of the medieval Via Regia and Via Imperii in Europe

One of the legends tells that the prince Yuri Dolgoruki (1090-1157) ordered a wooden city to be built in the land of the Vyatiches and that this city was named after the river on whose banks it rose up. The first written mention of Moscow comes from the year 1147, which is therefore considered the year Moscow was founded. But long before that, there were human settlements where Moscow is today. Archaeological excavations testify that the oldest of them originated about 5000 years ago.

Around 1156, the Kremlin's first, still wooden, defensive system was built , under whose protection the market town gradually developed into a considerable settlement. On January 20, 1238, the city was captured and burned down by troops of the Golden Horde under Batu Khan during the Mongolian invasion of the Rus . In 1263 the surrounding area became a part of the Principality of the Grand Duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal , a little later under Prince Daniel Alexandrowitsch an independent principality . In the first half of the 14th century, when the city already had 30,000 inhabitants, the Tatar Great Khan Uzbek Khan recognized the Moscow Grand Duke Ivan Kalita as head of Russia, albeit with tribute to him. In 1321 the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church had moved his seat from Vladimir to Moscow, which led to Moscow taking over the spiritual supremacy in Russia.

The victory over the Tatars in the Battle of Kulikowo on September 8, 1380, led by the Moscow Grand Duke Dmitri Donskoy , did not liberate the city from the hegemony of the Golden Horde, and in 1382 Moscow was again burned down by the Mongolian troops under Toktamish and looted. But the city strengthened its political and military reputation considerably and steadily gained economic power. The Moscow Grand Duke Vasily I. Dmitrijewitsch , the eldest son of Dmitri Donskoy, initially refused to recognize Tatar rule. As a result, on December 5, 1408, a Mongolian force under the leadership of Edigü stood at the gates of Moscow. This time the Mongols could not take the city and withdrew after three weeks of siege with 3,000 rubles ransom. Nevertheless, he got into political difficulties and traveled to the Horde in 1412 to be confirmed as the Russian Grand Duke by the reigning Khan Gelal-ed-Din. In 1480 Moscow was able to finally shake off Tatar rule and became the capital of the Russian Empire.

The Grand Duke of Moscow Ivan III, who has ruled since 1462 . , the Great (1440–1505), married the Byzantine princess Sofia (Zoe) Palaiologos, a niece of the last Eastern Roman emperor Constantine XI , in 1472 . Palaiologos , because after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks , the Byzantine Empire ceased to exist, and from there adopted the autocratic idea of ​​the state and its symbols: the double-headed eagle and the court ceremony. Since then, Moscow has been known as the “ Third Rome ” and a haven of Orthodoxy .

Moscow is becoming a big city

Moscow at the end of the 17th century

In the last two decades of the 15th century, the expansion of the Kremlin began, in the vicinity of which a large number of craftsmen and merchants now settled. The population soon rose to more than 100,000, so that around 1600 a curtain wall around Moscow and an earth fortification were added, which from then on shielded the flourishing city from the outside. In 1571 it was visited for the last time by the Tatars, when the town, which was built mainly of wood, burned down. Just one year later, the Tatar threat in the Battle of Molodi south of Moscow was finally averted.

During the turmoil caused by unclear succession relationships, Polish troops moved into the city at the end of July 1610 during the Polish-Russian War 1609–1618 and tried to install their own puppets. A people's army, which in January 1611 by major Russian cities like Nizhny Novgorod , Vologda was set up, etc., but besieged the Poles in the Kremlin and forced her on October 25, 1612 before of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky listed Landwehr squad to surrender. These events paved the way for the Romanov dynasty to the Russian throne.

While the first cloth, paper and brick factories, glass factories and powder mills were being built, the social contrasts of the great empire culminated: in 1667 the peasants in the Volga and Don region rose up against the growing oppression, their leader, Stepan Rasin , was placed on Red Square in 1671 executed in Moscow. In 1687 the first Russian university, the "Slavic-Greek Academy" was opened, in 1703 the first printed Russian newspaper "Vedomosti" appeared. In 1712, under Tsar Peter the Great (1672–1725), the capital's privilege was transferred to the newly founded Saint Petersburg , but Moscow remained the country's economic and intellectual and cultural center. In 1755 the first Russian university was opened in Moscow with today's Lomonossow University. In 1771 Moscow experienced violent uprisings during the Moscow plague riot and lost half of its population.

The fire of Moscow before Napoleon took the city in 1812
Tverskaya Street in the 19th century
Loan for 189 rubles from the city of Moscow from 1912

The work of outstanding Russian writers and poets such as Alexander Sumarokow , Denis Fonwisin , Nikolai Karamsin and many others is linked to Moscow in the 18th century . In Moscow the great Russian scholar Mikhail Lomonosov began his career in science. Even in later times, many famous Russian writers and poets, scientists and artists lived and worked in Moscow, whose work made an immense contribution not only to Russian, but also to world culture.

In the Patriotic War of 1812, when Napoleon Bonaparte marched into Moscow with his “ Great Army ”, the city lost two thirds of its building stock in a conflagration - the residents set their houses on fire and fled the city. Due to the resulting poor supply situation, the French army was forced to retreat around a month later, which ended with its sinking in the Battle of the Berezina .

The large-scale reconstruction and rebuilding that began in the spring of 1813 quickly blew up the old urban defensive ring and, from the mid-19th century onwards, gave the city a connection to the most important cities in the country through rapid road and rail construction. Nevertheless, in the 19th century, Moscow finally fell back to second place behind the then capital of Russia, Saint Petersburg. Russia's new center of power overtook the old capital Moscow not only in terms of population: Saint Petersburg became the country's cultural and economic center. While prestigious building projects by the Russian upper class shot up there, this was far less the case in Moscow. Nevertheless, Moscow also developed massively. The first electric trams ran in 1890 ; the first census in the country was held on January 28, 1897, and the city's population had grown to about one million, and by 1914 it had doubled.

Pushkin Square 1920

In the last decades of the 19th century, social tensions increased. The concentration of industry , especially light industry, was most advanced here, with the exception of Saint Petersburg; the abolition of serfdom in 1861 had driven tens of thousands of landless peasants to wage labor in the cities. In 1898 the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party was founded in Moscow .

The Russian Revolution from 1905 to 1907 struck the city in December 1905, when Moscow workers moved from a political mass strike to an armed insurrection. In the years before the First World War , the city experienced rapid economic and cultural development, which was also reflected in brisk construction activity. In 1912 the Emperor Alexander III Museum of Fine Arts was opened. In 1913, the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty was celebrated in Moscow .

Moscow during the revolution

After the February Revolution of 1917 , the Moscow State Assembly was held in Moscow in August 1917, with representatives from all classes. From August 1917 to September 1918 the Russian Church Council took place in Moscow, at which the Moscow Patriarchate was restored.

After the October Revolution on October 25th, Jul. / 7th November 1917 greg. In Petrograd , the Bolsheviks organized an armed uprising in Moscow, which the Public Security Committee opposed. The fighting for Moscow lasted from October 25 to November 2, 1917 and ended with the victory of the Bolsheviks after reinforcements arrived. One last attempt at uprising by the counter-revolutionary forces was put down in 1919.

Moscow as the capital of the Soviet Union

Sukharev Tower 1927

On March 12, 1918, the capital of the new Soviet state was moved back to Moscow and the Bolshevik leadership moved to the Kremlin , which for the first time since the early 18th century became the center of Russian power. The Soviet Union was founded there on December 30, 1922 . After the end of the civil war, a major restructuring of Moscow began in 1925. In 1926 the city had two million inhabitants again, overtaking Saint Petersburg, now renamed Leningrad.

In 1935, with the “General Plan for Urban Renewal” adopted by Josef Stalin , a complex redesign of Moscow began - at that time the wide radial streets were laid out and the Moscow Metro opened, new bridges were spanned over the Moscow River and the Moscow-Volga Canal built . New arteries were built right through the old town, numerous historical monuments such as the Sukharev Tower gave way to oversized Soviet buildings. In particular, numerous churches and monasteries were deliberately destroyed. Around 200,000 construction workers - mostly political prisoners - were involved in the implementation of the general plan.

The complete destruction of old Moscow, paradoxically, was only prevented by World War II , which led to the cessation of work. Even the tallest building in the world, the 415-meter-high “ Palace of the Soviets ”, could no longer be completed. Instead of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior , which was blown up on December 5, 1931 , the huge political and cultural forum was intended to show the superiority of the socialist model of society. However, only the foundation was implemented, because when the “ Great Patriotic War ” broke out, the project was shut down - and not resumed after the war.

The second World War

Course of the Eastern Front between June 22 and December 5, 1941

After the German Wehrmacht marched into the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, their offensive on Moscow began on September 30 of that year. Around 80 divisions, including 14 armored and eight mechanized divisions, as well as hundreds of aircraft, thousands of tanks, guns and mortars were used against the capital. On the night of July 21st to July 22nd, 1941, a series of air raids began that lasted until April 5th, 1942.

Adolf Hitler declared that he would personally take over the parade of his troops in Moscow. However, nothing came of the planned festivities. Another parade took place in Red Square on November 7th, the traditional military parade of the Soviet Army.

On November 15, the Germans began a second offensive, and they were able to advance into individual western suburbs. The Soviet counterattack began on December 5, 1941 and repelled the German army 100 to 300 kilometers. The German Air Force flew 12,000 sorties against Moscow, but only some of the machines were able to reach the city. In the Battle of Moscow , the German troops lost 250,000 men, 1,300 tanks, 2,500 artillery pieces, more than 15,000 vehicles and much more. About 700,000 Soviet soldiers were killed, wounded or missing. This was the first major defeat of the German Wehrmacht against the Soviet Union and generally on the European mainland, barely six months after the start of the Blitzkrieg against the USSR.

In July 1944, Stalin demonstrated his superiority with a train of around 55,000 prisoners of war through Moscow.

On June 24, 1945, the Red Army Victory Parade took place in Moscow's Red Square . The body of an unknown soldier who fell while defending the capital rests on the Kremlin wall. The words were chiseled on his tombstone:

Your name is unknown
your feat is immortal.

Development after the Second World War

Moscow was rebuilt after the destruction in the war. In 1947 the decision was made to provide the city with high-rise buildings at eight selected locations. With the demolition of numerous churches and cathedrals, as well as the now generally higher buildings, Moscow had not only lost important landmarks but also its once picturesque silhouette. The Soviet leadership demanded that the buildings must be shaped by Russian architectural tradition.

Josef Stalin died on March 5, 1953 at his dacha in Kunzewo near Moscow. He was first laid out next to Lenin in the mausoleum on Red Square. In the course of the incipient “de-Stalinization” under Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev , Stalin's body was removed from the mausoleum in 1961 and buried on the Kremlin wall .

Moscow experienced particularly intense construction activity after 1955. In the period from 1961 to 1970 alone, the new building area made up two and a half times as much as the total living area of ​​all of pre-revolutionary Moscow. The above-average growth in the number of inhabitants of almost 40% between the censuses of 1959 and 1970 is, however, to a significant extent also due to the expansion of the city limits to the Moscow ring road on August 17, 1960, which means that the city area doubles and Population grew by over 750,000. Among other things, the five previously independent cities Babushkin (113,919 inhabitants 1959), Kunzewo (128,630), Ljublino (86,110), Perowo (143,456) and Tuschino (89,885) and twelve urban-type settlements with some over 20,000 inhabitants were incorporated. In 1970 the population had risen to almost seven million.

In 1980 Moscow hosted the XXII. Summer Olympics . At the end of the 1980s, the Soviet economy fell more and more into crisis. In the wake of President Mikhail Gorbachev's policies ( perestroika and glasnost ), the country's economic decline became more and more apparent. There was severe shortage in some areas of supply. The resentment of the population became more and more open.

In August 1991 Gorbachev wanted to submit a treaty for a new Soviet Union for signature. To prevent this and to save the old Union, some generals, high-ranking members of the government and the KGB chief initiated an attempted coup against the president on August 19 of the same year . After its failure two days later, four months later, on December 25, 1991, Gorbachev resigned from his post as president. The date also marks the end of the first communist state.

After the end of the Soviet Union

Christ the Savior Cathedral
View of modern Moscow

1992 was the year before the Russian president elected Boris Yeltsin signed a federation agreement which the federal subjects zubilligte Russia's far-reaching powers. In September 1993 he dissolved the Congress of People's Deputies of Russia and the Supreme Soviet . As a result, on October 3rd and 4th of the same year in Moscow during the Russian constitutional crisis there was another attempted coup by conservative politicians and their supporters. When they occupied the White House (then the parliament building), the town hall and the television tower in Moscow, Yeltsin had the uprising suppressed by force (190 dead) in order to resolve a constitutional conflict in his favor.

On December 12, 1993, the people passed a new constitution and, for the first time, free elections were held with several competing parties. From September 5 to 7, 1997, the city celebrated the 850th anniversary of its founding with a total of 450 events.

In 1999 Moscow was shaken by the most devastating terrorist attacks in its history. On September 8, a bomb attack on a nine-story residential building on Guryanov Street left 95 dead and 264 injured. On September 13, 121 people died and nine were injured in an attack on a nine-story residential building on Kaschirskoje-Chaussee. The authorship of the attacks has not yet been clarified. While the government blames Chechen terrorists, critics of the Russian president accuse intelligence agents of depositing the bombs in house cellars.

On August 19, 2000, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior , which was blown up in 1931 and the largest Russian Orthodox church in the world, was reopened. At the beginning of September 2002 a state of emergency had to be declared in some districts of Moscow; the smoke that penetrated the city from several hundred forest and peat fires in the area brought public life in Moscow to a temporary standstill.

In 2001 the first skyscraper in the new high-rise district of Moscow City was completed, and in 2003 work on the city's third transport ring was also completed.

On October 23, 2002, a squad of 41 Chechen hostage-takers, including 19 women, stormed the Dubrowka Theater during the performance of the musical “Nord-Ost”, and took around 800 spectators, musicians and actors into its power. The attack was led by the Chechen rebel Mowsar Barayev , and field commander Shamil Basayev is believed to be the organizer . During the storming by Russian special police units, 170 people, including 129 hostages, were killed after using a warfare agent.

On July 5, 2003, 16 people, including the female suicide bombers, were killed in an attack on young people attending a rock festival near Moscow's Tushino airfield . On February 6, 2004, 39 people were killed and 140 injured in a bomb attack on a fully occupied metro near Avtozavodskaya station .

In March 2010, two more suicide attacks occurred in the Moscow Metro, in which 40 passengers were killed.

According to Forbes' 2009 list of the World's Most Expensive Cities To Live , Moscow is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The plans initiated by President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010 to expand Moscow and relocate the authorities to the periphery sparked a broad discussion in the authorities and the public, which culminated in proposals to relocate the seat of government to the geographical center of Russia to Siberia. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin described these plans as absurd, because Moscow could not do without its historic capital city role for political and practical reasons, but the idea remained to relocate some capital functions to St. Petersburg and to major cities in other regions.

36 people were killed in the terrorist attack at Moscow Domodedovo Airport on January 24, 2011.

On July 1, 2012, Moscow's city expansion by incorporating districts in the southwest of the capital was actually completed. As a result, Moscow became a gigantic metropolis in terms of area, the outskirts of which only need to be filled with people, the establishment of infrastructure and the establishment of government agencies, business and residential centers. The officials of the ministries have so far offered considerable resistance to the transfer to the new areas, so that in the implementation of the major project "New Moscow", if not failure, then considerable delays can be expected.

Protests broke out in Moscow in the summer of 2019 after opposition members were denied participation in the Moscow State Duma elections.

Population development

Moscow has always been a magnet for foreigners. The first settlements were founded by traveling merchants, craftsmen, feudal people and their descendants in the 16th century. The German settlement on the Jausa bank was the largest of these. But people from other parts of Europe also lived there. At that time the city had about 100,000 inhabitants. In the 2002 census, ten million were one hundred times as many. The old place names of the compact settlement of non-Russian peoples testify to the ethnic diversity of the population in Moscow.

The following overview shows the population figures according to the respective territorial status. The figures for 1897, 1926, 1939 and from 1959 to 2010 are census results, other earlier figures are estimates or calculations, and for 2017 they are a calculation by the Federal Service of State Statistics of Russia. The population figures refer to the registered residents with main residence in Moscow. The figures are inaccurate in that a large number of people lived and live in Moscow without registration. On the one hand there are “illegals” in Moscow from the other post-Soviet states ; on the other hand, not every citizen of the USSR or today of the Russian Federation was allowed to live in Moscow without certain conditions; this was and is associated with certain bureaucratic hurdles that cannot be overcome by everyone .

Graphic: population development
year Residents
1350 30,000
1400 40,000
1600 100,000
1638 200,000
1710 160,000
1725 145,000
1738 138,400
1750 130,000
1775 161,000
1785 188,700
1800 250,000
1811 300,000
1813 215,000
year Residents
1825 241,500
1840 349.100
1852 373,800
1858 336,400
1864 351,600
1868 416,400
1871 601,969
1886 753.459
1891 822,400
1897 1,038,591
1900 1,175,000
1908 1,359,200
1912 1,617,157
year Residents
1915 1,817,000
1920 1,028,200
1926 2,019,453
1936 3,641,500
1939 4,182,916
1956 4,847,000
1959 5,045,905
1970 6,941,961
1979 7,830,509
1989 8,769,117
2002 10.126.424
2010 11,503,501
2017 12,228,685


City government

Savior Tower of the Moscow Kremlin
Ivan the Great Bell Tower in Moscow Kremlin

Since Moscow is the seat of the president and his presidential administration , the federal government as well as numerous ministries and authorities, the policy of the Moscow city administration is naturally shaped by coexistence , but also by conflicts with the Kremlin and the government. This has been a constant of politics in the capital of Russia for a long time.

The latent conflict is intensified when the mayor registers ambitions for the leadership of the state - or they are accused of having them. The most important actors in this conflict are on the one hand the President and Prime Minister of Russia with the many civil servants and civil servants, and on the other hand the mayor of Moscow and the numerous employees of the city administration.

The city council exercises the executive power of (executive power) in Moscow, consisting of the government of the city and the mayor. The latter is elected by the city parliament together with the deputy mayor on the proposal of the state president. The legislature (legislative power) is provided by the Moscow City Duma . This consists of a total of 45 members and oversees the mayor in its function.

In elections since the early 1990s, voters in Moscow, who make up around ten percent of Russia's total electorate, have generally voted more strongly for liberal or social-liberal opposition parties than the rest of the country. An exception to this trend were the overwhelming election results for Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who was in office until September 2010, of over 70 percent. Despite his pragmatic economic and investment policy towards Western Europe, Luzhkov was not seen as liberal. In the elections to the city parliament at the end of 2005, the “Party of Power”, United Russia , won an absolute majority. In September 2010, the Russian President signed a decree dismissing Mayor Luzhkov. His successor Sergei Sobyanin was elected by the Chamber of Deputies on October 21, 2010 and approved by the people in the 2013 mayoral election. In September 2017, the local elections in Moscow were "forgotten" and the residents were not informed. A high voter turnout was not in the government's interest; after all, it was below 15 percent. The opposition even won a majority in some city districts. Despite the very limited importance of the MPs, they are a guarantee that one of the registration hurdles for a mayoral election in 2018 has to be overcome for an opposition member, namely that 110 signatures from MPs are required for a candidacy.

Twin cities

Moscow maintains the following cities partnerships :


View of the Moscow business district

Moscow plays a key role in Russia's economy . The city's share of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is 20 percent, and around 30 percent of total retail trade in Russia. Economic growth averages around ten percent per year. In 2005, the capital's GDP grew by around 20 percent compared to 2004 (Russia 6.4 percent).

According to a study from 2014, Moscow ranks 10th out of all cities in the world, with an economic output of over 550 billion US dollars ( purchasing power parity ). The average per capita income is on par with the Netherlands and almost twice as much as the Russian average.

According to the American business magazine Forbes , Moscow is the city with the third highest number of billionaires in the world, calculated in US dollars (as of 2016).

In 2018, Moscow hosted the 2018 World Cup for 12 matches . The implementation of the tournament was seen as an additional driver for the development of the urban economy, sporting and tourist infrastructure, as well as for the improvement of urban areas.


Moscow oil refinery, aerial view
The World Trade Center in Moscow

Mechanical engineering accounts for around a quarter of Moscow's industrial production . Its main branches are machine tool and tool construction, electrical industry, warehouse production, automotive industry and device construction. Other important branches of industry are the metallurgy, light, automotive, building materials, chemical and petrochemical industries. The city is a major center of the military-industrial complex. The state armaments and technology holding Rostec ( OAK , Russian Helicopters , UEC , Tecmasch , Shvabe and others) is also based in the capital.

Larger industrial companies with legal headquarters in the city include the watch manufacturer Slawa , the car manufacturer Avtoframos , the state nuclear company Atomenergoprom , the United Metallurgical Company , Rusal and the oil companies Gazprom , Lukoil and Rosneft . RKK Energija , the most important Russian aerospace company and manufacturer of the Soyuz spacecraft , is based in the Moscow suburb of Korolev .

Financial services

About 80 percent of the country's financial potential is concentrated in Moscow. Two thirds of the total amount of foreign investment in the Russian economy goes to the capital. Moscow is thus the largest field of activity for foreign investors. In the city there are around 18,500 commercial establishments, restaurants and service companies, 9,000 retail objects and around 150 markets in which around one million people are employed. There are around 1200 banks, over 60 insurance companies, and several dozen stock exchanges in the city. Moscow contributes around a quarter of all state budget revenues.


GUM department store at New Year's time

Today the city offers - in contrast to Soviet times - a variety of shopping opportunities. The choice and diversity are far greater than in other cities in Russia, but Moscow's price level is one of the highest in the country. Many shops and department stores in Moscow are open not only from Monday to Saturday, but also on Sundays, and large supermarkets are usually open around the clock. An export permit is required for antiques, works of art, manuscripts and other valuable items that cannot be bought in souvenir shops. Popular souvenirs are matryoshkas (brightly painted wooden dolls), carved toys and caskets with fairy tale motifs and paintings on wood or enamel .

The largest and most famous department store in Moscow and one of the largest in the world is the GUM department store . It is located right on Red Square, opposite the Lenin Mausoleum and the Kremlin, right in the heart of Moscow. Originally known as the “Obere Handelsreihen”, it was built between 1890 and 1893 by the architect Alexander Pomeranzew and the engineer Vladimir Schuchow in the neo-Russian style, a neo-classical variety with strong Russian-traditionalist influences.

The trendy Arbat district

Two of the most popular shopping streets in Moscow are Nowy Arbat, an important thoroughfare west of the Kremlin, and Arbat Street, a street parallel to Nowy Arbat and the oldest pedestrian street in Moscow. Tverskaya Street , running north from Red Square, is the city's most posh shopping street and the address of some expensive boutiques . You can buy classic Russian fashion at Valentin Yudashkin on Kutuzov Prospect , one of Moscow's most impressive shopping streets.

Many established foreign retail chains are now also present in Moscow (and increasingly in other major Russian cities), such as Metro Cash & Carry , Real , Marktkauf , Spar , Auchan , Obi and IKEA . Every year new shopping centers are built on the major roads to and from Moscow as well as on the outer MKAD ring road , offering every convenience and meeting every shopping requirement. The chain of mega-malls " Mega " is particularly popular, offering not only diverse shopping opportunities, but also a wide entertainment program with multiplex cinemas and artificial ice rinks.

High sales are also achieved in the markets, such as the Cherkisovo market in the east of the city , which was closed in June 2009, or the Luzhniki market near the Olympic Stadium .

IT and communication technology

The Skolkowo Innovation Center in the making.

In recent years Moscow has also developed into an important location for IT and communication technology. In addition to numerous domestic, Russian software and computer companies, such as 1C , Kaspersky Lab , ABBYY , Yandex , Luxoft , Softline or Rover Computers, which are based in Moscow, a large number of international companies, such as Intel or Hewlett-Packard , operate research and development centers in the Russian capital. The wireless service providers Mobile TeleSystems , MegaFon and Beeline also have their headquarters in Moscow.

The district Zelenograd was from the 1960s as a "Russian Silicon Valley developed" and became an important center of the semiconductor industry. It is the headquarters of the National Research University for Electronic Technology (MIET), the MSABA business school and the Sitronics company . The internationally acclaimed innovation center Skolkowo is to be built in the Moscow suburb of Skolkowo and will also become a center of the digital and IT industry.


The city's range of restaurants is barely manageable, new locations are always in vogue, others are closed again. The prices are very different. There are restaurants that serve entertainment, bars, cafes, luxury restaurants, but also fast-food chains, self-service restaurants and canteens.

One of the most famous dishes is borscht , a Ukrainian soup made from beetroot , which is also popular in Russia and Poland, and is served hot with sour cream to the guest in the restaurant. Known worldwide are Bœuf Stroganoff (sliced ​​beef fillet, braised in a sour sauce), Ikra or Krasnaja Ikra (black or red caviar ), Bliny (the Russian word for pancake , a type of crêpes usually served with caviar or salmon and sour cream) and Oladji ( sweet pancakes with jam filling). Blintschiki (a variation of pancakes) made from semolina or buckwheat with a sweet sauce are particularly popular for dessert .

Infrastructure and quality of life

Employment rate

Until the outbreak of the international economic crisis in late 2008, Moscow was almost at full employment . The average monthly gross income in 2006 was around 850 euros. What is not taken into account is the fact that a high proportion of wages are still paid in the black; effectively, the wage bill is likely to be 30 to 100 percent above the official figures. At the end of April 2009, according to official information, a good 50,000 people in Moscow were registered as unemployed; according to trade union information, it was around six times more. An official quota of 2.9 percent had been announced for 2017.

Standard of living

In Moscow, the standard of living improved significantly in the 2000s. Since the early 1990s, the city has developed from one of the cheapest to one of the most expensive cities in the world. In terms of the value of the consumer basket, which contains over 150 main items, it ranks first in Europe and is only second to the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka . About five to ten percent of Moscow's population belong to the affluent or rich class. This means that around one million people have high purchasing power. Around 40 percent of the population, around four million people, belong to the new middle class.

Real estate prices

Real estate prices are exorbitantly high, especially in the center of Moscow: In the administrative districts on the outskirts of the city, apartments cost around 4,000 dollars per square meter in 2010, while purchase prices of 8,000 to 8500 dollars per square meter were common in the city center. A 117-square-meter apartment in the center of Moscow with a Russian fit-out standard therefore costs around one million dollars. At the beginning of 2018, the Kommersant Areale presented prices in excess of 12,000 euros per square meter up to a maximum of 25,000 euros per square meter. Outside the ring road and in poor quality, apartments could be bought for 1,400 euros per square meter, in the Jaroslawski administrative district on the city limits just before Mytishchi and still without sufficient underground connections, they cost around 2,000 euros.

The costs in partially good locations were also a main point of criticism in the planned demolition of around 8,000 prefabricated buildings from the 1960s with 600,000 apartments - a tenth or more of the total living space in Moscow. The rights of residents and homeowners in the renovation zones have been restricted. The " Khrushchevki " buildings from the Khrushchev era of the K-7 type at the time were built in a very short time - the construction of a K-7 was possible in two weeks at best. The number of houses to be demolished was later corrected to below 5000. The demolition was sealed by parliament in June 2017 and put into effect by Russian President Putin in July . The suspicion of speculation arose; in Russia, corruption is generally associated with construction activity.

Waste problem

There will be no managed waste disposal until 2018. All waste from the metropolis is dumped unseparated on the outskirts of Moscow. The landfill closest to the city was closed by the Russian President Putin in July 2017 in a “caring manner” with the only effect that the garbage ended up in other landfills. Thus began the problems with the landfill in Volokolamsk . 100 kilometers west of Moscow, whose own problems had been known for a long time: there were small demonstrations due to pungent smells as early as the beginning of 2017. On March 3, 2018, no less than 5,000 people demonstrated in the city of 24,000 inhabitants, i.e. a good quarter of the population. A short time later the school even had to be closed and 50 children had to be treated in the hospital. The anti-government journalist Julija Latynina pointed out another political aspect; Waste separation has something to do with civil responsibility , and citizens who want to take on civil responsibility are not comfortable with authoritarian authorities.


Print media

In the print media, the tabloids Moskovsky Komsomolets and Komsomolskaya Pravda rank first and second in terms of readership, followed by the former communist newspapers Trud , Izvestia and Pravda . Izvestia is generally considered to be the most serious newspaper in Moscow. It broke with its communist past and is now a recognized source of information for a wide audience. Novaya Gazeta is known for anti-government and investigative journalism .

The business newspaper Kommersant is the leader in terms of advertising revenue, but is fighting a tough battle with its toughest competitor, the business newspaper “ Vedomosti ”. The newspaper “Is ruk w ruki”, a kind of swap exchange with hundreds of small advertisements, is one of the most widely read newspapers.

In the weekly and monthly magazine segment, glossy magazines with different orientations can continuously increase their readership. Numerous specialist journals appear in Moscow, including the Literaturnaja Gazeta, which was founded in 1830 .

Internet newspapers, such as, and, have also been gaining in importance recently. The Moskowskije Novosti , the Argumenty nedeli and the Argumenty i Fakty appear weekly .

There is also a foreign language press in Moscow. The German-language weekly newspapers include the Moskauer Deutsche Zeitung and the Moskauer Nachrichten , while the English-language daily newspapers are The Moscow Times and The Moscow Tribune .


Numerous radio stations broadcast in Moscow. This also includes “ Echo Moskwy ” (“Echo Moscow”) with a unique format. The station broadcasts almost no music, but is known as a critical news and discussion channel.

When non-state media were first permitted in 1990 under Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Union , a group of journalists founded the Echo Moscow radio station. The employees are still proud of their number one broadcast license. Alexei Wenediktov is the editor-in-chief. Today the station belongs to the quasi-state energy giant Gazprom, and yet it has largely managed to maintain its editorial independence. In Moscow, the station has around 500,000 listeners.

Almost every apartment in Moscow still has a wire radio connection with three channels, which dates back to the Soviet era. Since it is relatively inexpensive, many residents do not deregister it even though they do not use it. The first two channels broadcast the state broadcasters “ Radio Rossii ” (“Radio Russia”) and “Radio Mayak” (“Radio Lighthouse”), which broadcast a wide range of information that is close to the government. The commercial music channel “ Jewropa Pljus ” is activated on the third channel .

watch TV

Muscovites are heavily focused on television. The two state-run national television channels “ Pervy kanal ” (first program) and “ Rossija ” (second program) are market leaders in Moscow. They broadcast a wide range of news and entertainment and try to satisfy the taste of the average person. The non-commercial television channel " Rossija K " only broadcasts cultural contributions, while the channel " Euronews " is on during the day .

The non-state television broadcaster NTW , which can also be received across the country, has lost market share since it was acquired by Gazprom , the world's largest natural gas company, in which the Russian state owns 51 percent of the shares. There are other smaller private TV channels in the city, as well as the music channels MTV and Mus-TV, as well as a number of regional channels.

A total of more than ten stations can be received via antenna. The programs on offer range from old Soviet films to news and Hollywood productions (the latter are mostly broadcast in poor synchronization). Foreign television stations can only be received by satellite dish antenna, because cable television is not yet very widespread.


Long-distance transport

Yaroslavl station, starting point of the Trans-Siberian Railway

Its central location predestines Moscow to be the most important traffic junction for road, rail, ship and international air traffic in the European part of the country. A canal system connects the city with five seas ( White Sea , Baltic Sea , Black Sea , Azov Sea and Caspian Sea ), which is why Moscow is also known as the “port of the five seas”.

Moscow has four international airports : Sheremetyevo (opened in 1960), Domodedovo (1964), Vnukowo (1941) and Zhukovsky (1941, passenger flights from 2016). Bykowo Airport , which replaced Moscow's oldest passenger airport on the Khodynka field from 1933 , was last used exclusively for domestic flights and closed in 2010. From 2016, the Zhukovsky airport, located a few kilometers southwest of Bykowo, took over its role when a passenger terminal was opened at the military airport. The original Ostafjewo military airfield, built in 1934, has been used for civilian purposes since 2000 and is primarily used for business aviation .

All the main rail lines in the European part of Russia converge in Moscow . The city is the largest railway junction in the country with several marshalling yards . Other transport links run in a star shape to Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus. The city is the administrative seat of the Moscow Regional Directorate of the Russian State Railways . The directorate not only operates all railway lines and the associated infrastructure in the greater Moscow area, but also an almost 9,000-kilometer-long rail network.

Moscow does not have a main train station for passenger traffic. However, some important train stations are right next to each other on Komsomolskaya Square : the Leningrad train station for traffic to Saint Petersburg ( Nikolai Railway ), the Yaroslavl train station for the Trans-Siberian Railway (to Vladivostok on the Sea of ​​Japan ) and the Kazan train station for traffic towards of the Volga republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan . Also of importance are the Kiev train station for traffic to Ukraine , the Kursk train station and the Pavelets train station for trains to southern Russia, the Riga train station for trains to Latvia and the Belarusian train station for trains to Central / Western Europe and Kaliningrad . The Sawjolowoer Bahnhof , formerly a long-distance station for trains to Rybinsk , is now only used for regional traffic. All long-distance train stations with the exception of the Riga train station are connected by a ring-shaped underground line ( Kolzewaya line ).

Around Moscow, there is a highway-like-developed highway ring ( MKAD , of "Московская кольцевая автомобильная дорога"), which has a circumference of 108.9 kilometers and was completed in the 1962nd MKAD is crossed by several federal highways: M1 Belarus , which leads west to Minsk in Belarus , M2 Crimea , which runs through Ukrainian territory to Crimea , M3 Ukraine , which connects Moscow with Ukraine , M4 Don , which extends to the Black Sea coast , M5 Ural , which is part of the transcontinental road connection from Moscow to Vladivostok , M7 Volga , which connects the Russian capital through the eponymous Volga region with Ufa west of the Urals , M8 Cholmogory , which runs in a northeastern direction via Yaroslavl and Vologda to Arkhangelsk and on to Severodvinsk on the White Sea , the M9 Baltija , which runs via Velikije Luki to the Latvian border , and the M10 Rossija , which leads in a north-westerly direction via Tver and Veliky Novgorod to Saint Petersburg .

Local transport

Moscow metro station "Arbatskaya"
Moscow monorail

The inner car traffic through the Strait rings Boulevard Ring (Russ. "Бульварное кольцо"), the Garden Ring (Russ. "Садовое кольцо") as well as those taken in 2003 in operation, 36-kilometer Third Transport Ring (Russ. "Третье транспортное кольцо") in downtown and the MKAD ring road on the outskirts of the city. Since 2007, the road rings were to be expanded to include another motorway ring (the fourth traffic ring ), the construction of which, however, was stopped in 2011 due to the enormous costs. Further relief and ring roads are planned because the road network is overloaded. There are often long traffic jams on the motorway rings and the arterial roads.

Moscow has an efficient system of underground railways called the Moscow Metro . Construction began in 1932 and the first section of the route opened on May 15, 1935. Today a network of 317.5 kilometers with 14 lines and 238 stations is in operation. Eight to nine million people are transported every day. At rush hour, trains on some lines run every 90 seconds, and even during normal traffic times, the distance between trains on most lines is no more than two to three minutes.

Some stations of the metro are lavishly decorated with mosaics, bronze statues and marble . In the event of a defense, the deeper stations can be used as bunkers by sealing the entrances and route tunnels by closing the appropriate bulkheads. During the bombing raids in World War II, metro stations were used as hospitals and command posts, among other things.

The main feeder of the metro in Moscow is the Moscow tram , alongside urban and private bus routes . The first ran on June 22, 1872 as a horse-drawn tram ; the electric operation of the tram began on April 6, 1899. The inner-city rail traffic in Moscow will also be supplemented by local trains and the new monorail . City bus and tram operations are handled by the state-owned transport company Mosgortrans . In 1924 the first buses and on November 15, 1933 the first trolleybus drove in Moscow. The city had the longest trolleybus network in the world, and the last trolleybus routes were closed on the night of August 25, 2020.


Lomonosov University

80 universities with around 250,000 students who are trained in 380 different disciplines, and over 1,000 research institutes and design offices make Moscow the outstanding center of scientific life. There are also around 4,000 libraries in the city, with a book inventory of around 400 million copies of various types of printed matter.

The city's excellent educational and research institutions include the famous Lomonosov State University , the State Technical University of Construction (MSUCE), the Moscow State Technological University “Stankin” , the University of Mining, the Institute of Crystallography of the Academy of Sciences the Russian University of Aerospace (MAI) , the Educational Moscow State University , the Bauman Moscow State Technical University , the Russian peoples' Friendship University , the National Academy of food industry and the University of power engineering (MEI).

Founded in 1919, the state-run Gerasimov Institute for Cinematography (WGIK) is the first film school in the world.

Lomonosov University is the largest and oldest university in Russia. It was founded on January 25, 1755 by decree of Elizabeth I at the suggestion of the polymath and writer Michail Lomonossow . Many Soviet and Russian personalities from politics, art and science graduated from this university, including ex-head of state Mikhail Gorbachev. Around 40,000 students from all fields are currently enrolled there.

Art, culture and tourism


Bolshoi Theater
19th century building

The Bolshoi Theater ("Great Theater") in Moscow is the most famous theater in the city. It has existed since 1776. At that time, Prince Peter Urussow received the sole right from the Tsar to stage plays and singing plays in Moscow. The first actors were serfs of the prince.

The performances initially took place in a private house, and the theater was not built at the current location until 1780. The structure stands on wooden stakes in a swampy part of central Moscow. At first the theater was named after the street “Petrovsky Theater” that passed by. In the 18th century, mainly operas by Russian composers were performed, but also dramas and ballets.

In 1805 the theater building burned down and was rebuilt 20 years later by the architect Joseph Bové . It was only then that it was given the name “Bolshoi Theater”. On January 18, 1825, the new Bolshoi Theater was reopened with the prologue The Triumph of the Muses to the music of Alexei Werstowski and Alexander Aljabjew . In 1853 another fire destroyed the interior of the theater. Thereupon the architect Albert Cavos furnished the building even more preciously. This facility has been preserved to this day, apart from minor changes. Thanks to its extraordinary architecture in the style of Russian classicism , the Bolshoi Theater is one of the most beautiful theaters in the world today.

Today around 900 actors, dancers, singers and musicians work there. The stars are mostly on tour around the world and therefore rarely to be found in Moscow. The Bolshoi Theater is now home to one of the oldest and best ballet companies in the world, the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet .

Other well-known theaters in Moscow are, for example, the Vakhtangov Theater on old Arbat Street, the Chekhov Art Theater founded in 1897 and the Taganka Theater, which became famous in the later Soviet era .


State History Museum on Red Square
Tsaritsyno Museum

Among the many museums in the city, the “ Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts” is particularly worth seeing with excellent exhibits on the cultural history of antiquity, the Renaissance and a wide range of paintings by mainly Western European artists.

The " Tretyakov Gallery " in the historic Samoskvorechye district is the largest museum of Russian national art and presents more than 100,000 paintings, graphics and sculptures from the 11th century to the present day. The gallery was built in 1902 by the Russian merchant Pavel Tretyakov (1832–1898). A passionate collector, Tretyakov began to acquire the works of contemporary Russian painters in 1856. In 1892 his collection, which now also included icons , was around 2000 works. In the same year he donated his collection to the city of Moscow.

After Tretyakov's death, the museum was run by the City Duma . The members of the Duma mostly included Russian artists such as Ilya Ostruchow. After the October Revolution in 1917, the gallery gained national status. From 1920 to 1930 collections from numerous other museums were transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery. In the mid-1930s, extensive expansions were made due to the lack of space that came with the constant increase in space. Due to the large number of visitors, a further renovation and expansion took place in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1995 a department for modern art opened.

The panorama of the Battle of Borodino , created by Franz Roubaud (1856–1928), in the Borodino Panorama Museum , the State Historical Museum on Red Square or one of the numerous art exhibitions is also worth a visit .

East of the city center, in the former Andronnikow Monastery, is the museum of the painter Andrei Rublev (1360–1430), in which the master of Russian icon painting and founder of the Moscow school of painting lived, died and was also buried as a monk in the 15th century. The museum houses icon painting from the 14th to 17th centuries.

One of the most beautiful monasteries in Moscow is the Novodevichy Convent on the right bank of the Moscow River, southwest of the city center. For 400 years it has witnessed historical events related to personalities such as Ivan the Terrible , Boris Godunov and Peter the Great . The architectural entirety of the monastery was created at the end of the 17th century and is still one of the best of its kind in Russia. In the Smolensk Cathedral you can see a valuable wall painting from the 16th century and a magnificent iconostasis with the icons of the most famous imperial lords of the time. Close to the monastery is the Novodevichy Cemetery of Honor , where numerous famous personalities have found their final resting place.


The numerous buildings worth seeing include many testimonies of architecture from the past and present, monuments to famous writers, scholars and statesmen as well as monuments and memorials in honor of great historical events. The Kremlin and Red Square are available on the 1990 UNESCO list of World Heritage . The Russian Orthodox Church alone has renovated around 1,000 churches and built 200 new churches in the greater Moscow area since 1990.

The Kremlin

Visitor entrance to the Kremlin

An important architectural and historical monument is the Kremlin , the oldest part of Moscow. The seat of the Russian President is located there. The walls and 19 towers that have been preserved to this day were built in the 15th century and were a considerable fortification at that time.

The oldest monuments preserved are the Dormition Cathedral of 1479, the Cathedral of the Annunciation of 1489 and the Archangel Cathedral from the year 1509, the Church of the Deposition of the Robe of 1486, the Palace of Facets from 1491 and the 80 meter high Ivan the Great (Kolokolnja Iwana Velikogo) bell tower from 1508.

Iconostasis inside the Cathedral of the Annunciation

Later, the church was added to the twelve apostles with the Patriarch 's Palace and the Terem Palace , both built in the 17th century, the Arsenal from 1736, the Senate Palace from 1787 and the Great Kremlin Palace completed in 1849 . Lenin lived and worked in the Senate Palace from 1918 to 1922 . His study and apartment there are now faithfully recreated in Lenin's former suburban residence Gorki Leninsky .

Tsar cannon in the Kremlin

The building of the Armory Chamber from 1851 contains a unique museum with collections of ancient weapons and war trophies, the largest collection of tsarist robes, insignia, throne chairs, carriages and other masterpieces of Russian and foreign handicrafts associated with the history of Russia. Not far from the Ivan the Great bell tower are the Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell , unique monuments of Russian foundry art from the 16th to 18th centuries.

In 1961 the Congress Palace was built on the Kremlin site , a functional and at the same time festive building, the large hall of which has a capacity of 6,000 people. Important public events and international congresses take place here, as well as plays, operas and ballet performances by the Bolshoi Theater.

The red place

Resurrection Gate on Red Square
Red Square, looking north

The Kremlin is bordered by Red Square , Moscow's main square, on which the Lenin Mausoleum is located. The name is derived from the Russian Krasnaya Ploshchad . The name Red Square is not politically motivated (from the time of the Soviet Union ) and does not refer to the color of the Kremlin walls and towers, which were painted white until the 19th century. The name comes from the 16th century and actually means "beautiful place". Although krasnaja meant "beautiful" in Old Russian, "red" has become the main meaning of this word in Russian today. The name of the square is mostly understood by the Russians in the new sense and is translated accordingly in German as "red".

There are some graves next to the square. In the Kremlin wall are urns embedded with the ashes of famous personalities from politics, science and culture; for example by Josef Stalin and Yuri Gagarin . St. Basil's Cathedral , built in 1561, and a monument to Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitri Poscharsky , the leaders of the Nizhny Novgorod People's Army and heroes of the war of liberation against the Polish-Belarusian intervention at the beginning of the 17th century, stand on Red Square ; the monument (see Minin and Poscharsky monument ) was completed in 1818 by Ivan Petrovich Martos (1754-1835).

Other distinctive buildings on Red Square are the GUM department store and the historical museum building - both built at the end of the 19th century in a style heavily based on old Russian architecture - as well as the Kazan Cathedral , which was originally built in the early 17th century, during the Soviet era demolished and rebuilt in 1993. Also destroyed in the 1930s and rebuilt after the collapse of the Soviet Union is the Resurrection Gate from 1680, which is located at the northern entrance to Red Square.

On the Kremlin wall in the Alexander Garden is the tomb of the unknown soldier , a memorial erected in 1967 for the fallen of the Second World War . Very close to the Kremlin and Red Square, adjacent to the former Hotel Rossija , some of the oldest stone buildings of Kitai-Gorod , Moscow's old town, have been preserved - among them the buildings of the old tsar's court, built between the 16th and 18th centuries. Century, the house of the boyar Romanov, the Church of Anne from the 15th century and other interesting churches and houses.

Tverskaya Street

Tverskaya Street

The route to Tver and on to Saint Petersburg begins on Tverskaya Street , just a few hundred meters from the Kremlin wall. Tatjana Larina, the heroine of the novel " Eugene Onegin " by Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837), once drove into the city here. In the 1930s and 1940s the street was expanded and new buildings were built on, some old ones moved from their location and moved into the depths of the residential areas. The street is now a gathering place for luxury hotels, bars, restaurants and retail stores.

In 1782, the Moscow City Hall was built here based on a design by the architect Matwei Kazakow (1733–1812). The equestrian statue of the city's founder, Yuri Dolgoruki, rises across from the town hall . The monuments of the Russian poets Alexander Pushkin and Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893–1930), made by the sculptors Alexander Opekuschin in 1880 and Alexander Kibalnikow in 1958, stand at the intersection of the street with the boulevard and the garden ring.

Boulevard and garden ring

An Art Nouveau building on the Boulevard Ring

The streets and squares of the city center frame numerous other architectural and historical monuments from the 15th to 18th centuries. At the end of the 16th century, the center of Moscow was surrounded by a nine-kilometer-long city wall with around 30 towers, which has not been preserved. The boulevard ring was built in their place .

Beyond the city wall, the city was also surrounded by an earth wall about 16 kilometers long with palisades and wooden defensive towers. The former course of the moat is marked today by the garden ring , from which Moscow's largest streets start in a star shape. The Komsomolskaya Square just outside the Garden Ring represents the Haupteisenbahntor capital and is one of belebtesten places of Moscow. From the three stations located here, railway lines diverge in different directions.

The building ensemble of the square is impressive. Famous architects took part in its creation. Konstantin Thon designed the Nikolai train station (now Leningrad train station ), which was completed in 1851 , Fyodor Schechtel designed the Yaroslavl train station from 1904, Alexei Shtusev designed the Kazan train station and the club building, which opened in 1926, and Leonid Polyakov designed the 28-storey hotel "Leningradskaya" from 1953.

Moscow City

The largest construction project in Europe is currently located five kilometers west of the Kremlin. Moscow had already dreamed of a “Russian Manhattan ” in the 1990s , but the project was stopped for the time being due to lack of funds. With the economic boom and through private investments, the first skyscraper was completed in 2001 , now almost all projects are under construction. This should meet the huge demand for office buildings in Moscow. The completion of all buildings was originally planned for 2012; the cost amount to over twelve billion dollars .

Moscow City also includes the “ Federazija ” twin towers designed by German architects , in German “Federation”, for which the foundation stone was laid in 2005. In the course of the financial crisis, however, it became known in December 2009 that both towers of the "Federazija" will be only 243 meters high instead of the originally planned 360 meters (with antenna 506 meters) for one of the two towers. The tallest building in Moscow (and Europe) remained the 339 meter high Mercury City Tower . In 2017, however, one of the two Federazija towers was completed with a height of 374 meters, while the smaller tower remained at 243 meters.

Other structures

The Ostankino television tower

Also worth seeing are the "Ostankino Castle", a unique architectural monument from the 18th century; the 1967 Ostankino television tower ; the Schuchow radio tower from 1922 and the octod transmission tower modeled on it and completed in 2006 ; the GUM department store on Red Square, built between 1888 and 1893 , the largest of its kind in Russia; the Arbat , an old historical district, mentioned for the first time in 1493; the Cathedral of Christ the Savior , reopened in 2000; and the seven "skyscraper", built in wedding-cake style , known as "Stalin finger" or " Seven Sisters called" such as the Hotel Ukraina , the State Department and the Moscow State University .

With a height of 537 meters, the Moscow TV tower in Ostankino is the second highest in the world. The destination in the north of the city was built between 1960 and 1967. After the fire in August 2000, the viewing platform was restored to a height of 337 meters in June 2001 and is now open to visitors again after being closed for a long time. Several high-speed elevators take tourists up in 58 seconds. In a storm, the spire can swing out more than ten meters.

Right next to the television tower and the Ostankino television center is the old noble residence Ostankino . In past epochs the palace had served the Russian princely family Sheremetev as a country residence. After the October Revolution, the "Museum for the Art of the Serfs " was established here.

Lomonosov University is just outside the city center. The 240-meter-high central building of the university, built between 1949 and 1953, around which four 17-storey side wings are grouped, is unmistakable above the Moskva. About 30,000 students are enrolled here, and to visit each of the 45,000 rooms one would have to cover a distance of 145 kilometers. Close by is the Luzhniki Sports Park - the most important venue for the 1980 Olympic Games - with the Luzhniki Stadium , which can accommodate 84,000 guests and was built in 1955 and 1956, several smaller competition facilities and the Luzhniki Sports Palace for 17,000 spectators.

The 95-meter-high monument to Peter I at a division of the Moscow River is one of the tallest statues in the world .


The Kolomenskoye Open Air Museum

The " Gorky Park for Culture and Recreation " is the most popular of around 100 parks in Moscow. It is located in the center of the city, on the banks of the Moscow River. There were numerous attractions, a boat station, bars, restaurants, cafes and, in winter, ice rinks. Since the summer of 2011, the attractions have been dismantled for safety reasons. A "green area" should be created.

Artists perform on the open-air stages, folk amusements take place on festive days and colorful fireworks are set off. The older part of the park is the pleasure garden (Neskutschny sad) with picturesque hills, groves and small bridges. The manor gardens of the Moscow nobility were located here in the 18th century. Further south, the pleasure garden turns into the Sparrow Hills (Vorobjowy gory) , a densely green hilly landscape from which a view of Moscow city center opens up.

In the southeast of the city, above the Moskva , there is Kolomenskoye Park , now an open-air museum . The Church of the Assumption of Christ, the first Russian tent roof church made of stone, is particularly famous here.

In the northeast of the city is the 300 hectare “ Sokolniki Park for Culture and Recreation” in a beautiful forest landscape. Moscow's largest recreational park - it covers around 1,800 hectares - is located in the very north-eastern outskirts, the " Park of Ismailovo ", the former amusement park of the last Tsar dynasty; a few feudal buildings, including a baroque cathedral from the end of the 17th century, have been preserved between modern cafes, pavilions and the like.

Also worth mentioning are the park of Kuskowo in the east of the city - a palace park , partly built in the English and French style - as well as the parks of Tsaritsyno , Fili and Ostankino with the attached botanical garden .



Luzhniki Stadium

In the course of its history, the city of Moscow has repeatedly hosted world and European championships and other international competitions, such as the XXII. Olympic Games 1980. The city has more than 6000 sports facilities, including about 100 stadiums, six sports palaces, over 180 swimming pools, more than 2500 sports halls and gyms, 3500 sports fields, the Krylatskoje rowing canal , several sports complexes, a water stadium, Velodrom Velodrome Krylatskoje and 60 shooting ranges.

The largest stadiums in the capital are:

  • the Luzhniki Stadium with 84,000 seats, which was opened in 1956 and expanded for the 1980 Olympic Games;
  • the Dynamo Stadium with 51,000 seats, has sports halls, swimming pools, playing fields, training fields etc .;
  • the new locomotive stadium , the oval of the Lokomotiv Moscow club built in 1923 , which was given a general overhaul at the beginning of the new millennium. Today the stadium has a capacity of 33,979 seats.

The reconstruction of the territories and the stadiums "Dynamo" and "Imeni E. Strelzowa" are also being carried out. In August 2014 the “ Otkrytije Arena ” stadium was put into operation, in August 2016 the “Arena CSKA” and in 2017 “Luzhniki”. The Premier League games are held in the "Lokomotiw". In 2018, “Luzhniki” and “Otkrytije Arena” became venues for the 2018 World Cup; The opening game and the final took place in "Luschniki".

The Moscow Hippodrome, founded in 1834, is the oldest and largest horse racing track in Russia. In July 2016, the U-20 Women's Handball World Championship 2016 was held in Moscow .


Moscow hosted the Chess Olympiads in 1956 and 1994 . The Aeroflot Open is a chess tournament held annually in Moscow and sponsored by the Russian airline Aeroflot . It was held for the first time in 2002 and developed into one of the most popular tournaments of the year.


The locomotive stadium was one of the most modern arenas in the country at the time. It was inaugurated on July 5, 2002 with the soccer league game Lokomotiv Moscow against FK Uralan . In addition to the home games of the Lokomotiv Moscow club, international matches of the Russian national team , finals of the Russian soccer cup and a few European cup matches of various Moscow clubs take place here.

The Moscow clubs dominated the highest Soviet and Russian football leagues for decades . Only recently have they had to fight off the well-known competition from St. Petersburg. The main Moscow football teams are Spartak - serial champions in the 1990s -, CSKA , which won the 2004/05 UEFA Cup , Lokomotive - multiple cup winners - Dynamo and Torpedo .

Moscow was one of the venues for the 2018 World Cup , as the only city with two stadiums: the converted Luzhniki Olympic Stadium and the Otkrytije Arena , built in 2014 and also for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup . The finals of the 1998/99 UEFA Cup and the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League have already taken place in Luzhniki .


The top Russian basketball club PBK CSKA Moscow won the EuroLeague in 2006 , 2008 and 2016 . Even the BC Dynamo Moscow was the ULEB Cup in 2006 win. The women's basketball world championships were held in the city in 1959 and 1986 . In addition, found basketball European championships the men's 1953 and 1965 and European Championship Women 1952 in Moscow.

ice Hockey

In the Continental Hockey League , the city is represented by HK Spartak Moscow , HK CSKA Moscow , the dominant team in the Soviet ice hockey league , and HK Dynamo Moscow . Also, is HK Krylya Sovetov Moscow City resident. The ice hockey world championship was played in Moscow in 1957 , 1973 , 1979 , 1986 , 2007 and 2016 . The Izvestia Cup is organized as part of the Euro Hockey Tour and is an annual ice hockey tournament in Moscow and other Russian locations , in which the national teams from Sweden , Finland , Russia (formerly USSR ) and the Czech Republic (formerly ČSSR ) usually take part. The very first KHL All-Star Game was hosted on January 10, 2009 at temperatures around −10 ° C in front of 2,500 spectators.


The bandy club Dynamo Moscow takes part in the game operations of the super league . The team has won the Soviet and Russian championships several times, has won the Bandy World Cup and the European Cup several times and plays its home games in the Krylatskoje Ice Palace . Moscow hosted the World Bandy Championships in 1965 , 1973 , 1989 , 2008 and 2010 .


The first international tennis tournament in Russia, the men's tennis tournament Kremlin Cup , has been held in the Russian capital since 1990 - in the Olympic Hall in Moscow, the Olimpijski sports complex . Women also play for the Kremlin Cup , a women's tennis tournament on the WTA Tour . An annual Hoff Open tournament has been held in Moscow since 2015 .


Moscow is the birthplace of numerous prominent personalities. See: List of Sons and Daughters of Moscow

See also


Web links

Portal: Moscow  - Articles, pictures and more about Moscow
Commons : Moscow  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
File category Files: Moscow  - local collection of images and media files
Wikiquote: Moscow  - Quotes
Wiktionary: Moscow  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Moscow  - travel guide
 Wikinews: Moscow  - on the news

Individual evidence

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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on September 4, 2005 in this version .