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Москва - Moscow

The capital of Russia is Moscow. Moscow was first mentioned in annals in 1147. The city was founded by Yuri Dolgorukiy.

There are lots of stories explaining the origin of its name. Some scientists consider that the word “Moskva” goes back to the Sarmatian language and is translated “bend”. There is also a legend that the founder of the city was not Yuri Dolgorukiy, but prince Mos who was a grandson of biblical Noy, and his wife Kva. But of course this is far from the truth.

Nowadays nearly thirteen million people live in Moscow including the suburbs. Lots of people come here yearly to stay and live with the aim of earning money. And that’s understanable because Moscow opens different perspectives which often can’t be compared with those offered in other country cities.

Lots of people come here to get education. There are a large amount of prestigious high schools which provide students with a high level of knowledge. No doubt that the main university in the city and in the country is Moscow State University named Lomonosov. It offers a wide range of specialities. Thousands of entrants dream to go here.

Muscovites quite often react negatively to the popularity of their city. Really, sometimes it seems that Moscow is overfilled. That is why traffic jams arise on the roads, prices on living places become higher etc. In addition, those people who come to Moscow create competition for city inhabitants, for example, jobs.

Most large cities in the world are situated near water. And the Russian capital is no an exception, because there is the river Moscow (Moskva). Actually in Russia it’s common for cities and the rivers running through to have the same name. The river Moscow plays quite an important role as a shipping canal. It connects the city with the Baltic, the Barentsev, the Azov, the Black and the Caspian seas. That is why Moscow is sometimes called the port of 5 seas.

And now let’s remember local tourist attractions. It’s likely that the first place you visit coming to Moscow will be the Red Square. Frankly speaking, only tourists usually walk on it. Muscovites are seen here much less often. The square has important historical meaning. Right here there is the frontal place where tsar decrees were read from. Also, pay attention to the amount of sightseeing situated near the square.

Red Square is near the Kremlin. The first Kremlin was built in 1368. It was made of white stone. And that is why Moscow was called 'white-stoned' in the past. The modern Kremlin was built of red bricks. Today the president and the government of Russian Federation work here. The clocks of the Spasskaya Tower can be called the clocks which drive Russia.

Also there is Vasiliy Blagenniy cathedral (St. Basil's) near the Red Square. It was built in the middle of the XVI century. Lots of arguments arise during discussions of the exterior of the cathedral. Some people even think that it doesn’t have any style. Others on the contrary see something unique in it.

There is a monument of Minin and Pogarskiy near the cathedral. This is the oldest Moscow monument. It was installed in honor of national home guard leaders releasing Moscow from Polish and Lithuanians in 1612.

Tourists have a big interest in Vladimir Lenin Mausoleum. To get there you’ll have to stay in a line even today.

The historical museum is situated not far from the Red Square. Here you can see a large number of interesting exhibits. No doubt art lovers should also visit the Tretyakovskaya Gallery. Founded by Pavel Tretyakov it totals 100 thousand works of Russian painters and sculptors today.

The Moscow metro deserves a word. Some people consider it the most beautiful one in the world. Each station has its peculiarities and doesn’t look like others. The first line of underground started working here in 1935. Nowadays the entire length of the underground lines is about 200 kilometers. You’ll meet a lot of people with books in their hands in the underground. This is so because they spend quite a big part of their day on transport and spend their free time here this way.

A walk on the Arbat will be memorable for tourists. Arbat is the main pedestrian street of the city. Perhaps that is the best place in Moscow where you can buy souvenirs from Russia. There are so many things you can find here! Nested dolls, wooden spoons, caps with earlaps, copies of World War II signs, all these are sold here. There is a great choice of places to eat on the Arbat. And those who have some free time even can ask local painters to make their portraits.

Of course there are lots of places which are worth visiting. Theatres of the capital deserve attention. The Bolshoy theatre is probably the most famous in Russia. Not far from it there is the Maliy theatre and others. In total 72 theatres operate in Moscow. Furthermore in Russian capital you’ll find lots of cathedrals, museums, monuments. It’s not likely that one visit to Moscow is enough to see even a half of its sights.

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The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners - Probably the best course in a book.

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