History of Moscow

The city’s glorious history covers more than eight and a half centuries. The city was repeatedly conquered, destroyed and born again from the ashes ... Moscow was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1147. This date is the year of birth of the city. But the foundation of Moscow is attributed to Suzdal prince Yuri Dolgoruky. In 1156 the Prince ordered to erect a new wooden fort, the future Moscow Kremlin, on the steep Borovitsky hill that towers above the Moskva River and the mouth of the river Neglinnaya, on the site of an ancient settlement.

Though being a remote region of Vladimir-Suzdal principality, by the early 13th century, the young Moscow turned into a huge medieval city - the symbol of Russian people and state. The ancestor of the dynasty of Moscow princes was the son of Alexander Nevsky, Daniil. It was he who made the first important steps towards the rising of Moscow in the 14th century by way of uniting fragmented Russian lands around Moscow, the future center of Russian state. Numerous enemies repeatedly tried to conquer Moscow. In 1238 Moscow was ruined by Batu Khan. In 1382 the Golden Horde Khan Tokhtamysh took Moscow by fraud. The Kremlin was burned to the ground. In 1365 Moscow was destroyed by the terrible fire.

During the reign of Grand Prince Ivan III (1462-1505), Moscow became the capital of the centralized state. Ivan III sought to turn Moscow into a “third Rome” in exchange of Constantinople, which had lost its significance. The capital of Russia grew fast due to the large-scale construction of fortifications and temples, grand restructuring of the Kremlin, and, above all, its cathedrals. At the same time the Red Square was shaping. The construction of Moscow was carried out in circular layout. Like ripples from the historical center of the capital, the ancient Kremlin, appeared the stone fortifications. Thus, the Kremlin wall was followed by China-town walls. Next came the wall of the White City; its outlines are now the Boulevard Ring of Moscow. The Boulevard Ring was followed by Earth wall, which gave birth to the Garden Ring. In the 15th century. Moscow became the largest cultural center with the territory and population surpassing London, Prague and other European cities. Since then, Moscow has been one of the largest cities in the world. For centuries it has remained the outstanding center for Russian culture, science and arts. It became the place of Russian publishing, the first theater in Russia, the first Russian university, and the first Russian newspaper. The history of Moscow remembers a lot: more than two and a half centuries of Mongol-Tatar yoke, the exhausting battle with the Polish-Lithuanian invaders, Napoleon's troops that burned the city, and the Nazis, who did not manage to even enter the city.