Moscow, Russia

St. Basil's Cathedral Mscow, Russia
By David Crawshaw (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Moscow is the capital of and largest city in Russia. It is the economic, political and cultural center of Russia as well as the largest city in Europe. It is the home of the Kremlin, a fortified complex that contains four palaces, four cathedrals and various walls and towers. Today, the Kremlin serves as the ceremonial home of the Russian president. Moscow is one of the most expensive places in the world to live and has recently experienced a proliferation of billionaire residents. It is home to the Bolshoi Ballet, founded in the late 18th century and based at the Bolshoi Theatre. Moscow was the site in which Petipa's Don Quixote was first performed, also the site, in 1877, of the first production of Reisinger's and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.  

The first records of Moscow date back to 1147. Moscow became the capital of the principality of Muscovy and by the 15th century was the capital of the Russian state and the seat of the metropolitan (later patriarch) of the Russian Orthodox Church. The city was occupied by French forces under Napoleon in 1812 and was totally destroyed by fire. In 1918 it became the capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and rapidly expanded.


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