Moscow was founded 9 centuries ago by Prince Jury Dolgoruky. It was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1147, though the settlement had been there for some time before. Moscow was fortified and became a market town in the late 12 th century. The original settlement was founded where the Kremlin now stands. Moscow is located in the heart of European Russia. The city is situated on low hills on the banks of the Moskva River.
Now Moscow is the largest metropolitan area in Russia with the population of about 10 million people and one of the largest cities in the world. Its total area is about nine hundred square kilometres. Moscow is one of the world “s scientific and art centres. It is the seat of the Academy of sciences of Russia, the home of many colleges, thousands of schools, lots of research institutes. There are more than 100 museums and exhibition halls, dozens of theatres, hundreds of cinemas
and libraries. Moscow is rich in beautiful palaces, old mansions, cathedrals,
churches and monuments.
The largest museums are the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Tretyakov Gallery. The Pushkin Museum is situated in Volkhonka street. It has a fine collection of European painting and sculptures. The Tretyakov Gallery is famous for its unique collection of Russian art. Its founder, Pavel Tretyakov, began collecting the finest works of Russian artists in 1856. Thirty - six years later he presented the whole collection to the city of Moscow.
The collection of the Historical Museum covers the Russian historyfrom ancient times to the end of the 19 th century. This museum is situated on the north side of Red Square.
The heart of Moscow is Red Square. The cathedrals, palaces towers and buildings of the Kremlin are remarkable museums containing unique exhibits associated with Russian history. The Czar Bell and the Czar Cannon are the sights that attract many tourists as well. There are many towers in the Kremlin. The Spassky Tower is the tallest tower and it has become one of the symbols of Moscow. Red Square is one of the most beautiful squares in the world. In the
17 th century the square was called «red» which means «beautiful» in old Slavic. Here ceremonies and national celebrations take place. St. Basil’s Cathedral is on the south side of the square. The Cathedral was built in the 16 th century under Ivan the Terrible. The Russian masters Posnik and Barma built this architectural masterpiece.
The monument to Minin and Pozharsky is situated in front of the Cathedral. It is devoted to the victory of 1612 war against the Polish invaders. The monument was sculptured by Ivan Martos in classical style.
Not far in the Alexandrovsky Garden is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier made of marble. It is a holy place in Moscow. A perpetual flame burns on the tombstone which has the following inscription: «Your name is unknown but your heroic deed is immortal».
Teatralnaya Square is the centre of Russian theatrical culture, with the famous Bolshoy Theatre, the Maly Theatre, which is the oldest and largest drama theatre in the country and with the Children’s Theatre built in 1921.
The monument to A.N. Ostrovsky is in front of the Maly Theatre, and the monument to Karl Marx is the centre of the square opposite to the Bolshoy Theatre. But the most beautiful is the monument to Pushkin. It is situated in the centre of Pushkinskaya Square opposite to «Rossia» cinema. There are always many people around, some of them bring flowers to the monument.
Moscow is famous for its monuments. You can find here monuments to outstanding writers, poets, scientists.
Moscow is a city of students. There are over 80 higher educational institutions in it, including several universities. There is a 32-storey building of Moscow University in the South-West of Moscow. The University was named after M. Lomonosov and there is the monument to him in front of it. The University was constructed in 1949-53. Later in the 70-ties several new buildings were added.
The city also contains the Russian State Library, with one of the largest and richest archives in the world.
Moscow is the seat of the Russian Parliament (the Duma) and the centre of political life of the country.
to mention - упоминать
to be fortified - быть укрепленным
metropolitan area - район, где расположен город
unique - уникальный
masterpiece - шедевр
holy place - святое место
perpetual flame - вечный огонь
to be famous for - славиться чем-либо
to be named after - носить имя
opposite to - напротив