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Many tourists start their travel to Russia visiting Moscow – the political and financial capital of the Russian Federation.
Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city on the European continent. Its population counts more than 12 million residents within the city limits and over 16 million people within the urban area.
The city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its brightly colored domes and the impressive medieval city-fortress Kremlin, which is the seat of the Russian government. The Moscow Kremlin and the famous Red Square are some of the city sites considered as the World Heritage.
The city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail systemand one of the largest and busiest underground rapid transit systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, which is one of the tourist attractions as well due to the rich and impressive decoration of its numerous stations. Moscow is situated on the banks of the Moskva River, 49 bridgesspan the river and its canals within the city's limits. Therefore, it is possible to take boat tours in order to admire the gorgeous city from a different view.
The first known reference to Moscow dates from 1147 as a meeting place of Prince Yuri Dolgoruky and his relative Svyatoslav Olgovich, when Moscow was a minor town in the midst of boundless Russian forests. Thus in the 12th century the history of the biggest political, economic, cultural and scientific hub of Russia started with the city turned into a fortress, that in the 13th century became a well-defined town. In the 15thcentury Moscow became the capital of Russia.
Moscow's architecture is world-renowned. Moscow is the site of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its elegant onion domes, as well as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Seven Sisters – seven really impressive skyscrapers built at the times of Stalin that are scattered throughout the city at about an equal distance from the Kremlin. The Medieval Moscow's design had concentric shape with radial thoroughfares. This layout, as well as Moscow's rivers, defined the shape of the city in subsequent centuries. In old times the city’s architectural appearance was dominated by Orthodox churches, each city block was constructed so that people could see the golden domes of at least one from their windows. The the overall appearance of the city changed drastically during Soviet times, especially as a result of Joseph Stalin's large-scale effort to "modernize" Moscow. Nowadays Moscow is a huge city, where small historic churches, buildings, monuments, monasteries and big green parks neighbor with great skyscrapers, luxurious hotels and numerous modern constructions.
The vibrant city of Moscow gives various opportunities for leisure. There are lots of theatres (among them the world-famous ballet theatre Bolshoi), two permanent circuses, numerous museums of all kinds, a zoo, cinemas, concert halls, various sports facilities.
Moscow has a humid continental climate with long cold winters (with temperatures ranging from −25 °C (−13 °F) to above 5 °C (41 °F)) usually lasting from mid-November through the end of March, and warm summers (temperatures from 10 to 35 °C (50 to 95 °F)).
When planning your tour to Russia, start with taking a tour to Moscow!