Moscow guide

Moscow guide

Mosow has so much to offer that you probably will experience a lack of time during your City break Moscow. If you are in Moscow for a long weekend, a good start to begin your City Break is the Red Square. Wherever you are in Moscow, the metro is never far away and will take you in no-time to the Okhotnyy Riad station. Here you can stroll on the Red Square and visit some of Moscow’s most interesting sites, such as the GUM for shopping (and get amazed by its ambiance), the St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Lenin Mausoleum, and of course the Kremlin and its Armoury. This will probably take your whole day, after which you can enjoy a good Russian meal in one of the numerous restaurants near the Red Square or the Arbat, Moscow’s most famous shopping street. After that you may enjoy some ballet, music or opera, or dive into the club scene of Moscow.

After you have seen the highlights near the Red Square, the metro itself is worthwhile exploring since it has some amazing stations that resemble a museum themselves. You can choose to spend the rest of your City break Moscow to visit some beautiful convents a bit out of the center, such as the Novodevichy Convent, or decide to pay a visit to the Moscow Zoo or one of the other amusement parks, or just knock yourself out in the numerous shops of Moscow, and make an extra stop at the Komsomolskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Kropotkinskaya or Mayakovskaya metro station (and yes, you will definitely impress the locals if you are able to remember that!).

History Moscow

The name Moscow is derived from the river Moskva that flows through the city. The first inhabitants were Slavic people from Eastern Europe, who settled at the river banks. They brought with them the Orthodox Christian religion, which is still very much alive in Russia. In de Middle Ages, Moscow was occupied by the almighty Mongolian empire. In the 14th century, the Russians managed to overrule the Mongolians, and Ivan the Great became the first ruler of the Russian empire. His ancestors reigned over Russia for the next centuries (although with quite some scandals and intrigues). Famous are the women that ruled Russia in the 18th century, Catharina I, Anna, Elizabeth and Catharina II. In 1812 Napoleon invaded Moscow and destroyed two third of the city, but the Kremlin turned out to be unconquerable for him, he lost 570.000 of his 600.000 men.

Tsar Nicolas II
Tsar Nicolas II was the last tsar of the Russian empire, after major political unrests he was forced to abandon the throne. Revolutionists took over and established the soviets, a sort of independent states. During this process, Lenin took over the power in 1917 and introduced the communism, succeeded by Stalin. Stalin ruled with an iron fist, rivals were killed and farmers had to give up all their properties to collective farms. Over ten million people died during his reign due to famine. He killed everybody he suspected to be an enemy.

Battle for Moscow
In 1941 Hitler attacked Moscow, but, just as Napoleon, he did not succeed in occupying the city. Twenty million Russians died in the battle for Moscow. Russia remained communistic until 1985, when Gorbatsjov came to power. Gorbatsjov introduced the perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openess). In 1991, Boris Jeltsin ended the Soviet Union. After this, Russia started to modernise very quickly (westernise if you like) and the standard of living in Russia and in Moscow improved immensely.

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