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Moscow, the capital of Russia is the country’s most populous city and Russia’s center of politics, science, culture, economics, religion, finance and entertainment. Moscow also holds the claim as the largest city in Europe. The municipality is massive, otherworldly and exciting. With some 12 million inhabitants, Moscow exhibits the best Russia has to offer along with some obvious blemishes. It’s a place where the unusual becomes ordinary. Over the ages, visitors to Moscow have traditionally thrown themselves into a culture of excess. Moscow's puritan stance in Soviet times has been wiped out with the fall of Communism and the city has reverted to the robust ways that the citizens and tourists have enjoyed since Moscow was first established. As another testament to its culture of extravagance, Moscow is home to the greatest number of billionaires, compared to any other city in the world.
Discovering the sprit of Moscow has been likened to opening an endless series of the iconic Matryoshka dolls; just when you think you’ve seen it all, there is more to examine. Moscow's geography mirrors its historical development. At Moscow’s heart is the Kremlin. Surrounding the city center are ring roads corresponding with the settlements of medieval times that were then rebuilt along European lines after the great fire of 1812 and heartlessly modernized in accordance with Stalin's vision of Moscow as the Mecca of Communism. Escaping to the outskirts, visitors will find the fortified monasteries that once guarded the city along with the former country estates of the Tsars and nobles within the 880-square-kilometer urban sprawl contained by Moscow Ring Road.
The Kremlin's cathedrals and houses of worship are convoluted, like its politics and history of religious tolerance and lack thereof. Government buildings and hotels the size of city blocks can be found throughout Moscow with such vestiges as the "Seven Sisters" – Stalin’s Gothic skyscrapers that hover over the city. Limousines cruise past peasants whose monthly incomes wouldn't cover the cost of one night on the town for the occupants of the chauffeured automobile. Moscow presents more casinos than any capital in the world. The citizens of Moscow escape from their chaotic lives in quaint churches, shady courtyards, at the friendly confines of steamy bathhouses and over tea or especially, vodka. Visitors enjoy emulating the lifestyles of Muscovites nearly as much as visiting the more famous tourist destinations.
The Metro train system for public transportation is efficient and dependable as the primary means to get around, roughly following the rings around the city. Favored places for tourists to visit include Gorky Park along the Moskva River, best approached through its huge entry gate; The Kremlin, Russia’s walled fortress that contains much of the country’s artifacts related to its history, politics and religion, including 3 palaces and 4 cathedrals; The Tetriakov Gallery, with its extensive collections by contemporary painters; The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the St. Peter’s Hermitage Museum along with the Maiakovsky Museum; The massive inner-city park, Tsaritsyno with its unfinished Gothic palaces and acres of cascading ponds; The Moscow Zoo, founded in 1864, home to more than 6,000 animals; Manege Square and historic Red Square with their extensive offerings of restaurants and nightclubs; Shopping for fashionable and trendy clothing and accessories at TsUM, an iconic Russian department store located in an architecturally significant building on Petrovka Street or at GUM Department Store along Red Square that doubles as a wonderful representation of Russian medieval architecture; Viewing performances by the world famous Bolshoi Ballet; Visiting theBulvar and dining at Café Pushkin; Spectating at Professional football, ice hockey, basketball, rugby and other team sports competitions.
A trip to Moscow may be just the entry that is missing from your list if you have dreamed of visiting this world class city in Russia. This exciting city offers anything and everything to satisfy your adventurous spirit.
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