The foundation of Moscow is traditionally ascribed to the Susdal Prince Yury Dolgorukiy. Moscow was first mentioned in Russian chronicles in 1147.

Red Square
Red Square

At that time it was a small frontier settlement on the banks of the Moscow river and Neglinnaya river which is now hidden under the Alexander gardens .

   In 1156 the very first settlement was built and was surrounded with a wooden wall and became a Kremlin . The word “Kremlin” can be translated as a fortress . So we have many Kremlins (fortresses) in Russia , but the main Kremlin is of course – Moscow Kremlin . Which was actually Moscow in medieval times .

   Along with the rest Vladimir-Suzdal lands Moscow was invaded by the Tatars led by Batu . The Tatars set up a capital named Saray on the Southern Volga and their state became knows as the Golden Horde . For several centuries Russian Princes had to pay tribute to the Tatars ,but still struggled for independence .

Old  Moscow
Old Moscow

 Russia wasn t a single country at that time . It consisted of many principalities of its own right . And it made  Moscow Rus an easy catch for many  invaders . By the 15th century independent principalities united around Moscow . And Moscow became very powerful and  the biggest state in Europe . The population by that time increased up to 100 000 people .

By the end of 15th century Moscow extended its rule over most of central and Northern Russia. Its rulers continued to build fortifications around the city.

    In the 18 th century Peter the Great transferred the capital to St Petersburg. He built a new capital on the Baltic to open Russia up to western trade and ideas and consolidate military victories over Sweden .

Old  Moscow
Old Moscow

But Moscow remained the heart of Russia always . Thats way it became the main goal of Napoleon’s troops in the 19 the century who marched on Russia in 1812 . Moscow was burned down up to the ground , but was quickly rebuilt . By the 20th century the population increased up to 1,4 mln people . In 1930 Moscow was greatly reconstructed .

Old  Moscow
Old Moscow . Vorobievi hills

Streets were widened , new factories , plants , research institutes and academies were founded . And it became a centre of industry and commerce , as well as a leading cultural and political centre .

 


Pre-revolutionary Moscow   chronicles 1908 

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