Moscow is the capital of Russia, its administrative, economic, political and educational centre. It is one of Russia's major cities with the population of about 9 million people. Its total area is about 900 thousand square kilometres.
The city was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgonlky and was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1147. At that time it was a small frontier settlement. By the 15th century Moscow bad grown into a wealthy city.
In the 16th century, under Ivan the Terrible, Moscow became the capital of the state of Muscovy. In the 18th century Peter the Great transferred the capital to St. Petersburg, but Moscow remained the heart of Russia. That is why it became the main target of Napoleon's attack in 1812. During the war of 1812 three quarters of the city were destroyed by fire, but by the middle of the 19th century Moscow was completely rebuilt.
The present-day Moscow is the seat of the government of the Russian Federation. President of Russia lives and works here; government offices are located here, too.
Moscow is a major industrial city. Its leading industries are engineering, chemical and light industries.
Moscow is known for its many historical buildings, museums and art galleries, as well as for the famous Bolshoi, Maly and Art theatres. There are more than 80 museums in Moscow, among them the unique Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Andrey Rublyov Museum of Early Russian Art and many others.
Moscow is a city of science and learning. There are over 80 higher educational institutions in the city, including a number of universities.