The city of Moscow was founded by Yuri Dolgoruki in 1147.
A wooden fortress was erected in 1156 (it would become known as the Kremlin 200 years later) and it soon became an important commercial centre thanks to its location (at the crossroads of major trade routes leading to large rivers like the Volga, Oka and Dniestr).
In 1237, the city was burnt down by the Golden Horde and it remained under the control of the Tartars between the 13th and the 15th centuries. The first churches were built as early as the 13th century and Moscow also became an important religious centre.
The reign of Ivan III the Great (1462-1502) heralded Moscow’s Golden Age. During his reign, Moscow was the capital of the Principality of Moscow, one of the most powerful states then in Europe.
In 1610, the Polish army occupied the city (this lasted only 2 years).
During the reign of Peter the Great (1689-1725) Russia’s capital was transferred to St Petersburg, although Moscow remained a major commercial and cultural centre.
In 1812, Moscow came under attack from Napoleon’s army, and the great fire destroyed large parts of the city.
In 1918, Moscow became the seat of the government and was again Russia’s capital city.
Between October and December 1941, the German army invaded the city. Moscow was saved thanks to the cold winter and the Red Army.
The Olympic Games were held in Moscow in 1980, although many Western European countries boycotted the event.
Nowadays Moscow remains the main centre for trade in Russia and is growing rapidly. The city has suffered many invasions and has a tormented history, but it remains the most important Russian tourist destination and is admired by tourists from all over the world. The city is also a magnet for Russian people from all over the country who come in search of money and business opportunities.
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