Answer the following questions.
1. Where is the Russian Federation situated? 2. What is the total area of the country? 3. What seas and oceans is the country washed by? 4. What countries does Russia border on? 5. What is the climate like in Russia? 6. What great plains are there in Russia? 7. What mountain chains are there in Russia? 8. What is the largest mountain chain in Russia? 9. What mountain chain separates Russia from Asia? 10. What is the longest river in the country? 11. Where does the Volga flow? 12. What are the main Siberian Rivers? 13. What is the deepest lake in the world? 14. Where are the forests of Russia concentrated? 15. What mineral resources is Russia rich in? 16. What is the population of Russia? 17. What is the capital of Russia? 18. Who rules the country? 19. What are the functions of the President? 20. What branches does the government consist of? 21. What is the legislative power exercised by? 22. What are the executive and judicial branches represented by? 23. What can you say about the present economic situation in Russian?
Moscow is the capital of Russia. It is its political, administrative, economic, commercial, educational and cultural centre. The history of Moscow is connected with the history of Russia. Moscow was founded in 1147 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky. At that time it was a small settlement on the bank of the Moskva River. Prince Yuri Dolgoruky was the Russian Prince of Vladimir and Suzdal. Prince Yuri Dolgoruky had many fights with other Russian princes and soon he became Prince of Kiev. Kiev was the capital of Russia.
Gradually Moscow became more and more powerful. In the 13th century Moscow was the centre of the struggle of Russian lands for the liberation from the Tartar yoke. And it was Moscow Prince Dmitry Donskoy who led the Russian troops to a decisive victory over the invaders in the battle of Kulikovo field in 1380.
By the 15th century Moscow had grown into a wealthy city. In the 16th century under Ivan the Terrible Moscow became the capital of the state of Moscovy. At that time the Kremlin was rebuilt and the largest Kremlin cathedrals were erected.
During the Troubled Times Moscow was occupied by the Polish invaders, but they were routed by the popular levy headed by Minin and Pozharsky.
In 1712 the Russian King, Tsar Peter the Great, moved the Russian capital to St. Petersburg, but Moscow remained the heart of Russia. That’s why Moscow became the main target of Napoleon’s attack in 1812. Three-quarters of the city was destroyed by fire during Napoleon’s occupation. Moscow had been completely restored by the mid-19th century. In 1918 Moscow became the capital again.
Now Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world. The population of the city is over 11 million. Modern Moscow is the centre of the political life of Russia. It is the seat of the government of the Russian Federation. The 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, light, food, textile industries, furniture, metallurgy, energy production, software development and machinery industries.
Moscow is known for its many historical buildings, museums and art galleries. The largest museums are the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts which was founded by Marina Tsvetaeva's father and the Tretyakov Gallery, which was founded by Pavel Tretyakov. There is also the State Historical Museum, the Polytechnical Museum, the Borodino Panorama museum and many others.
Moscow is famous for its theatres. Among Moscow’s many theaters and ballet studios are the Bolshoi Theatre and the Malyi Theatre as well as Vakhtangov Theatre and Moscow Art Theatre. There are also two large circuses in Moscow: Moscow State Circus and Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard named after Yuri Nikulin.
Moscow is a city of science and learning as well. It is a city of students. There are over 100 higher educational institutions in the city, Moscow State University being the oldest and most celebrated among them.
The city is known for its beautiful old cathedrals, churches and monasteries. Some of them date from the 15th to the 17th centuries.
Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are a lot of beautiful palaces, old mansions, cathedrals and monuments in Moscow. The heart of Moscow is Red Square. It has more historic associations than any other place in Moscow.
The Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral (Vasily Blazheny) are masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture. There are great old cathedrals and historical monuments on the territory of the Kremlin. They are the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, the Tzar-Cannon and the Tzar-Bell, the biggest cannon and bell in the world. St. Basil’s Cathedral was built in the mid-16th century in memory of the victory over Kazan. There is a legend that Ivan the Terrible blinded the architects Barma and Postnik, because they didn’t want them to create another masterpiece.
The oldest part of Moscow is the Kremlin. This is the main tourists’ attraction in Moscow. The Kremlin has become the synonym of Russian government and Russia. The word “kremlin” means “fortress,” and the Moscow Kremlin used to be a fortress. In 1156 a small settlement of Moscow was surrounded with a wooden wall, and became a fortress. The town and the Kremlin were burnt in 1237 and 1293 during the Tatar invasion, but they were rebuilt in 1367. Prince Dmitry Donskoy built a white-stone wall around the Kremlin. In the 15th century, by order of Tsar Ivan III the Kremlin was surrounded with a new red-brick wall.
Twenty towers of the Kremlin wall were constructed at the end of 17th century. By that time Moscow had already ceased to be a fortress. The towers were built for decoration and had no military significance. Five of the towers were gates. The Tainitskaya Tower (the Secret Tower) had a secret passage to the Moskva River. The Spasskaya Tower (the Saviour’s Tower) has long become the symbol of both Russia and Moscow. It has a famous clock; one can hear its chimes by radio. The clock which we can see today was installed in the middle of the 19th century.
The buildings inside the Kremlin wall were built between the 15th and 17th centuries. There is the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great and a famous group of churches. The Uspensky Cathedral (the Dormition Cathedral) is the largest of them. It was built in 1479; there Russian tsars and emperors were crowned. In the Archangel Cathedral one can see the tombs of Moscow princes and tsars. There are the tombs of Ivan the Terrible, his sons Ivan and Tsar Fyodor there. The Blagoveshensky Cathedral (Annunciation Cathedral) was built in 1484. It is noted for its frescoes by Andrei Rublyov and his pupils.
Granovitaya Palata (the Faceted Palace) is another masterpiece inside the Kremlin wall. Moscow tsars held magnificent receptions in honour of foreign ambassadors there. The Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell attract crowds of tourists, too.
Outside the Kremlin Wall there is the famous Red Square. Tourists can look at the magnificent Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, the Lenin Masoleum and the monument to K. Minin and D. Pozharsky.
Being the capital of the Russian Federation and one of the most beautiful Russian cities, Moscow attracts tourists from all over the world.
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