Moscow Overview

By | October 3, 2021

Moscow is the capital of Russia. It has about 11.5 million residents. The city is located in the European part of Russia on both sides of the Moscow River. The core of the city is the Kremlin, an old fortification. The city’s well-known sacred buildings are also located here. The Red Square borders the Kremlin with an area of ​​70,000 m². Ring streets and boulevards with classicist buildings surround the Kremlin. See for top 10 most visited tourist cities in the world.

Urban development with functional buildings began in the 1930’s. Monumental buildings in the neoclassical “confectioner’s style” have been erected since 1935. Since the political change in the early 1990’s, Moscow has experienced a construction boom. Office and commercial buildings as well as skyscrapers shape the cityscape of today’s Moscow.

Moscow is the seat of government, the seat of the Russian Orthodox Patriarch and the center of science, art and culture. It is the country’s most important transport hub and a major industrial city.

Moscow lies on both sides of the Moskva in the European part of the state (Fig. 1). The entire metropolitan area around Moscow has almost 15 million residents. Moscow is thus the largest city in the country and Europe. The urban area is 1091 km², of which 162 km² are green areas.


The old city castle, the Kremlin, still forms the core of the city today. Until 1991 it was the seat of government of the Soviet Union. Today the government of the Russian Federation has its seat in the “White House” on the Moscow River.

The construction of the Kremlin began in the 12th century, and the fortifications have been expanded until very recently. The Church of the Assumption of Mary and the Cathedral of the Annunciation from the 15th and 16th centuries are the most famous church buildings within the Kremlin walls. In later centuries it was mainly secular buildings that were added. These include the Senate building of KATHARINA II from the 18th century and the Congress Palace from the Soviet era (1961).

Red Square borders the Kremlin. It was created in the 15th century. The St. Basil’s Cathedral (16th century) and the Lenin mausoleum stand on the 70,000 m² area. Red Square and Kremlin have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

Since the Middle Ages, several suburbs have emerged around the Kremlin in concentric circles, each of which was surrounded by walls. The current ring roads and boulevards show their course. Today’s image is shaped by magnificent classical buildings from the 19th century.

In 1812 Moscow was ravaged by fire after the occupation by NAPOLEON. The city was rebuilt according to the old ring scheme. The Bolshoi Theater and the Old University date from this period.

At the beginning of the thirties there was a new urban development with constructivist functional buildings. In 1935, construction began in a neoclassical monumental style, the so-called “ confectioner’s style ”. Since the fifties it has been replaced by a business-like, industrial design. Moscow has experienced a construction boom since the political turnaround. Offices, banks, shops and branches of domestic and foreign companies were built in the city area. Skyscrapers rise between historic buildings. Modern hotels, shopping centers and apartments have emerged. Hardware stores and furniture stores are also experiencing a boom. After more than ten years of reform policy in Russia, many homeowners are financially in a position to renovate their private property.

Central position of Moscow

Moscow is the capital and seat of government of Russia. It is also the seat of the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. The city on the Moscow River is the most important center of science, art and culture in Russia. The Russian Academy of Sciences, Lomonosov University, PATRICE LUMUMBA University of International Friendship and 40 other universities make Moscow the most important educational center in Russia. Around 70 museums, galleries and theaters underline the special cultural position of the city.

Moscow is Russia’s most important transport hub. It has 5 international airports, 9 stations for long-distance trains with 1,800 trains per day, 3 ports, canal connection to the Volga. The inner-city traffic is handled to a large extent by the subway, the metro. It has 262 stations and carries more passengers every day than the subways of Paris and London combined. There are also a large number of four- to six-lane motorway connections.

Moscow is the country’s most important industrial city. Although there were neither raw materials nor major energy reserves in the area, Moscow was industrialized relatively early. Commercial experience, qualified employees, including many from other countries, and a transport network geared towards Moscow offset the disadvantage of the location. The leading branches of industry are mechanical engineering, automobile manufacturing, metal processing, textile, food and electrotechnical-electronic industries as well as publishing and printing.

Living conditions

Moscow’s population is 9.4 million people. The life expectancy of men has fallen from 64 years to 58 years since 1990, and that of women from 75 to 71 years. The average income in Moscow is very low compared to the high prices. Nevertheless, the living standard of the growing middle class is rising. Almost every third person now has their own car, and every family has a refrigerator, washing machine and television. Many Moscow citizens improve their wages through extra income. The poor Muscovites trade on the street.


Moscow celebrated its 850th birthday in 1997. The city emerged from a trading village that became a fortress in 1156. In 1237 the city was destroyed by the Tatars. Since the transfer of the metropolitan headquarters to Moscow at the beginning of the 14th century, the city has also become a cultural center. From around 1480 Moscow was the capital of the Grand Duchy, from which the Tsarist Empire developed in the 16th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries the city experienced a great economic boom. The Tsars resided in Moscow until 1712. Tsar PETER I raised it in 1703 founded St. Petersburg as the new capital. Even after the port was relocated, Moscow remained the seat of many central authorities and the coronation city. In 1812 NAPOLEON invaded. The city was largely destroyed by fire and later rebuilt. Since the October Revolution of 1918, the city on the Moskva has again been the center of government and the capital, from 1922–1991 the USSR, and since then the Russian Federation.

Moscow Overview