Brief History of Moscow

Author: waytorussia (on 02 Dec 2014)
1147 - The first mention in the Historical Chronicles is made about the city of Moscow, which was founded by Russian prince Yury Dolgoruky.

Eight centuries ago there were some successful negotiations finished and Yury Dolgoruky decided to make a huge feast to celebrate. On their way to Vladimir his troops stopped on Moskva river where there was only a few houses back then. They killed the owner, took his wife and daughters, and made a huge party on the shore of Moskva river where the Kremlin is nowadays. That's how and why Moscow was first mentioned in the chronicles.

Yury Dolgoruky - Photo by Prosto@FlickR

Yury Dolgoruky monument in Moscow - Photo by Prosto@FlickR
Yury Dolgoruky - Photo by Prosto@FlickR
1328 - Moscow became the capital city of the Great Moscow Principality and of all Russian Lands.
Moscow's Princes bought many others Principalities, those princes who didn't want to sell theirs were killed - the way politics was usually made that time.

1612 - A people volunteers' corps under the commandment of Minin and Pozharsky liberated Moscow from the Polish invaders.
That's important -- we have a monument in their honor in the Red Square, so now you know who is who (Pozharsky is sitting, Minin is standing, because Pozharsky was a prince). Minin was a rich merchant in Nigniy Novgorod and when Polish occupied Moscow his business was almost ruined, so he collected some money and paid it to the famous general Pozaharsky, who gathered the army and liberated Moscow. Even then business made the politics.

- Peter I, All - Russian Emperor, was born in the suburbs of the city (I do not like him because of the next date)

1713 - Under the reign of Peter I the capital city of Russia was moved from Moscow to Petersburg

- The first Russian university called Moscow University (MSU now) was founded. It is the oldest and still the best university in Russia. While in comparison to other top universities around the world it still has a long way to go, MSU is very special in the way that it attracts the most talented people with entrepreneur spirit, who want to succeed in their own way.

Moscow State University - Photo by Argenberg@FlickR

Moscow State University - Photo by Argenberg@FlickR

1812 - The Patriotic War with Napoleon. Big fires in Moscow. During that fire almost all the buildings were destroyed and few ancient buildings keep intact.
What's interesting is that we don't know who set the fire: Russian historians say - French army did, and French historians say - Russian patriots did.

- The first horse-drawn tram line called "Konka" along the Tverskaya Street was put into service

- On the 12th of March the city of Moscow became the capital of the Soviet Russia . Communists were afraid to stay in St.Petersburg which was closer to the borders.

1925 - The communists loosen up their grip with the arrival of NEP (new economic policy). Moscow is a thriving center of avant-garde arts, photography, cinema. Dziga Vertov makes his first films.

Dziga Vertov
Still from Dziga Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera

1935 - The first line of Moscow Metro was opened and put into operation. Moscow metro is very deep; they wanted it to be an air-shelter. In the Chistie-prudi station ( Чистые пруды) there was a special Stalin's shelter.

- The commencement of regular TV transmissions

- Defeat of the German forces in the battle of Moscow

- Organization and carrying out of the XXII Olympic Games. It was a great perfomance of Soviet Union. They wanted to show to the world that Soviet system is the best. Especially for the Games government for the first time produced beer in the aluminum cans (they stopped producing it after the games), pushed out of Moscow all the prostitutes, and only those people who were loyal to the soviet system were allowed to communicate with foreigners.

1989 - Towards the end of Perestroika the new times arrive. Romanticism of the 80s is replaced by pragmatic thinking. Huge queues, people have to bite their bread when shopping so nobody steals their bit. Many abandon their former lifestyle and venture into private business. Last days of the famous Russian kitchen hangouts.

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Student party in Moscow in the 80s

Student party at a Plekhanov's Academy Dorm in Moscow - 1980s - Photo by Madpole@FlickR

- In august 21 there was a small revolution set in Moscow. The government was changed and there had been tanks for several days in the centrum of Moscow. At this time the Soviet Union was over, but it was a strange time for some period. Also a little earlier there were the first democratic mayor elections in Moscow. 1991 was the beginning of the Democracy, people were excited, waiting for changes, but it turned out to be hard process.

1993 - After some unsuccessful negotiations between the Russian parliament and the government the White House was attacked by several tanks. Lots of people came to watch the "show", but after a couple days everything came back to normal.

- National holiday - 850th Anniversary of Moscow.
It was a great holiday. The central part was overcrowded, people were drunk and one out of every two was a policeman. Pity, you weren't here.

1998 - The financial crisis shakes up the city and gives it a breath of fresh air. The new Afisha magazine rides on the wave of pretending that Moscow is one of the best cities in the world – and even manages to somewhat transform it in the coming years. 

- WayToRussia.Net site was launched to help you feel free and good in Moscow!

2006 - High from all the oil and gas money Moscow proudly becomes the most expensive city in the world. There are barely any 3-star hotels left in the center of the city, traffic jams at 3am is a normal thing, and the real-estate prices are higher than in London even for a shithole in a concrete shack at the outskirts.

2007 - Young Moscovitans learn about the word "hipster" and crowds of teenagers in skinny jeans roam from club to club aimlessly. The good (and somewhat sad) thing, however, is that trash is slowly and steadily being replaced by trendy and fashionable. TSAO (the central area within the Garden Ring) becomes the place to be and if you live outside you just don't really get it.

Moscow party - Photo by Maksim Emelyanov @ LookAtMe.Ru

Photo by Maksim Emelyanov @ LookAtMe.Ru

2009 - Luckily, the financial crisis hits harder than expected and people slowly start to realize that it's not all about your business cards and how much you earn. Great projects dedicated to arts, education, and culture pop up rapidly, financed mainly by individuals and grass roots efforts. Moscow stops pretending and becomes what it's always been: a big chaotic village.




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