Moscow (Moskva), Russia
Located on the Moskva river, Moscow is the capital of Russia. Its power was established during the middle ages by its location on important trade routes and its role as centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. After losing its status as national capital to St Petersburg in the eighteenth century, it was not until 1917 after the Bolshevik revolution that it was re-designated capital. The heart of one of the world’s superpowers for most of the twentieth century, since 1991 Moscow has striven to re-establish itself as a modern, forward-looking metropolis.
Moscow’s origins date back to 1147, when Prince Yury Dolgoruky of Suzdal settled and built a wooden fortress on Borovitsky Hill, the site of the present Kremlin. Moscow was captured and burned by the Mongols in the invasion of 1236–40. Well placed on trade routes across European Russia, the city’s importance as a trading and artisan centre grew, overtaking the older centres of Suzdal and Vladimir.