Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Moscow, the old capital of Russia and chief town of a government of the same name, stands on high ground on the banks of the Moskwa river, 400 miles south-east from St. Petersburg and about twice that distance north-east of Warsaw. While under the rule of the princes of Vladimir in the 13th century it was twice plundered by the Mongols. In the 17th century the city was the scene of frequent struggles between the Tzar and the citizens, and later of the rebellions of the Streltzy. The last of Moscow's many misfortunes was when, in 1812, it was thought necessary to fire the city in view of the advance of the grand army of Napoleon. The present city covers an area of 32 square miles. In the centre, on the left bank of the Moskwa, stands the Kremlin, a fortified space covering 98 acres and surrounded by a high stone wall. It has five gates over which are as many towers. Within the Kremlin stands the Uspensky cathedral, built in the 15th century and subsequently restored. The Arkhangelsk cathedral, erected on an old site in 1505, contains the tombs of the Tzars from 1353 to 1696. The campanile of Iwan Veliky contains some fine bells, and commands a magnificent view of the city. The Great Bell of Moscow hanging nineteen feet high and weighing 3,850 cwts., is close by. Itwas broken in the fire of 1737 before being hung. An exchange was built in 1838, and restored in 1873. Moscow is the centre of a large trade in grain, hemp, and oils. It has numerous cotton mills, and woollen and silk manufactories; sugar refining is largely carried on; and the empire is supplied from it with groceries, tallow, timber, etc. It is situated at the junction of six important highways, and is the centre of six railway systems. The university, founded in 1755, has between 2,000 and 3,000 students, and upwards of 300 teachers. There is also a good technical school, an Oriental institute, an agricultural college, and many other educational institutions. Moscow is also rich in museums and scientific societies, among which may be mentioned the active Archaeological Society (founded 1864), and the Society of the Friends of Natural Science. Chief among philanthropic institutions is the Foundling Hospital built in 1764. The Moscow theatres are the best in Russia. The suburbs contain some fine parks. To the north and west are woods and forests, among which are some historical monasteries and palaces.