Even if you think you know everything about Russia's capital, we're sure that some of the items on our list will still surprise you. So, do you want to learn more about one of the most famous cities in the world? Then go ahead!
We suggest you read our selection of interesting facts about Moscow, which even the city inhabitants are not aware of.
Interesting facts about Moscow
- The year of the foundation of Moscow is considered to be 1147, but it's not. In fact, this is the year of the first mention of the city it chronicles, but the exact year of the beginning of the capital is unknown. The town first celebrated Moscow Day in 1947, on the 800th anniversary of the capital. It was then that it was decided that the first Saturday in September would henceforth be City Day.
- The city was named after the Moscow River. There are several versions of the origin of the name Moscow. According to the Slavic and Baltic interpretations, the root Moskva can be translated as "bog, sticky, marshy." At the same time, the Finno-Ugric version insists that in translation from the ancient Finnic, "Moscow" means "cow river" or "bear river''.
- Do you think that Moscow has the only river with the same name? Well, no: there are over a thousand rivers, streams and springs in the city, but most of them are located underground (for example, the Neglinnaya, the Yauza, the Khodynka). They were artificially driven underground so as not to interfere with the building of the capital. This trick was first done back in the 18th century with the Neglinnaya River by "placing" it in a tunnel. Today it flows underground, running into the Moskva River, and on the ground along its course stretches the street of the same name.
- In the heart of the city are the mummified remains of Lenin: on Red Square is the Mausoleum, where Vladimir Lenin, who died in 1924, rests. Although the annual maintenance of the mummy costs the authorities 13 million rubles, the leader's body is embalmed every 18 months. Moreover, the Mausoleum is included in the obligatory sights worth visiting for visitors to the city.
- Yuri Gagarin, the first man to walk in space, is buried near the Kremlin wall. According to tradition, cosmonauts from all over the world come to his grave to lay flowers before their own flight.
- Russia's capital is one of the largest cities in Europe and is one of the top 10 largest cities in the world. It reached the one million mark in 1897, and Moscow's population has been growing steadily ever since. According to official data, about 13 million people live in the megalopolis - it is more than in all Baltic countries.
- The Moscow metro for a day carries an average of 9 million people and is the third busiest in the world. The 10 thousand trains run like clockwork: when in normal mode, trains go every 8 minutes, in rush hour - every four. This is a world record.
- The names of the stations in the capital's subway are announced either by a male or a female voice, and there is a certain system. The female voice is heard by passengers who go counterclockwise on the ring road or from the centre on any diametric branch. On the contrary, the male voice is on the diametric branch when going to the centre or clockwise on the ring road. This is a unique way to help visually impaired people.
- Moscow is steadily at the top of the most expensive cities in the world. In 2006, the city ranked number one, displacing Tokyo.
- The Russian State Library in Moscow is the largest in Europe with 47.5 million books and the second largest collection globally. And in general, Moscow is a record-breaker in the number of libraries. There are about 500 of them.
- The capital has the most giant bell in the world - the Tsar Bell weighing over 200 tons. It was cast in 1730 and placed in a pit, but in 1737 there was a fire that took its toll on the vast musical instrument. The fire was extinguished with water, and a fragment, weighing 11.5 tons broke off from the giant. Throughout its history, the bell has never rung.
- We are so accustomed to Moscow, the capital, that it is impossible to imagine any other city in this place. However, from 1712 to 1918, Moscow ceded its status to St. Petersburg.
- The capital was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1812, during the Patriotic War against Napoleon. The fire destroyed 80% of Moscow's buildings, and it was the largest fire of the 19th century in Russia. There is a version that the capital was set on fire by order of the local authorities after it became known that Napoleon's army was approaching.
- The capital's main attraction, the Kremlin, is Europe's largest functioning fortress and the largest museum in the world. The Kremlin occupies 27 hectares of land.
- In Moscow is the highest TV tower in Europe. The height of the famous Ostankino tower is 540.1 meters. It is the eighth-highest building in the world.
- Moscow is a haven for dollar billionaires. The capital is home to 71 people whose financial condition is estimated at over $1 billion. Only New York and Hong Kong have more.
Fun facts about Moscow
- Since 1994 it is forbidden for the dogs of Moscow to bark from 23.00 to 7.00 - there is a corresponding regulation of the government. Furthermore, the owners of the offending dogs are obliged to pay a fine.
- In Moscow, a record was set for the number of pancakes baked, recorded in the famous Guinness book. For Shrovetide 2017, the Moscow company OJSC "Makfa" made 12,716 pancakes. The process took eight hours, the record was set by sixteen professional chefs.
- On January 31, 1990, Moscow saw the grand opening of Russia's first McDonald's. The event is still remembered in Moscow: the queue of people wishing to try hamburgers started at 4 am and reached 5000 people by the opening, entering the Guinness Book of Records. On an opening day, a fancy American fast food joint in Moscow was visited by 30,000 people, including then-President Boris Yeltsin.
- On the streets of the city, there are many unusual monuments. For example, in Kuzminki Park next to the Honey Museum, there is a monument to Kuse the Bee, on Taganskaya Street - to a stool, at the intersection of Ogorodny Prospekt and Rustaveli Street - to the processed cheese Druzhba, in Sokolniki - to Moidodyr, near Frunzenskaya and Park Kultury metro - to the Mobius strip, in Tikhvinsky Lane - to an egg.