Home >> Collier's New Encyclopedia, Volume 6 >> Medici to New Jersey >> Moscow

Moscow

principal, russian, empire and world

MOSCOW (Russian, Moskwa), the second capital (formerly the only capital) of the former Russian empire. It is the chief town of the government of Moscow, and is situated in a highly cultivated district on the Moskwa river, 400 miles S. E. of Petrograd, with which it is in direct communication by rail. It is surrounded by a wall of earthen rampart 26 miles in circuit and of no defensive value; and a considerable portion of the inclosed space is unoccupied by buildings. The quarter known as the Kreml or Kremlin, on a height about 100 feet above the river, forms the center of the town, and contains the principal buildings. It is inclosed by a high stone wall, and con tains the old palace of the czars and several other palaces; the Cathedral of the Assumption, founded in 1326, rebuilt in 1472; the Church of the Annunciation, in which the emperors are recrowned; the Cathedral of St. Michael; the Palace of Arms, an immense building occupied by the senate, the treasury, and the arsenal; and the Tower of Ivan Veliki (209 feet), surmounted by a gilded dome, and having at its foot the great Czar Kolokol, or king of bells, 60 feet round the rim, 19 feet high, and weighing upward of 192 tons, the largest in the world. Outside the Kreml the chief building is the Cathedral of St. Vassili, with no less than 20 gilded and painted domes and towers, all of different shapes and sizes. Among the principal educa tional establishments are the Imperial University, founded in 1755 by the Em press Catharine. It has a rich museum

and a library of 200,000 volumes, and the most important of the Russian universities. Moscow is the first manu facturing city in the empire, and before the World War its industrial and com mercial activity had greatly increased. The principal manufactures are textile fabrics, chiefly woolen, cotton, and silk, besides hats, hardware, leather, chemical products, beer, and spirits. From its central position Moscow was the great entrepot for the internal commerce of the empire. The foundation of the city dates from 1147. It became the capital of Muscovy, and afterward of the whole Russian empire; but was deprived of this i honor in 1703, when Petrograd was founded. The principal event in the history of Moscow is the burning of it in 1812 for the purpose of dislodging the French from their winter quarters. The Emperor Nicholas II. and Empress Alexandra observed the ceremony of coronation in the Grand Kremlin in Mos cow on May 26, 1896. The city suffered greatly in the revolution of 1917, and under the Soviet rule its population was reduced to less than half that of 1915. In March, 1918, Moscow became again the center of government, in place of Petrograd. See RUSSIA and WORLD WAR. Pop, before the World War about 1,800,000.