Moscow is traditionally known as the "Holy Mother of the Russians" and the economic, political, and cultural center of Russia.
For most of the 20th century Moscow was the political and economic center of Eastern Europe. With more than 60 theaters, 100 museums, 75 institutions of higher learning, and more than 4,000 libraries, it remains one of the world's major art cities and cultural centres.
Railroads and numerous airlines converge on Moscow from all parts of Russia and the other successor states of the USSR.
Besides being a port of five seas, and hence one of the world's foremost commercial centers, Moscow is a leading manufacturing city, with factories producing nearly one-sixth of the entire volume of industrial production of the former USSR. Ample supplies of electric power are available, and industry is highly diversified. Among the manufactures are airplanes, high-quality steel, ball bearings, automobiles and other motor vehicles, machine tools, electric equipment, precision instruments, radios, chemicals, textiles, shoes, paper, furniture, and munitions. Food processing, printing, and the repair of railroad equipment are important industries. Several of the surrounding suburbs, eventually to be incorporated into a "Greater Moscow," are large industrial towns.
In 1147 Moscow began to figure in Russian history. The development of the little village into a sprawling city dates from 1295, when it became the capital of the newly established principality of Moscow. In 1325 the metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox church transferred his seat to Moscow, making the city the national religious capital.
Population (1992 estimate) 8,746,700.
Major cities near Moscow :