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Information about Moscow

About Moscow

Moscow is the capital and the largest city of Russia. It is also the largest city in Europe, with the Moscow metropolitan area ranking among the largest urban areas in the world. Moscow is the country's political, economic, religious, financial, educational and transportation centre. It is located on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union and the Grand Duchy of Moscow and Tsardom of Russia, the pre-Imperial Russian states. It is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, which serves as the ceremonial residence of the President of Russia. Moscow is a major economic centre and is home to the largest number of billionaires in the world; in 2007 Moscow was named the world's most expensive city for foreign employees for the second year in a row. It is home to many scientific and educational institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities. It possesses a complex transport system, that includes one of the world's busiest metro systems which is famous for its architecture and artwork.

The Armory Palace
The Armory Palace is the oldest and richest museum in the Kremlin. It was originally founded in 1806 as the Imperial Court Museum, which was created out of three royal treasuries: the Court Treasury, where the regalia of the czars and ambassadorial gifts were kept; the Stable Treasury, which contained the royal harnesses and carriages used by the czars during state ceremonies; and the Armory, a collection of arms, armor, and other valuable objects gathered from the country's chief armories and storehouses. The Imperial Court Museum was moved to the present building in 1851. It was further enhanced and expanded after the Bolshevik Revolution with valuables confiscated and nationalized from wealthy noble families as well as from the Patriarchal Sacristy of the Moscow Kremlin. It now contains 4,000 exhibits dating from the 12th century to 1917

Novodevichy Monastyr
Enclosed by a crenellated wall with 12 colorful battle towers, the monastery comprises several groups of buildings. Until the middle of the 20th century, when Moscow's population expanded rapidly, it effectively marked the city's southern edge. It was founded in 1524 by Czar Vasily III to commemorate Moscow's capture of Smolensk from Lithuania and was intended to serve not only as a religious institution but also as a defense fortification. Its location was strategically significant, as it stands on the road to Smolensk and Lithuania. Having been founded by the czar, it enjoyed an elevated position among the many monasteries and convents of Moscow and became a convent primarily for ladies of noble birth.

Krasnaya Ploshchad
World famous for the grand military parades staged here during the Soviet era, Red Square was originally called the Torg, the Slavonic word for marketplace. You may think that the name "Red Square" has something to do with Communism or the Bolshevik Revolution. In fact, however, the name dates back to the 17th century. The adjective krasny originally meant "beautiful," but over the centuries the meaning of the word changed to "red," hence the square's present name. There are five stars in all, one for each of the tallest towers. They made their appearance in 1937 to replace the double-headed eagle, a czarist symbol that is again finding favor as an emblem of Russia. The glass stars, which are lighted from inside and designed to turn with the wind, are far from dainty: the smallest weighs a ton.

St. Basil's Cathedral

Although it is popularly known as St. Basil's Cathedral, the proper name of this whimsical structure is Pokrovsky Sobor (Church of the Intercession). It was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate his conquest of the Tatar city of Kazan on October 1, 1552, the day of the feast of the Intercession. The central chapel, which rises 107 ft, is surrounded by eight towerlike chapels linked by an elevated gallery. Each chapel is topped by an onion dome carved with its own distinct pattern and dedicated to a saint on whose day the Russian army won battles against the Tatars. The cathedral was built between 1555 and 1560 on the site of an earlier Trinity Church where the Holy Fool Vasily (Basil) had been buried in 1552. Although services are occasionally held here on church holidays, the museum is still open. After viewing the museum exhibits, you are free to wander through the cathedral.

The Tretyakov Gallery
The Tretyakov Gallery -- now often called the "Old Tretyakov" in light of the annex, the "New Tretyakov" -- is the repository of some of the world's greatest masterpieces of Russian art. Officially opened in 1892 as a public state museum, its origins predate that by more than 35 years, thanks to its remarkable philanthropic and altruistic genesis. In the mid-1800s, a successful young Moscow industrialist, Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov, was determined to amass a collection of national art that would be worthy of a museum of fine arts for the entire country. In pursuit of this high-minded goal, he began to purchase paintings, drawings, and sculpture, adjudged both on high artistic merit and on their place within the various important canons of their time. For the most part undeterred by critics' disapproval and arbiters of popular taste, he became one of the -- if not the -- era's most valued patrons of the arts, with honor and gratitude conferred upon him to this day. A visitor to the museum today will find works spanning the 11th to the 20th centuries, from sacred icons to stunning portrait and landscape art to the famous Russian Realists' paintings that culminated in the Wanderers' Group to the splendid creations of Russian Symbolism, Impressionism, and Art Nouveau.

Traveling to the Conference
The vast majority of flights from all the European, Asian and American countries are forwarded to the Sheremetyevo Airport, Terminal-2. However, some flights terminate in the Domodedovo Airport and the Vnukovo Airport. The easiest way to reach Moscow from the Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo Airports is the express train. The express train departs from each Airport every hour during the daytime. From the Sheremetyevo Airport the train goes to the Savelovsky Railway Terminal and Savelovskaya Metro Station. From the Domodedovo Airport the train goes to the Paveletsky Railway Terminal and Paveletskaya Metro Station. From the Vnukovo Airport the train goes to the Kievsky Railway Terminal and Kievskaya Metro Station.
The city buses and microbuses from each Airport to the city are also available during the daytime. Taxi cars (please, use only airport taxi bureau) will get you to any hotel. For accommodation of participants of 17th IAA Humans in Space Conference we would like to offer you transfers from airport to hotel (in Moscow) and from hotel (in Moscow) to airport (see "TRANSFERS")
The main means of transportation in Moscow is the Metro (Underground Railway) (Fig.1). The nearest Metro station to the Venue, Sputnik and Korston hotels is "Leninsky Prospect". Time to get from the Metro station "Leninsky Prospect" to the Venue, Sputnik and Korston hotels is 12 min by walking. The nearest Metro station to the Hotel "Akademicheskaya" is "Oktyabrskaya". Time to get from the Metro station "Oktyabrskaya" to the Hotel "Akademicheskaya" is 5 min by walking.