Moscow is a fascinating, complex city. Its long and convoluted history can be seen from every street and every building. Previous centuries added new layers to Moscow’s architecture and street layout. Many pivotal moments in Moscow’s history have been captured on film as well. Here is the history of Russia’s capital in 20 photographs.
One of the first photographs of Moscow showed the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
All of Russia’s Tsars were crowned in the Moscow Kremlin. Here is the coronation of Russia’s last Tsar, Nicolas II on May 14, 1896.
The October Revolution took its toll on Moscow. Here are the victims being buried on the Red Square, November 10, 1917.
On December 5, 1931 the Communist authorities demolished the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to make space for the Palace of Soviets, which was never constructed.
The newly established Soviet State couldn’t afford to build the Palace of Soviets, but they did, however, find the funds to build a metro system. The first lines were open in 1935. Here is the construction of one of the stations.
1941 marked the beginning of the Soviet Union’s war against Nazi Germany. Here are Soviet soldiers conducting military exercises in one of the parks in the centre of Moscow.
The victory in the war was first celebrated in 1945 with a parade, which has been repeated every year since then.
Joseph Stalin died in 1953. His death changed Moscow and the entire Soviet Union. Here is a picture from his funeral in Moscow.
1961 marked the first flight of a human into space. This achievement was celebrated in Red Square in Moscow.
In 1960, new Soviet authorities filled the empty space, where the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour had been with an open-air swimming pool.
Moscow was the capital of the Soviet Union. So many important events for the country took place there. Here is a Soviet youth union celebrating its anniversary at the Kremlin.
Moscow was also where the Summer Olympics of 1980 took place. These were the first Olympic Games to be held in Eastern Europe.
In 1991, the Soviet Union started to collapse. Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the USSR at the time, introduced a series of reforms to decentralise the country’s government. Hard-core communists opposed them and staged an unsuccessful coup d’état.
The separatists were stopped by Boris Yeltsin, then the President of the Russian Soviet Republic.
1999 was a tragic year in the history of Moscow and the whole of Russia. A series of apartment bombings, attributed to Chechen terrorism, took place in Moscow and several other cities across the country. It was the start of the Second Chechen War, which ultimately brought Putin to power.
In May 2000 Vladimir Putin became the President of the Russian Federation. This event changed both Moscow and Russia forever.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church started gathering funds to rebuild the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The endeavour was completed in August 2000 when the new Cathedral was consecrated.
After the system transformation, Moscow became one of the most important financial centres in Europe. Most of the city’s institutions are now located in Moscow City.
In 2015 a prominent opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, was shot and killed just a few steps away from the Kremlin. The spot of his assassination is always filled with flowers.
Recently, Moscow has been one of the most prominent stages of anti-Putin protests.