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Moscow - the City

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One of the Seven Sisters, or Stalin towers which dominate the Moscow skyline.We spent several days enjoying the sights of Moscow at the start of our waterways holiday. These pages illustrate some of the best places to visit.

Moscow is large and very busy. In recent years the growth in car ownership has exceeded the road capacity, despite the building of several new roads.

Moscow's main routes are like the spokes of a wheel, with several layers of ring roads connecting them. Most junctions have traffic lights.


The most visible landmarks are the "seven sisters" or "Stalin towers" (see picture above), tall buildings built during the communist era to house party officials. Nowadays they are used for private housing and for offices.

Moscow's architecture is grand and solid. We were surprised by how clean Moscow was - at least the central areas.

Like most of the towns we visited, Moscow has numerous, beautifully kept, ornamental flower beds.



Moscow: Novodevichy Convent
Our coach parked for a few minutes beside a bend in the Moscow River so we could admire the outside of the beautiful Novodevichy Convent across the water. The convent was founded in the 16th century, but not completed until the late 17th. Our the Russian guide said that Tsars would exile their cast-off wives in this convent. When we gasped at this injustice, he reminded us that English king Henry VIII had some of his ex-wives killed! You can visit the convent, but we only had enough time to take a few photographs.

Novodevichy Convent in Moscow
Novodevichy Convent, with the Moscow River in the foreground. The square and round, red and white, towers are part of the perimeter wall; the domes are atop buildings behind the wall.

Sparrow Hills
This is a vantage point above the centre of Moscow. It is adjacent to the magnificent Lomonosov (Moscow State) University, and has a view encompassing the Moscow River, the Luzhniki Stadium and much of the city centre. Stalls sell all manor of souvenirs, including a huge variety of matryoshka dolls (the ubiquitous multi-layered ornaments that in fact originated in Japan, not Russia!).

Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, built for the Olympics
Moscow skyline from Sparrow Hills. The Luzhniki Stadium is in the foreground.
Moscow skyline viewed from Sparrow Hills
Another fine view of Moscow from Sparrow Hills
Lomonosov University, Sparrow Hills, Moscow Souvenir shops sell an infinite vareity of matryoshka dolls
The imposing frontage of Lomonosov University Souvenirs on sale at Sparrow Hills

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