Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities. Moscow is the major political, economic and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city on the European continent. By broader definitions, Moscow is among the world's largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 14th largest urban area, the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world's largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Moscow is the coldest megacity on Earth.
It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled, going from 1,091 to 2,511 square kilometers, resulting in Moscow becoming the largest city on the European continent by area. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it Europe's most populated inland city; the city is well known for its architecture its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its colorful architectural style. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012; the city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation.
Moscow is a seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress, today the residence for work of the President of Russia. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament sit in the city. Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums and political institutions and theatres; the city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground rapid transit systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside Asia in terms of passenger numbers, the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 200 stations. Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome, the Whitestone One, the First Throne, the Forty Soroks.
Moscow is one of the twelve Hero Cities. The demonym for a Moscow resident is "москвич" for male or "москвичка" for female, rendered in English as Muscovite; the name "Moscow" is abbreviated "MSK". The name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River. There have been proposed several theories of the origin of the name of the river. Finno-Ugric Merya and Muroma people, who were among the several Early Eastern Slavic tribes which inhabited the area, called the river Mustajoki, it has been suggested. The most linguistically well grounded and accepted is from the Proto-Balto-Slavic root *mŭzg-/muzg- from the Proto-Indo-European *meu- "wet", so the name Moskva might signify a river at a wetland or a marsh, its cognates include Russian: музга, muzga "pool, puddle", Lithuanian: mazgoti and Latvian: mazgāt "to wash", Sanskrit: májjati "to drown", Latin: mergō "to dip, immerse". In many Slavic countries Moskov is a surname, most common in Bulgaria, Russia and North Macedonia. There exist as well similar place names in Poland like Mozgawa.
The original Old Russian form of the name is reconstructed as *Москы, *Mosky, hence it was one of a few Slavic ū-stem nouns. As with other nouns of that declension, it had been undergoing a morphological transformation at the early stage of the development of the language, as a result the first written mentions in the 12th century were Московь, Moskovĭ, Москви, Moskvi, Москвe/Москвѣ, Moskve/Moskvě. From the latter forms came the modern Russian name Москва, a result of morphological generalisation with the numerous Slavic ā-stem nouns. However, the form Moskovĭ has left some traces in many other languages, such as English: Moscow, German: Moskau, French: Moscou, Georgian: მოსკოვი, Latvian: Maskava, Ottoman Turkish: Moskov, Tatar: Мәскәү, Mäskäw, Kazakh: Мәскеу, Mäskew, Chuvash: Мускав, etc. In a similar manner the Latin name Moscovia has been formed it became a collo
Cherub with Chariot (Fabergé egg)
The Cherub with Chariot egg or Angel with Egg in Chariot is a Tsar Imperial Fabergé egg, one of a series of fifty-two jeweled eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé for the Russian Imperial family. It was crafted and delivered in 1888 to the Tsar of Russia, Alexander III; this is one of the lost Imperial eggs, so few details are known about it. The exact design of the Cherub with Chariot Egg is unsure. A single photograph of the egg exists, though it is hidden by another egg and can only be seen in a blurry reflection. There is a brief description from the imperial records in the Russian State Historical Archives in Moscow which describes the gift as "Angel pulling chariot with egg - 1500 roubles, angel with a clock in a gold egg 600 roubles." According to Marina Lopato in Fabergé: Imperial Jeweller this description means the clock is inside the gold egg, in the chariot being pulled by the angel. Fabergé's invoice carries a similar description, itemizing a cherub pulling a chariot with an egg and a cherub with clock in a gold egg.
These two descriptions are backed up by the 1917 inventory of seized imperial treasure which reads "gold egg, decorated with brilliants, a sapphire. The surprise would have been the clock being inside the egg on the chariot, though the exact design is not known; the egg would have been presented to Maria Feodorovna on April 24, 1888 by Alexander III. The egg was kept in the Gatchina Palace in 1891, was one of 40 or so eggs sent to the Armory Palace of the Kremlin in 1917 after the Revolution by the Provisional Government. In 1922 it was transferred to the Sovnarkom, after which the exact whereabouts of the egg are unknown. In the 1930s Victor and Armand Hammer may have purchased the egg. A sales catalog for Armand Hammer's 1934 exhibition at Lord and Taylor in New York City describes a "miniature silver armour holding wheelbarrow with Easter Egg, made by Fabergé, court jeweler" which seems to describe the Cherub with Chariot Egg. Armand Hammer may have been unaware of the significance of this item if it was in fact the 1888 Imperial egg, since he had a habit of promoting imperial items yet did not make an effort to promote this egg.
Whether this was the 1888 egg, where it is today is unknown. Egg decorating List of missing treasure
Jewellery or jewelry consists of small decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as brooches, necklaces, pendants and cufflinks. Jewellery may be attached to the clothes. From a western perspective, the term is restricted to durable ornaments, excluding flowers for example. For many centuries metal combined with gemstones, has been the normal material for jewellery, but other materials such as shells and other plant materials may be used, it is one of the oldest type of archaeological artefact – with 100,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells thought to be the oldest known jewellery. The basic forms of jewellery vary between cultures but are extremely long-lived. Jewellery may be made from a wide range of materials. Gemstones and similar materials such as amber and coral, precious metals and shells have been used, enamel has been important. In most cultures jewellery can be understood as a status symbol, for its material properties, its patterns, or for meaningful symbols. Jewellery has been made to adorn nearly every body part, from hairpins to toe rings, genital jewellery.
The patterns of wearing jewellery between the sexes, by children and older people can vary between cultures, but adult women have been the most consistent wearers of jewellery. The word jewellery itself is derived from the word jewel, anglicised from the Old French "jouel", beyond that, to the Latin word "jocale", meaning plaything. In British English, Indian English, New Zealand English, Hiberno-English, Australian English, South African English it is spelled jewellery, while the spelling is jewelry in American English. Both are used in Canadian English. In French and a few other European languages the equivalent term, may cover decorated metalwork in precious metal such as objets d'art and church items, not just objects worn on the person. Humans have used jewellery for a number of different reasons: functional to fix clothing or hair in place as a marker of social status and personal status, as with a wedding ring as a signifier of some form of affiliation, whether ethnic, religious or social to provide talismanic protection as an artistic display as a carrier or symbol of personal meaning – such as love, mourning, or luckMost cultures at some point have had a practice of keeping large amounts of wealth stored in the form of jewellery.
Numerous cultures store wedding dowries in the form of jewellery or make jewellery as a means to store or display coins. Alternatively, jewellery has been used as a trade good. Many items of jewellery, such as brooches and buckles, originated as purely functional items, but evolved into decorative items as their functional requirement diminished. Jewellery can symbolise group membership or status. Wearing of amulets and devotional medals to provide protection or ward off evil is common in some cultures; these may take the form of symbols, plants, body parts, or glyphs. In creating jewellery, coins, or other precious items are used, they are set into precious metals. Platinum alloys range from 900 to 950; the silver used in jewellery is sterling silver, or 92.5% fine silver. In costume jewellery, stainless steel findings are sometimes used. Other used materials include glass, such as fused-glass or enamel. However, any inclusion of lead or lead solder will give a British Assay office the right to destroy the piece, however it is rare for the assay office to do so.
Beads are used in jewellery. These may be made of glass, metal, shells and polymer clay. Beaded jewellery encompasses necklaces, earrings and rings. Beads may be small. Seed beads are used in an embroidery technique where they are sewn onto fabric backings to create broad collar neck pieces and beaded bracelets. Bead embroidery, a popular type of handwork during the Victorian era, is enjoying a renaissance in modern jewellery making. Beading, or beadwork, is very popular in many African and indigenous North American cultures. Silversmiths and lapidaries methods include forging, soldering or welding, carving and "cold-joining". Diamonds were first mined in India. Pliny may have mentioned them, although there is some debate as to the exact nature of the stone he referred to as Adamas. Ther
Danish Palaces (Fabergé egg)
The Danish Palaces egg is a Tsar Imperial Fabergé egg, one of a series of fifty-two jeweled eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé for the Russian Imperial family. It was crafted and delivered to the Tsar of Russia, Alexander III who presented it to his wife, Maria Feodorovna on Easter day 1890; the egg is owned by the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation and housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York. The exterior of this egg is pink-mauve enameled gold split into twelve sections, it measures 102 mm tall by 67 mm wide. Six vertical lines of rose-cut diamonds and three horizontal lines separate the enameled panels from one another. There is an emerald at each intersection of the lines separating the panels, the egg is crowned with a medallion of radiating leaves around a cabochon star sapphire; the opposite end of the egg is chased with additional acanthus leaves. The stand is a modern addition; the egg opens to reveal a 10-panel screen made of multi-color gold with watercolors on mother of pearl.
The panels are framed with a design of tangent circles with a multi-color gold wreath at the apex and stand on Greek meander feet. The watercolors are all signed by Konstantin Krijitski and dated 1889; the paintings depict, from left to right along the imperial yacht Polar Star. Alexander III received the Danish Palaces Egg from Fabergé's shop on March 30, 1890 and presented the egg to his wife, Maria Feodorovna on April 1; the Tsar paid 4,260 silver rubles for the egg. In January 1893 the egg was housed at the Gatchina Palace and remained there until the 1917 revolution. In 1917 it was transferred with the rest of the imperial eggs sent to the Armory Palace of the Kremlin. During the early part of 1922 the egg was transferred to the Sovnarkom moved back to the Armory Palace in the summer of 1927; the Danish Palaces Egg was selected along with 11 others for sale outside of Russia in April 1930, was sold to Hammer Galleries that year for 1500 rubles. Hammer Galleries advertised the egg for sale in 1935 for $25,000 and was sold between February 1936 and November 1937 to Nicholas H. Ludwig of New York.
The egg was owned by a private collector during the time between 1962 and 1971, when it was found in the collection of deceased Matilda Geddings Gray. Since 1972 the egg has been the provenance of the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation, is on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York. Egg decorating
Renaissance (Fabergé egg)
The Renaissance egg is a jewelled agate Easter egg made by Michael Perchin under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1894. The egg was made for Alexander III of Russia, who presented it to his wife, the Empress Maria Feodorovna, it was the last egg. The surprise is lost. Another theory, advanced by Christopher Forbes, is that the surprise for the Renaissance egg is the Resurrection egg, which fits the curvature of the Renaissance Egg's shell and has a similar decoration in enamel on the base, it was shown at the same 1902 showcase at the Renaissance Egg. The Resurrection egg has no inventory number. Alexander III was billed 4,750 rubles for the Renaissance egg, it was confiscated by the Russian Provisional Government in 1917, it was sold alongside nine other eggs for 1,500 rubles to Armand Hammer. Advertised for sale by Hammer in 1937, it was sold to Henry Talbot DeVere Clifton, it had been sold in November 1949 to the Swingline magnates Belle Linsky. Attempting to give their Fabergé collection to the Metropolitan Museum, the Linskys were rebuffed, as the museum stated it was not interested in "Edwardian decorative trivia".
The egg was sold to the Manhattan antique dealers A La Vieille Russie, where it was purchased by Malcolm Forbes for his collection on May 15, 1965. The Forbes Collection was sold in 2004 to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Vekselberg purchased some nine Imperial eggs as part of the collection for $100 million. Fabergé egg A detailed article on the'Renaissance' Egg, from imperialtresuresofrussia.com
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II or Nikolai II, known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer in the Russian Orthodox Church, was the last Emperor of Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire from one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse, he was given the nickname Nicholas the Bloody or Vile Nicholas by his political adversaries due to the Khodynka Tragedy, anti-Semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, the violent suppression of the 1905 Russian Revolution, the execution of political opponents, his perceived responsibility for the Russo-Japanese War. Soviet historians portrayed Nicholas as a weak and incompetent leader whose decisions led to military defeats and the deaths of millions of his subjects. Russia was defeated in the 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War, which saw the annihilation of the reinforcing Russian Baltic Fleet after being sent on its round-the-world cruise at the naval Battle of Tsushima, off the coasts of Korea and Japan, the loss of Russian influence over Manchuria and Korea, the Japanese annexation to the north of South Sakhalin Island.
The Anglo-Russian Entente was designed to counter the German Empire's attempts to gain influence in the Middle East, but it ended the Great Game of confrontation between Russia and the United Kingdom. When all Russian diplomatic efforts to prevent the First World War failed, Nicholas approved the Imperial Russian Army mobilization on 30 July 1914, which gave Imperial Germany formal grounds to declare war on Russia on 1 August 1914. An estimated 3.3 million Russians were killed in the First World War. The Imperial Russian Army's severe losses, the High Command's incompetent management of the war efforts, lack of food and supplies on the home front were all leading causes of the fall of the House of Romanov. Following the February Revolution of 1917, Nicholas abdicated on behalf of himself and his son and heir, the Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, he and his family were imprisoned and transferred to Tobolsk in late summer 1917. On 30 April 1918, Nicholas and their daughter Maria were handed over to the local Ural Soviet council in Ekaterinburg.
Nicholas and his family were executed by their Bolshevik guards on the night of 16/17 July 1918. The remains of the imperial family were found, identified and re-interred with elaborate State and Church ceremony in St. Petersburg on 17 July 1998. In 1981, his wife, their children were recognized as martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in New York City. On 15 August 2000, they were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as passion bearers, commemorating believers who face death in a Christ-like manner. Nicholas was born in the Alexander Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, the eldest child of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, he had five younger siblings: Alexander, Xenia and Olga. Nicholas referred to his father nostalgically in letters after Alexander's death in 1894, he was very close to his mother, as revealed in their published letters to each other. His paternal grandparents were Empress Maria Alexandrovna, his maternal grandparents were King Christian Queen Louise of Denmark.
Nicholas was of German and Danish descent, his last ethnically Russian ancestor being Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia, daughter of Peter the Great. Nicholas was related to several monarchs in Europe, his mother's siblings included Kings Frederick VIII of Denmark and George I of Greece, as well as the United Kingdom's Queen Alexandra. Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, German Emperor Wilhelm II were all first cousins of King George V of the United Kingdom. Nicholas was a first cousin of both King Haakon VII and Queen Maud of Norway, as well as King Christian X of Denmark and King Constantine I of Greece. Nicholas and Wilhelm II were in turn second cousins-once-removed, as each descended from King Frederick William III of Prussia, as well as third cousins, as they were both great-great-grandsons of Tsar Paul I of Russia. In addition to being second cousins through descent from Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse and his wife Princess Wilhelmine of Baden and Alexandra were third cousins-once-removed, as they were both descendants of King Frederick William II of Prussia.
Tsar Nicholas II was the first cousin-once-removed of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich. To distinguish between them the Grand Duke was known within the imperial family as "Nikolasha" and "Nicholas the Tall", while the Tsar was "Nicholas the Short". In his childhood, his parents and siblings made annual visits to the Danish royal palaces of Fredensborg and Bernstorff to visit his grandparents, the king and queen; the visits served as family reunions, as his mother's siblings would come from the United Kingdom and Greece with their respective families. It was there in 1883, that he had a flirtation with one of his English first cousins, Princess Victoria. In 1873, Nicholas accompanied his parents and younger brother, two-year-old George, on a two-month, semi-official visit to England. In London and his family stayed at Marlborough House, as guests of his "Uncle Bertie" and "Aunt Alix", the Prince and Princess of Wales, where he was spoiled by his uncle. On 1 March 1881, following the assassination of his grandfather, Tsar Alexander II, Nicho