Tsaritsyno - palace and park ensemble in the south of Moscow, founded by order of Empress Catherine II in 1776. Is administered by the Museum of Tsaritsyno, founded in 1984. Tsaritsyno palace and park ensemble, covering an area over 100 hectares, is located on hilly terrain rugged ravines, on the former estate of Prince Kantemirov and inherited some of its features. The territory of the ensemble and the park is bounded on the north-east and south by two deep ravines, in the west - Tsaritsynsky ponds in the east - a complex of greenhouses. Tsaritsyno is the most important monument of the so-called "Russian Gothic" (pseudo-) on the creation of an imperial residence for 20 years, worked on two consecutive best-known architect of his era - Vasily Bazhenov and Matvey Kazakov. Tsarina - the largest in Europe, the construction of pseudo-XVIII century palace complex and unique, designed in this style. Features of the palace and park ensemble in many ways defined the new direction of Russian architecture: in different parts of the former Russian Empire, there are many facilities late XVIII and early XIX century, which were created under the influence of the Tsaritsyno.
Just in case you mistakenly heard that it was all ice and snow in Russia, take a peek at the Big Bikini Exposition. This is right on the river Moskva in Moscow!Moscow has been the capital of Russia for almost its entire history. The exception is during the period of the Russian Empire, which lasted from 1721 until the Russian Revolution 1917. For these two centuries the capital was St. Petersburg. The Russian Empire was the second largest contiguous Empire in world memory; only the Mongol Empire had been greater.Check out what's happening north of Mongolia these days, in ChitaAlthough you may not have heard of Sochi, on the Black Sea, they're building up quickly and hope to host the 2014 Olympics.Other periods of Russian history include the Tsardom of Russia, from Ivan IV to Peter the Great, and the Grand Duchy (14th-16th centuries).The earliest period of Russian history was ruled by the Novgorod Republic and Kievan Rus, which was the first Russian state dating back to 800AD in Kiev.Modern Russia remains one of the world's superpowers. They launched the earth's second satellite, called Sputnik 1, and were the first country to put a human being into orbit around earth. (The first one is called the Moon.)After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia became a federal republic of 83 states.Text by Steve Smith.