Eight centuries of the `wet' city

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The Independent Online
1147 (ish): Small outpost established on the banks of the marshy Moscow River. The name derives from an old Slavic word meaning "wet".

1223: The Mongols invade. They dominate Russia for the next 250 years and, in 1382: burn Moscow to the ground.

1325-40: The reign of "Moneybags" Ivan I. He chooses to live in Moscow, and the seat of the Orthodox Church moves west from Vladimir to the city.

1370: The Lithuanians lay siege to Moscow, but are unable to scale the recently strengthened Kremlin walls.

1453: Constantinople falls to the Turks, releasing the Russian Orthodox Church from Byzantine control. Within a decade, Ivan the Great declares Moscow the "Third Rome", the new centre of Orthodoxy.

1613: Mikhail Romanov is elected Tsar, beginning the Romanov dynasty.

1712: Peter the Great, who hated the place, moves the capital to St Petersburg.

1812: Napoleon's troops invade. Most of the city is destroyed by fire when the French beat a retreat.

1825: The Bolshoi Theatre opens.

1918: Lenin restores the city's status as capital, after more than two centuries. This time, it was at the heart of the world's first Communist state, the Soviet Union.

1941: Hitler's troops reach the edge of the city, but fail to take it.

1991: Tanks on the streets, after a failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev.

1993: More tanks, after Boris Yeltsin sends in troops to bombard parliament.

1997: The 850th anniversary.

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