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The city of kirov

Kirov, the former Vyatka, is one of the oldest cities in the north-eastern European part of Russia. It is situated on the high left bank of the Vyatka river. The city lies 550 miles north-east of Moscow and extends roughly 7 miles along the banks of the Vyatka river.

Kirov is the capital city of the Kirov region. It is as large as Austria and Switzerland put together. It occupies 121000 sq. km and stretches for 570 km from North to South and 440 km from West to East. The greater part of it lies in the Vyatka river basin. The Vyatka is the longest and the deepest river in the region. Its length is 1300 km. It flows into the Kama and then into the Volga. The Vyatka has a lot of tributaries, and in summer it is navigable.

Our city was founded in the 12th century (as Khlynov) by travellers from Novgorod, and was first chronicled in 1374. Khlynov was incorporated into Muscovy in 1489 and became known throughout Russia for its clay statuettes and whistles. In 1781 Catherine the Great renamed Khlynov to Vyatka and made it the centre of a separate guberniya. The town also served as a place of exile, notably for Alexander Herzen, Alexander Vitberg, and Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin. By the end of the 19th century, it was an important station on the Trans-Siberian railway. In December 1934, it was renamed for the Soviet leader Sergey Kirov. He was born in a small town of Urzhum, not far from Vyatka.

The Vyatka land gave birth to many great sons of Russia. Among them are artists Victor and Apollinary Vasnetsov, a famous singer Shalyapin, a well-known writer Alexander Grin, marshal Konev and other outstanding public figures, scientists, writers, actors.

Now the city of Kirov is an industrial, cultural and administrative centre of the region. The population of our city is over 600,000 people.

Kirov is an industrial centre because there is a great number of modern in­dustrial enterprises, in it such as: “Shinny” - tyre plant, the Nonferrous metal processing plant, “Iskozh” - the artificial leather plant, the Biochemical plant, “Vesta” – producing automatic washing machines, ski-factory, etc. Various measuring instruments, tyres, hunting skis, timber, Dymkovo toys are well-known in our country and abroad.

Kirov is one of the largest scientific and educational centres of Russia. The institutions of Russia Academy of Science study fundamental problems. The most important scientific institutions are Kirov Research Institutes of: Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Hunting and Fur-Animal Breeding, Seed Selection of North - Eastern Russia, Microbiology.

There are 4 major higher educational institutions in Kirov. They are: Vyatka State University of Humanities, Vaytka State University, Vaytka State Agricultural Academy, Medical Academy. Besides, there are nearly 60 secondary schools, technical schools, colleges, schools of sports, music and art.

There are several cinemas and three theatres in Kirov: the Drama theatre, the theatre in Spasskaya street and the Puppet theatre. There is also a circus in our city. Kirov can also boast of a number of museums: the Vasnetsovs Brothers’ Fine Arts Museum, the Vyatka Local History Museum, the Kunstcamera, the Diorama, the Aviation and Astronautics Museum, Saltykov-Shchedrin’s House, Grin’s House.

The Fine Arts Museum has a rich collection of masterpieces of old and modern Russian painters. Among them are pictures of Shishkin, Vasnet­sov, Ivanov, Repin, Yaroshenko, Aivasovsky, Petrov-Vodkin and many other fa­mous painters.

Every town is beautiful in its own way. One of the sights of Kirov is a beau­tiful memorial to those Kirovites who perished during the Great Patriotic War. It is in Grin's embankment. In front of the monument there is an eternal fire. From that place you can enjoy the view of the Vyatka river with a bridge across it and a vast green park on the other side of the river. We call it Zarechny Park.

If you walk from here along Moskovskaya street you will find yourself in Theatre Square. It is situated in the very centre of the city. Here we celebrate the city’s birthday in June and other holidays. In the middle of the square there is a small garden with a musical fountain. In front of the garden there is a fine building of the Drama Theatre. Here in the square we can also see the building of the State Uni­versity, the Fine Arts Museum and the building of our regional administration.

The Vyatka land is famous for its ancient crafts which still have been existing and flourishing: embroidery, wood-carving, weaving, making clay toys, articles of fur, lace. We can boast of articles of excrescences on the roots of leaf-bearing trees, osier and straw, matryoshkas, articles of birch bark, ceramics.

But Dymkovo toys are the most famous folk arts in Vyatka. These toys are indeed unique, having a centuries-old history. We still call them toys, though they have lost their original value, being praised for their decorative qualities. These miniature sculptures are valued now as articles of crafts made by hands, as souvenirs. They are called Dymkovo toys by the name of the settlement where the first clay figures appeared.

Our city is growing year by year. New districts are well-planned and green with wide streets and high modem apartment houses. Kirovites are proud of their city and the people living in it .

MOSCOW

There is a lot to see in Russia, but first of all foreign tourists visit the capital of our country, Moscow, its political, economic, commercial and cultural centre. Prince Yuri Dolgoruky founded it 8 centuries ago. At that time it was a small fortress. Gradually the city became more and more powerful.

In the 13th century Moscow was the center of the struggle of Russian lands for the liberation from the Tartar yoke.

In the 16th century under Ivan the Terrible Moscow become the capital of the new united state. Though Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg in 1712, Moscow remained the heart of Russia. That is why it became the main target of Napoleon’s attack. Three-quarters of the city were destroyed by the fire during Napoleon’s occupation; but by the mid-19th century Moscow had been completely restored. After the October revolution Moscow became the capital again.

Now Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world. Its total area is about nine hundred square kilometers. The population of the city is over 10 million.

Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It attracts tourists from all over the world.

The Kremlin is a masterpiece of ancient Russian architecture. It is the oldest part of Moscow. The main Kremlin tower, the Spasskaya Tower, has become the symbol of Russia and Moscow. It has a famous clock; one can hear its chimes on the radio. On the territory of the Kremlin you can see old cathedrals, the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, the State Kremlin Palace, the Tzar Cannon and the Tzar Bell, the biggest cannon and bell in the world.

If you leave the Kremlin by Trinity Gate, you will come to the Alexandrovsky Gardens. The first thing to do in the Gardens is to stand by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, still and silent. Not far from the Alexandrovsky Gardens behind the Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge you will see St. Saviour's Cathedral with its huge beautiful gilded dome. The original cathedral was erected by the order of Emperor Alexander as a token of the Russian people's gratitude to God for the deliverance of Russia from Napoleon's invasion in 1812. In 1931 it was demolished. But in 1995, Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and the world-famous musician Mstislav Rostropovich laid the first stone in the foundation of the new Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Today you can admire this Cathedral in the centre of Moscow.

The heart of Moscow is the famous Red Square. It has more historic associations than any other place in Moscow. Tourists can look at the magnificent St. Basil’s Cathedral (Vasily Blazheny), the Lenin Mausoleum and the monument to K. Minin and D. Pozharsky. St.Basil’s Cathedral was built in the mid-16th century in memory of the victory over Kazan. There is legend that Ivan the Terrible blinded the architects Barma and Postnik, because he didn’t want them to create another masterpiece.

Foreigners are usually surprised by the number of churches and cathedrals in and around the city. There are a lot of beautiful palaces, old mansions, cathedrals, churches and monuments in Moscow.

There are more than 80 museums in our capital. The largest museums are the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, whose collections include works of art of the ancient Orient and ancient Egypt, and the State Tretyakov Gallery, which houses a rich collection of Russian painting and Russian icons. Other unique museums in Moscow are the State History-Museum, the All-Russia Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art, Polytechnical Museum and many others. Moscow is famous for its theatres too. The best-known of them is the Bolshoi Opera House. Drama theatres and studios are also very popular.

One more interesting place to visit in Moscow is the All-Russia Exhibition Centre, which occupies an area of 530 acres. The Exhibition Centre is situated in a beautiful park. The most admired feature of the Exhibition Centre is its fountains. The "Friendship of the Nations" and the "Stone Flower" fountains are the most beautiful. The Exhibition Centre is a large cultural and commercial complex where different international exhibitions and fairs are held.

Moscow is famous for its theatres. The best known of them is the Bolshoi Opera House. Drama theatres and studios are also very popular.

One of the most famous sights of the city is the Moscow Metro and the journey by Metro will be unforgettable. In the Metro you do not feel as if you're underground. This is due to the unique architecture and the artistic design of the stations, which are more like palaces.

Moscow is a city of students. There are over 80 higher educational institutions in it, including several universities.

Moscow is the seat of the Russian Parliament (the Duma) and the centre of political life of the country.

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