The capital of the Russian Federation, the city of federal significance, the administrative centre of the Central Federal District and Moscow region, located outside the structure of the Russian region. Millionaire city has the largest number of people not only in Russia but also in Europe. The population of the city of Moscow is 12,108,257 people (as of January 1, 2014). According to the number of citizens, it is among the ten largest metropolises of the world. Moscow is considered a city situated on seven hills. Iconic buildings are of the same number, seven. The official website of the Moscow city government assigns to them: Library named after Lenin, the Central Telegraph on Tverskaya Street, Concert Hall named after P.I. Tchaikovsky, Moscow Hotel at Okhotny Ryad, Military Academy named after M.V. Frunze, Izvestia newspaper office on Pushkin Square and the building of the Academy of Sciences. Status of the capital was fixed for Moscow in the days of the Grand Duchy of Moscow at the end of the XIV century, but only from the time of Russian kingdom (1547-1721), this right has been recognized everywhere. After losing the status of the capital in the era of Peter I, Moscow briefly (1728-1730) regained the right to be called the capital, but lost it almost for two centuries returning in 1918. Today, here are the federal authorities of the Russian Federation (except the Constitutional Court), the Embassy of 144 internationally recognized countries, offices of major banks and commercial organizations, the staffs of social movements. Four historical sites of the capital – Moscow Kremlin, Red Square, Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye, and Novodevichy Convent are in UNESCO World Heritage list. Moscow includes 12 administrative districts, 125 regions and 21 villages.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is rightly considered one of the most beautiful European cities. The city celebrated its tercentenary is often called ‘northern capital’ of Russia – it is not only an open-air museum, but simply the embodiment of the last three hundred years of Russian history. Survivor of 11 emperors, tens flooding, the revolution, the three-year blockade and the economic reform Petersburg is able to surprise even the most experienced traveller. The first cobblestone at its base laid down in 1703 when Emperor Peter the Great decided to build a new capital open to sea winds and European trends. Construction of the city began with the Hare Island where Petropavlovsk fortress was begun to build. Until the mid-eighteenth century, St. Petersburg was built solely for pragmatic reasons, a little care was paid to the decoration of the city yet, there were few large stone buildings. But in the reign of Elizabeth I she began to worry about how to decorate the city by majestic buildings worthy of the capital. It was then that the construction of the Winter Palace began which now houses the Hermitage Museum, there were built Anichkov Palace, Smolny and Vladimirsky Cathedrals. In the reign of Catherine II, for St. Petersburg as well as for the whole of Russia began a brilliant time of development. When accession to the throne, the city had about 60 thousand inhabitants, and in thirty years there were lived 230 thousand people in the capital. It was during the reign of Catherine that construction of the city with stone buildings begun. During her reign, there were executed or initiated structures that make the main architectural attractions of the capital up this day: Palace Square, Kamennoostrovsky and Elagin Palaces, the famous monument to Peter I – Bronze Horseman was installed. At the same time, the area of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra was built up. The nineteenth century is considered the golden age of Russian art, including architecture. Then, there were built St. Isaac’s and Kazan Cathedrals, the Mariinsky Palace, Mikhailovsky Palace where the Russian Museum is now, Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood and many other monuments. It was during this era that the city gradually began to acquire features remained in its appearance so far – straight streets, the strictness of style and building density. Unlike other Russian cities, St. Petersburg has often been a subject of philosophical reflection, scene of literary works and hero of poems. The newest in art appeared and developed here – from Gogol to Russian rock which considers Petersburg its home port. Residents of St. Petersburg consider their city the cultural capital referring to the fact that the best Russian writers from Pushkin to Dovlatov lived here on the banks of the Neva, St. Petersburg University is among the ten best in Europe, and the Mariinsky Theatre and the Hermitage absorbed the best that there is in art.

Mineral waters

The uniqueness of the resorts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters is in concentration there of numerous, diverse in composition mineral waters and therapeutic mud, in the presence of exotic landscapes, favourable climatic conditions, as well as spa resorts and developed infrastructure of resort cities: Zheleznovodsk, Essentuki, Kislovodsk, Pyatigorsk. For variety of mineral waters, the region of Caucasian Mineral Waters has no equal not only in Russia but also worldwide. On the territory of the Caucasian Mineral Waters discovered more than 130 sources of mineral water of 30 kinds. A variety of mineral waters, the availability of high-quality curative mud, and the use of climate features for therapeutic purposes have caused latitude range of medical indications for the resort region of Caucasian Mineral Waters in the general and specialized medical profile of each of its resorts. By Resolution no 14 of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 17.01.2006 the towns of Yessentuki, Zheleznovodsk, Kislovodsk and Pyatigorsk were given the status of federal resort towns. Every year, more than 700 thousand people rest and treated in the resorts of Caucasian Mineral Waters.