Moscow region is a unique region of Russia. The most populated, one of the most dynamic regions of the country. Moscow region is one of the smallest among other regions of Russia, and therefore it has the highest density of population in the country. The Russian richest transport network is situated here. It is the land of contrasts, civilization adjoins the deep old times. It is restless and unquiet here, but if one goes several kilometers from the populated areas away, one will appear in a privacy facing boundless spaces, fields and forests.
Moscow region lies in the plain, but in a comparatively small territory there are several parts, which noticeably differ from each other: the hilly Smolensk-Moscow elevation, cut by rivers and streams, the swampy Meshcherskaya lowland and the most uncommon piece of Moscow region- the Klin-Dmitrovskaya ridge, which creates an illusion of the mountainous country, and other geographical unexpected contingencies. The region lies in one of the most ancient formations of planet -the Eastern European platform, in a part of it, where during the last one-and-a-half billion years there occurred absolutely no geological catastrophes.
Moscow region is situated in the interfluve of Volga and Oka - the largest rivers of region. Oka river, with its significant length, serves as a natural boundary of the region. This is a large rapid river with a wide valley and precipitous banks in some parts of it. The glorious Moscow River flows through Moscow region. Even the most experienced tourist will be astonished by the variety and the quantity of small creeks and little rivers in Moscow region. The region is rich in lakes, and the largest of them is Senezh Lake. Lakes have formed the entire constellation by Shatury town: there are more than ten of them there!
Despite the fact that Moscow region is densely populated, forests were preserved in its territory. They are mostly fir forests with the admixture of oaks, elms, ashes and maples. In the East of the region it is possible to find the typical representatives of tundra - cloudberry, crowberry, and steppe zone - reed, dudnik. There are places in the region with birch groves, pineries and oak groves. Alder-trees, guelder roses, wild raspberry patches, nut-trees, rowans supplement the flora of the region. The Prioksko- Terrasny preserve (not far from Serpukhov) and national park the Losiny Island (near Korolev's town) are situated in Moscow region. One can find deers and elks, roes and wild boars, foxes and hares, wolves and bears in the territory of the region. Rare animals with beautiful fur- desmans- were preserved on the left bank of Klyazma river and in Meshchere.
This is the ancient land, man arrived here long ago-in the paleolith, and region the settlements of people of the most different epochs were discovered in Moscow region. Until nowadays the objects of neolite, Bronze Age, and also Fatyanskaya culture (known as the "culture of combat axes") and by Dyakovskaya culture (the Iron age) have been revealed. Dyakovtsy lived in the mud huts with timbered walls. The settlements of this culture were discovered in Potylikha village, in Lytkarina, in Barvikha, in Spas-Tushin village, etc. In 8-9 A.D. the lands along the Moscow River were populated by Slav tribes of Krivichy and Vyatichy. These tribes apparently composed the ethnic basis of the Great Russian nation.
Previously Moscow principality was a part of Vladimirskoe princedom. But Moscow princes proved to be luckier. After they had built the white-stone Kremlin in the capital, they started building wooden fortifications in margin settlements, making a ring of defense. So Moscow region was shaped. After a time it became surrounded by a necklace of monasteries and temples and turned into a stronghold. The wooden Kremlins changed into stony ones. Rich Moscow lands attracted many invaders, therefore many wars happened.
Monasteries and temples are the main historical property of Moscow region. The pearl of Russian and world culture is the Trinity lavra of St Sergy of Radonezh, located in Sergiev Posad. The unique monument has no equals in the world.
Moscow region preserved old estates in its territory. Domestic culture is unimaginable without the contribution of Russian nobility into it, and people are grateful for the uncommon architectural heritage of this epoch. Moscow region is ideal for agro-tourism: to stay in a quiet place, make a stroll through a forest, to pick up berries. It is also a very popular place for fishing.
Tourists can go by para gliders, jump with a parachute, learn to navigate an airplane or a helicopter -all this is possible in Moscow region. They also can play paintball, to go mountain skiing, to travel by yacht. Wind surfing, aqua parks, rifle clubs, diving, rafting, hunting, horse-back riding, lots of outstanding restaurants and night clubs, bowling centers, cinemas are available for those who visit Moscow region.
The Golden Ring
The Golden Ring is one of the oldest routes to be found in Russia. It is a circular route which begins in Moscow and traveling through it will allow you to visit many interesting old Russian cities and towns. These towns have a delightful history and many examples of unique Russian architecture.
Traditionally the route is run in a counter clockwise direction and it starts in Moscow. From here you will visit Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov Veliky, Pereslavl-Zalessky and Sergiev Posad. All these towns are relatively close together and positioned in a somewhat circular pattern through Russia. Travel between them is easily available by trains and busses or even by car.
So why would you venture on the famous Golden Ring route? Well, for one thing it will allow you to feast your eyes on a lot of Russian history and architecture. The Golden Ring route is famous for its old cities and towns, each one is a gem in its own right. Here you will find magnificent old Churches made of white stone; most of them still have working bell towers. You will also be able to view impressive old fortresses and monasteries. Other historical monuments abound, such as the first boat built by Peter the Great. Many of the towns are built near a lake or a river which lends to their charming beauty.
Life in these smaller cities is usually slower and more peaceful so if you are conducting business in Moscow, these towns provide the perfect refuge from the bustle of city life. Many of the towns are picturesque and the people are welcoming. The Golden Ring is a symbol of old Russia and traveling here is the best way to get a sense of Russian history.