Moscow is an interesting place to witness, there is a rich atmosphere with culture and many things to see but one of the most truly fascinating things about Moscow is its deep and dramatic history. It involves events from the very begging such as the Slavic settlers leading to the Mongolian invasion, the rise of Moscow, Ivan the Terrible, and the first Romanovs.

The first settlers of Moscow were Slavs, the ancestors of the Russian people. They emerged from Eastern Europe during the early 6th century. They began settlement by establishing isolated villagers throughout the major rivers. This followed with the Slavic’s coming into contact with the Varangians (Vikings) during the 8th century to trade amber, furs and fair-skinned slaves.

Following the expansion of the first settlers, during the 12th century, Kiev’s supremacy was challenged and questioned by the principalities of the north (part of this was by the wooden Kremlin from Moscow). Because of these civil conflicts, the invasion of the horse- borne Mongols, during 1237, left Russia unable to defend itself resulting in defeat. During the next 240 years, the Russian principalities paid a substantially large yearly tribute to the khans, aside from the tribute the Russians were left by the Mongolians to govern themselves as before.

The rise of Moscow lead to many positive as well as negative events. During the 14th century, Moscow slowly began to flourish under the rule of the Mongolians eventually leading to the development of a large army lead by the grand prince Dmitriy Donsky (1359 – 1389). This campaign resulted with the first defeat of the Mongolian’s. The war continued for another century until the Mongolians were completely wiped out leaving Moscow with a kingdom stretching as far as the Arctic Ocean.

Following these events, during the next century, Moscow flourished in trade and expansion thanks to Ivan “the Terrible” (1533 – 1584). Ivan established trade with England, reinforced Moscow’s walls but unfortunately, he suffered from extreme paranoia after the death of his wife. These events caused him to convict countless murders, one of which was his own son, in order to stomp out the enemy of the tsar.

The legacy on Ivan did not die with him, Mikhail Romanov, great nephew of Anastasia (Ivan’s wife), was nominated tsar. Mikhail along with his heir Alexis moved Russia towards a unified future, which involved Russia along with Moscow recovering from her exhausting events set in motion by history.  Tour to Moscow