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History of Moscow It is not known when Moscow was first settled. The first recorded reference to the town is in an early Russian historical chronicle under the year 1147. At that time, Moscow was a little town in the possession of Yuri Dolgoruky, a Russian prince who ruled the surrounding region. The town lay on important land and water trade routes, and it grew and prospered. A.M.Vasnecov «The foundation of Moscow» During the 1200's, Tatar invaders from Asia conquered Moscow and other Russian lands. The Russian princes were forced to recognise the Tatars as their rulers and pay them taxes. During the 1300's, the Moscow princes collected taxes in their region for the Tatars, but some money they left themselves. S.V. Ivanov «Baskaks» The Moscow princes expanded their territory greatly by buying lands or seizing them from rival princes. By the late 1400's, Moscow had become the most powerful Russian city. Moscow threw off Tatar control during the late 1400 is under Ivan III (the Great). His grandson, Ivan IV (the Terrible), was crowned czar’ of all Russia in 1547. Moscow was his capital. Moscow grew rapidly during the 1600's. The czars built palaces in the Kremlin, and nobles built mansions. New churches and monasteries arose, and industries developed. In the fall of 1812, invading French troops under Napoleon I sought to capture Moscow. The French and Russian armies fought a major battle at Borodino, just outside Moscow. The French army won the battle and entered Moscow without a struggle. Most of the people had left the city. Soon afterward, fires destroyed most of Moscow. Historians believe that retreating Russians set. most of the fires, but that others were started by looting troops from Napoleons army. After about a month, the French troops left and began a disastrous retreat through the cold Russian winter. I.K. Aivazovsky «The fire of Moscow in 1812» In the future, Moscow has experienced another great shock. During World War II (1939-1945), German troops advanced almost to the city but never captured it. Governmental bodies and industrial factories were moved to the eastern part of the country. German air raids damaged Moscow, but in 1941 the German forces were stopped. The Battle of Moscow was an important victory for the Soviet Union because it proved that the Germans could be defeated and that Moscow is a symbol of greatness of Russia and victory. The Soviet flag over the Reichstag