اردو(Urdu) English(English) عربي(Arabic) پښتو(Pashto) سنڌي(Sindhi) বাংলা(Bengali) Türkçe(Turkish) Русский(Russian) हिन्दी(Hindi) 中国人(Chinese) Deutsch(German)
Friday, June 14, 2024 01:50
Question of Palestine Eternal Wisdom: Iqbal Building Futures: Empowering Pakistan's Youth for Tomorrow Tourism: An Essential Element for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Connecting Youth to Global Opportunities Algorithms: The Silent Architects of Warfare Pakistani Youth: The Driving Force for National Progress Investing in Future Generations: Pakistan Army Lost Voices: The Systematic Marginalization of Indian Muslims Parallel Struggles: Examining the Palestinian and Kashmiri Quests for Self-determination Emergence of BJP as a Hindutva Force The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Transforming Pakistan Building Sustainable Cities: Urban Search and Rescue Preparedness Simulation Exercise In the Pursuit of Happiness: Understanding Hedonia, Eudemonia, and Naikan COAS’ U.S. Visit: Strengthening Ties and Fostering Collaboration A Biological Marvel of Human Heart Educational Empowerment: FC Balochistan (North) Initiates Literacy Program for Soldiers Digital Pakistan Journey: Pioneering Towards a Connected Future Driving Digital Transformation: Pakistan CJCSC Calls on His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussain During His Visit to Jordan COAS' Peshawar Visit Highlights Security, Socioeconomic Development and National Unity Unity in Diversity: COAS Joins Christmas Celebrations with Christian Community in Rawalpindi Chief of the Naval Staff Attends Indian Ocean Naval Symposium in Bangkok Strengthening Bonds and Elevating Collaboration: Combat Commander Turkish Air Force Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Closing Ceremony of Multinational Special Forces Exercise Fajar Al Sharq-V Strengthens Counterterrorism Collaboration Off the Beaten Track: Exploring Jiwani's Coastal Marvels and Heritage Special Investment Facilitation Council: A Game Changer for the Economy of Pakistan Rising Stars: Pakistan’s Youth Shines Bright in 2023 Indian Supreme Court’s Decision and the International Law Challenges to Justice: The Indian Supreme Court’s Fallacy in IIOJK Belt and Road Initiative: Strengthening Global Ties with Unhindered Trade and Connectivity The Media Matrix: Unraveling How Technology Shapes Our Perception Decoding Human Interaction: The Comprehensive Guide to Reading Body Language The Magic of Moscow On the Same Wavelength: Suno FM's Impact on Community Empowerment, Diversity, and Social Progress in Pakistan The Journey of SAIL: A Beacon of Hope for Autism in Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan National Youth Convention 2024: COAS Stresses Youth's Vital Role, Urges Unity, and National Strength Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Calls on COAS COAS Attends Inauguration Ceremony of the Second Chapter of NASTP Silicon PAF's Induction and Operationalization Ceremony Showcases Technological Advancements and Operational Excellence COAS Witnesses Firing of Different Air Defense Weapon Systems During Exercise Al-Bayza-III, 2024 COAS Visits POF Wah, Highlights Importance of Indigenous Defense Industry Exercise Sea Guard-24: Strengthening Maritime Security Al-Noor Special Children School and College Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023 in Multan Garrison Exercise BARRACUDA-XII: Strengthening Global Cooperation for Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection Pakistan-Qatar Joint Aerial Exercise "Zilzal-II" Held in Qatar March 23, 1940: Charting the Course for Pakistan's Future Peshawar’s Namak Mandi: A Gemstone Heaven Genocide in Palestine Rising Cities, Shrinking Spaces: Tackling Overpopulation and Urbanization in Pakistan Impact of Pakistan Resolution Day on National Identity Building Leaders: Jinnah and Iqbal's Timeless Wisdom for Today's Youth National Parks–Natural Assets India's New Playbook for Extraterritorial Assassination of Opponents The Legacy of Khan Brothers in Pakistan Armed Forces (Part II) Beyond the Battlefield: AIMH’s Quest for Military History Preservation The Siege of 634 A.D. (Part II) SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part II) A New Dawn in Pakistan's Agriculture The Crowdsourcing Practices The Last Post: Eulogy of a Hero Securing Tomorrow’s Food: Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaculture in Pakistan The Saindak Copper-Gold Project: A Beacon of Pak-China Friendship and Prosperity Prime Minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and COAS Visit Muzaffarabad CJCSC Calls on Minister of Defense, KSA 7th International PATS Exercise-2024 Held at NCTC, Pabbi CNS Visits Coastal Belt of Sindh and Coastal Areas of Balochistan to Oversee the Conduct of Exercise Seaspark-2024 Keel Laying Ceremony of the Second HANGOR Class Submarine Held at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Chinese Ambassador Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Navy Demonstrates Combat Readiness with Live Missile Firing Exercise in the North Arabian Sea PAF's Jf-17 Thunder Block-III Fighter Jet Participates in World Defense Air Show-2024 A Day of Celebration and Global Solidarity: Pakistan Day Parade 2024 Gaza: A Tragedy Beyond Words Better Late than Never... Escalating Tensions: India's Violations of the Indus Waters Treaty Preserving Pakistan Pakistan Day Parade-2024: A Celebration of National Unity and Strength Demolition of Muslim Properties in India: A Weapon of Choice and State Policy Sustainable Energy Transition: Strategies for Pakistan’s Shift towards Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency The Impact of Climate Change on Global Health: Building Resilient Health Systems SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part III) Emerging from the Depths: The Pakistan Army Dedicated to Promoting Tolerance and Diversity: Pakistan Army, in Collaboration with the University of Peshawar, Hosts a Successful Grand Peace Fair Pak-Saudi On Job Training 2024 CJCSC Addresses SCO Military Medical Seminar 2024 on Challenges in Military Medicines Loyalty, Honor, Duty: The Pivotal Role of Pakistan Armed Forces in Upholding Peace and Security From Darkness to Light–One Year On: Contemplating May 9, 2023 to May 9, 2024 Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors Global Perspectives on Content Regulation: Examining Network Enforcement Act and Disinformation Laws The Issue of Palestine: A Historical, Religious, and Humanitarian Perspective Modi’s Guarantee and Hindutva Incorporated Divide and Conquer: The Dangerous Surge of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in Indian Politics India's Hybrid Warfare in Kashmir India: Where the Price of Protest is Death! Pakistani Peacekeepers and the International Peacekeeping Day Empowering Pakistan: Navigating the Path to Sustainable Energy Autarky Overpopulation: Navigating Challenges and Charting Solutions for Pakistan Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Friendship: Dawn of a New Era SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part IV) A Tale of Two Sultans: Brigadier Sultan Ahmed, SJ & Bar (Part II) In the Footsteps of Valor: A Journey through Peshawar Garrison Pakistan Military Academy Passing Out Parade-2024 CGS Turkish Armed Forces Calls on COAS Green Pakistan Initiative Conference Highlights National Commitment to Agricultural Innovation and Economic Growth Commander Turkish Land Forces Calls on COAS Minister of Foreign Affairs, KSA, Calls on COAS Assistant Minister of Defense, KSA, Calls on COAS PAF Academy Asghar Khan Hosts Prestigious Graduation Ceremony for Aviation Cadets Faculty and Students from Muzaffargarh Government Post Graduate College Visit Multan Garrison SIFC's First Year: Transforming Pakistan's Investment Landscape SIFC’s First Birthday SIFC Building an Investor's Paradise: A Major Improvement in Pakistan's Investment Environment SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part V) : Driving Growth in Industry, Tourism, and Privatization SIFC and Pakistan’s Economic Landscape: A Year in Review China Social Media in Pakistan: Balancing Risks and Governance for National Security Indian Ambitious “Make in India” Approach for Defense Production: An Appraisal India's Bold Shift: Extraterritorial Killings and Regional Instability as the 'New Normal' Charting a Path Towards Water Sustainability: Pakistan Comparative Analysis of IQ, EQ, SQ and AQ Harboring Opportunities: The Socioeconomic Benefits of Gwadar Port Development for Pakistan and the Region From Gridlock to Green Lanes: OLMRTS Drive Progress Evolution of Multan: A Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future Empowering Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs: The Al Barq e-Business Hub Embracing Tradition: Welcoming the 17th Entry to Military College Sui Balochistan Champions of the Desert: Balochistan Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Girls Cadet College Turbat Hosts First Passing-out Parade Secretary General of Defense and National Armaments, Italy, Calls on CJCSC U.S. CENTCOM Commander Calls on COAS Chief of Defense Forces Australia Calls on COAS Turkish Foreign Minister Visits COAS COAS and CGS UK Army’s Address at 6th Pakistan-UK Regional Stabilization Conference GHQ Investiture Ceremony Held at General Headquarters COAS Extends Condolence to Iran Following Helicopter Crash That Claimed Top Officials CNS visits PLA (Navy) Headquarters China CNS Attends 19th Western Pacific Naval Symposium CNS Attends the Launching Ceremony of 1st HANGOR Class Submarine CAS Calls on General Secretary of MOD and Commander of Iraqi Air Force Commander Southern Command and 2 Corps Visits Khairpur Tamewali Pakistan-U.S. Navy Bilateral Exercise Inspired Union 2024 Pakistan Navy's Humanitarian Mission in Balochistan's Flood-ravaged Villages
Advertisements

Hilal English

The Magic of Moscow

February 2024

From Dubai’s International Terminal 3, it appeared as if the plane to Moscow had been parked somewhere at the remotest corner of the airport. Moscow, also called as Moskva, is a city shrouded in deep historical and cultural charms that attracts more than 20 million local and foreign tourists every year. Moscow’s view from above the plane gives a bird’s-eye view of many fascinating places to visit. The capital is vast and spacious indeed. Lush green areas and an almost negligible number of sky scrapers exist in great contrast to the modern urban standards. Moscow is a city that grows more horizontally than expanding vertically.
It was a rare sunny day of August when we landed at one of Moscow’s three airports, Domodedovo, almost forty kilometers from the city center. The airport was the target of a suicide bombing in January 2011, killing more than thirty people. Since then, the security situation has improved to some extent, yet it reflects the underlying political problems in the North Caucasus region, some two thousand miles in the south. Moscow’s first impression on coming out of the airport was that of cleanliness, airiness, and tranquility. Life appears to be flowing leisurely as if in full control. Memories of much cherished Russia 2018 FIFA Football World Cup flashed back from looking at the souvenir shops and mascots, which will probably take years to fade out. 
Onto the Aero Express
Aero Express provides fast speed luxury trains that connects Moscow's major airports to the heart of the city, i.e., Red Square and the surroundings. A total of twenty-one trains carried around 17 million passengers in 2017. In the train, amongst the fellow passengers were an interesting granddaughter and grandmother duo. Let’s suppose the granddaughter is Jane. As a daughter of a French father and a Russian mother, Jane was a living example of cultural harmony in the region. A charming young lady gifted with a sparkling smile, Jane could speak French, Russian, and English. The grandmother’s skills were limited to Russian only. Upon learning about my first few hours in Moscow, Jane was of great help in guiding me to reach the Red Square. 
Red Square
Interestingly, Red Square has nothing to do with the red color. The name comes from an old Russian word krasnyi, meaning beautiful. Red Square is the historical and cultural heart of Moscow buzzing with tourist activities. Over the centuries, much of Russia’s historical substance had concentrated in an area of a few square kilometers surrounding the Red Square. This includes the iconic brightly-domed Saint Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, historical GUM Departmental store, the Kremlin, the State History Museum, Kazan Cathedral and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Alexander’s Garden
Adjacent to the 865 meters long western wall of Kremlin, stretches one of the first urban public parks in Moscow, called Alexander’s Garden. After the end of Napoleonic Wars, Tsar Alexander I ordered to reconstruct the parts of the city destroyed by the French troops. A new garden was designed from 1819 to 1823. Just like Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, the garden is comprised of three interconnected gardens. Upper garden's entrance hosts the famous Tomb of Unknown Soldier, middle garden's prominent feature is the Kutafiya Tower of the Kremlin and lastly, the lower garden leads to the road, merging one of two entrances to the Kremlin. The monuments in the garden include Alexander I, erected on the 200th anniversary (2014) of victory over Napoleon, Romanov Obelisk, Horses Fountain and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Unlike the Western Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, which is sacred for religious reasons, a section of the Western Wall of Kremlin is sacred for purely nationalist reasons. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow is dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who were killed during World War II. The remains of the unknown soldiers killed in the Battle of Moscow in 1941 were initially buried in a mass grave at a 40 km distance from the Leningrad highway. This was the location of the immediate contact of the German armies to Moscow during the WWII. A dark red monument made of a porphyritic rock, is decorated with a bronze sculpture of a laurel branch and a soldier's helmet laid upon a banner. In front of the monument, there is a five-pointed star, from which emanates the Eternal Flame in its center. The flame illuminates a bronze inscription "Your name is unknown; your deed is immortal". A Guard Ceremony takes place every hour by the soldiers of the Kremlin Regiment, changing their positions regularly.
Churches–So Many of Them 
For the foreign visitors, an interesting aspect of Moscow is the large number of churches. Like in Istanbul, where you can see minarets of mosques on both sides of Bosphorus, similarly in Moscow, glittering golden crosses dominate the skyline. Majority of the population belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2019, reportedly there were more than 1200 churches from different Christian denominations in Moscow alone. A few of them include Cathedral of Saint Basil, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Church of the Prophet Elijah, and Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokia in the Kremlin. 
Saint Basil's Cathedral
When Moscow and Russia need a symbol to be identified, an image of Saint Basil's Cathedral with its iconic, colorful onion shaped domes is the choice. The building, which is now a museum, was built during 1555 A.D., to 1561 A.D., on the orders of Ivan the Terrible, the first tsar of all Russia, and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. The main church stands at the middle of the building, with eight smaller chapels arranged around it. Each of the surrounding of the chapels has its own tower, which is covered by a brightly painted onion-shaped dome.
The church which is a part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square, has been recognized as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Site since 1990. It is not actually located within the Kremlin and is often confused with the Kremlin itself. The tour inside the Cathedral requires patience. Due to a long queue of tourists, narrow passages and constricted rooms, it becomes difficult to move freely.
Moscow Metro: The Deep Secret
A wonderful and inspiring aspect of Moscow is its metro system, constructed deep under the ground. The experience of using an escalator to take a metro was exhilarating. It felt as if the escalator would keep going underground and never come to a stop. Moscow’s metro service was launched in 1935, with an 11 km line and 13 stations. As of 2019, it has more than two hundred stations and route length of about 400 km. It is the busiest metro system in Europe. The system is mostly underground, with the deepest section 84 meters (276 feet), one of the world's deepest underground stations. This metro system is also the largest civil defense system in Russia, which was specifically engineered to seek shelter against a nuclear attack. Today, metro stations of Moscow are nothing less than beautiful art galleries that are considered tourist attractions. Some of the magnificent metro stations include Kiyevskaya metro station, a white marbled beauty bursting with frescoes and mosaic; Dostoyevskaya metro station, a beautiful tribute to a famed author; Ploschad Revolyutsii metro station with over seventy magnificent bronze statues of soldiers, and workers; Mayakovskaya metro station, a marvel of futurist soviet design; and Prospekt Mira metro station, inspired by botanical gardens of the nearby Moscow State University.
The Kremlin: A Symbol of Russia’s Power through the Ages
The Moscow Kremlin is a walled complex in the heart of Moscow, with Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square to the east, Alexander Garden to the west and overseeing the Moskva River to the south. True to its meaning, the word Kremlin generally means "fortress inside a city". It is the biggest active fortress in the whole of Europe. The Kremlin is densely built up, comprising eighteen buildings in total. There are five squares, five palaces and four cathedrals. The Cathedral Square is the heart of the Kremlin. Ivan the Great Bell Tower on the north-east corner of the Cathedral Square is said to be known as the perfect center of Moscow. The northern corner of the Kremlin is occupied by the Arsenal, originally built for Peter the Great in 1701. The southwestern section of the Kremlin holds the Armory building built in 1851 and is currently a museum. The Grand Kremlin Palace was formerly the Tsar's Moscow residence and now serves as the official residence of President Vladimir Putin. Kremlin is the place where one can see the world’s largest bell and the world’s largest cannon. The 20 feet tall Tsar Bell was made in 1735, which was broken during the metal casting and never rang. The Tsar Cannon weighing almost forty tons was casted in 1586 and has never been used in a war. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it’s the largest cannon by caliber.
The Twenty Towers of Kremlin 
The Kremlin wall is bordered by nineteen towers, whereas the twentieth Kutafya Tower is not a part of its wall. Of all the twenty towers, two of them don’t have proper names, and are called “the first unnamed” and “the second unnamed” towers. The tallest one is eighty meters (262 ft.) high, named Troitskaya tower (ten meters longer than our Minaret of Pakistan). The most recognizable is Spasskaya or the Kremlin Clock tower. The clock is connected to the control clock of Sternberg Astronomical Institute via the cable. 



In the days of Tsarist Russia, four Kremlin towers were topped with two-headed eagles. In 1935, the Soviet government replaced the eagles with five-pointed stars. A fifth star was added later. The biggest stars are 3.75 meters in length and are made of ruby glass to shine more brightly. They are the symbols of a bygone era and a reminder of the country’s communist past. 
Arbat Street and Matryoshka Dolls
If there is one souvenir that needs to be taken back home from Moscow, it has to be the famous Matryoshka dolls. Made out of wood and painted diligently, these dolls are considered the symbol of fertility and come in different sizes. These are actually "a doll inside a doll inside a doll...”. There can be as many as three to twenty-five dolls inside one doll. A set of 1800 inside dolls is also reported. The best place to get a Matryoshka doll is at Izmailovsky Market. They can also be bought from the famous Old Arbat Street (equivalent to Lahore’s Anarkali), but at higher rates. Arbat Street is a pedestrian street about one-kilometer-long, located at the historical center of Moscow. It has existed since at least the 15th century, which makes it one of the oldest surviving streets of the Russian capital.
Moscow, in a nutshell, is a unique mix of art, culture, history, and diversity. It offers great opportunities to explore, learn, and enjoy in one of the few celebrated cities of human history.


The writer is a computer engineer and mountain enthusiast.
E-mail: [email protected]

Article was read 1090 times