Our special, favorite city

Moscow is 869 years old

The solemn ceremony for the opening of Moscow City Day kicked off on Red Square, on September 10. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin extended their warm wishes to the city residents.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to wish you happy City Day! For all Russians, Moscow is a special, beloved city. It is dear to both Muscovites and those who live thousands of kilometers away - dear to our entire gigantic country,” Vladimir Putin said.

The Russian President called the capital one of the most beautiful cities in the world and said that it belongs to the people: “With each passing year, Moscow becomes more beautiful and the city environment becomes more comfortable. The interests of Muscovites and the city’s guests are always taken into consideration before any reconstruction projects take place on the parks, squares and boulevards.”

The transport infrastructure is also undergoing improvement. “As you know, the Moscow Central Circle is open already, and we are actively building new metro stations,” Vladimir Putin pointed out.

In his address, Sergey Sobyanin noted that none of these accomplishments would have been possible without contributions from city residents. “Most importantly, we need to say thank you to Muscovites, the capital’s veterans. Thanks to your hard work, in spite of the economic crisis, different sanctions and problems, Moscow continues to develop rapidly. We are building roads and junctions, metro stations, kindergartens and schools, hospitals,” the Mayor of Moscow said.

Special attention is being paid to beautifying the capital. “We are reconstructing old parks, erecting new ones, and overhauling streets. With each passing year, Moscow is becoming a more comfortable city for people to live in. All of this is being accomplished thanks to your hard work, Muscovites, your talent, professionalism and, most importantly, your love for the city you live in,” Sergey Sobyanin said.

He also thanked the Russian government and Vladimir Putin personally for their assistance in developing the capital.

The theatrical performance on Red Square kicked off celebrations all over the city. This year, City Day coincided with the Year of Russian Cinema, which is why there were a lot of cinema-related events all over the city: screenings, stage sets, film hits and even film-themed menus. The “War and Peace” platform served dishes that were related to the nineteenth century: kulebyaka, cabbage soup, Pozharsky burgers, pike heads, and oven-baked duck leg with buckwheat. The “Walking the Streets of Moscow” platform served dishes that were once popular in the USSR: “ezhiki” made out of beef, Oliver salad, eclairs with custard, ice cream cups and traditional “Prague” and “Ptichye Moloko” cakes. Fans of film “Stilyagi” got to eat burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, hot corn on the cob, popcorn and French fries.

Tverskaya Street served as the central platform for the holiday. In honor of the capital’s 869th anniversary, the main street in Moscow hosted a grandiose reconstruction dedicated to the masterpieces of Russian cinema. Over 2,000 actors and entertainers took part in the two-day program.

Across ten platforms on Tverskaya, from Kozitsky Pereulok to Menazhnaya Square, decorations were erected to pay tribute to films that were either shot in Moscow or are about Moscow: “Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Professions,” “Stilyagi,” “War and Peace,” “Circus,” “The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed” the “Pokrovsky Gate” and others.

Guests were invited to concerts, televised performances, elaborate musical and dance shows and flash mobs. All of these activities were related to the featured films, from ballroom dancing on the “War and Peace” platform to rock-n-roll on the “Stilyagi” platform. There were also meetings with famous directors and actors, multiple film screenings, creative workshops, fashion shows and chess matches.

Exhibitions featuring costumes and retro cars that were used during filming, as well as large-scale art projects.

A bike ride with actors and audience members symbolized the opening of a new theatre season. The trail ran along the bike lanes of the Boulevard Ring. During the event, participants got to learn more about different locations along the route. There were experimental performances and plays afterwards.

For guests of the main exhibition VDNKh, the organizers prepared almost 20 platforms with workshops and other types of entertainment. VDNKh’s central alley hosted the Constructor Festival, where guests could take place in workshops where they learned how to make model cars, ships and airplanes, as well as put together unusual puzzles.

Guests could learn more about the pavilions at VDNKh on a series of special tours. The best photographs of the capital were in display at the “Planet Moscow” exhibition. The open area next to pavilion No. 70 housed the best 108 works by finalists of the photo competition. Guests could also see a miniature version of the city at pavilion No. 75, which contained a unique interactive model of the city.

The Moscow museums invited guests to come visit the exhibits, while states, parks and nature reserves welcomed Muscovites who wanted to take strolls and find out about the lives of people who used to own these estates.

Libraries developed tour programs about the lives and art of great writers and philosophers: Alexander Griboyedov, Vincent Veresaeva, Alexander Pushkin, Ivan Turgenev, Alexander Scriabin and others.

The first day of the holiday finished with a fireworks display in the form of  peonies, waterfalls, hearts and smiley faces. The five-minute show could be seen from 32 platforms in different points in the city, including on 20 platforms in parks. Two buildings on New Arbat showed congratulatory clips across their facades to celebrate City Day. The number 869, made out of red and blue rings, alternated with images of Kremlin towers, the Triumphal Arch of Moscow, the Church of Christ the Savior, the History Museum, and the buildings of Moscow State University.

A unified style was used for all events held in celebration of Moscow’s anniversary. The clips featured on the buildings on Novy Arbat were executed in this same style. The number 869 was made up of rings that symbolized the circular city plan and its main transportation rings - MKAD, the Third Ring Road, the Garden Ring, the Moscow Central Circle and the Ring Line of the Moscow Metro.

City Day Statistics:

10 mln people – attended City Day events

1,000 – concerts, performances, shows

212 – City Day platforms all over the city

2,000 - performers and entertainers working across platforms

32 – fireworks show locations

200 – free tours of the city

88 – free admission museums and exhibition halls

850,000 people  – celebrated the holiday at VDNKh

22 – parks prepared holiday programs

662 – cars took part in the Garden Ring parade

15,000 – law enforcement officers ensured the celebrations were safe and secure

300 – medical teams were on duty

704 – additional trains were used in the metro

1650 – kgs of ice cream was consumed by guests and Muscovites at Tverskaya Street



Founder: Department for External Economic and International Relations of the Government of Moscow

Address: Voznesenskiy Pereulok, 22, Moscow, 125009

Ph: +7 (495) 633-68-66, Fax: +7 (495) 633-68-65


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PHOTO –,, ITAR TASS Agency, RIA-Novosti, Getty Images Russia, companies and organizations, represented in the issue.

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Published with support from the Department for External Economic and International Relations of the Government of Moscow