Moscow State University is housed in one of Stalin's "Seven Sisters" identical skyscrapers. He lived in a different one each night, fearful of being murdered by his own staff. Only a few key advisors knew his living schedule. Each house had two kitchens which prepared identicial meals. An aide tasted food from both about an hour before Stalin would dine to make sure no dish was poisoned. Perhaps the most famous of the "Seven Sisters" is the one found in the centre of Moscow--the Ukrainia Hotel (and apartments).
Moscow State University currently has over 34,000 students full-time (including our youngest daughter this fall!) and dates back to the year 1755. This skyscraper/University is located above Moscow in what is called "Lenin Hills." Originally called "Sparrow Hills" because SPARROW (Lenin's favourite bird) was the code name for Lenin before the revolution. At the base of the impressive University drive is a popular water park overlooking the central part of the city.
This location is also significant because it is where two invaders were stopped. First was the French Napeleon. In old European wars it was the custom for the conquering General to wait outside the city for the surrendering home generals to come out and surrender. The Russian Generals refused telling Napeleons messengers that if the great General wanted to visit their fine city he was going to have to fight his way all the way in.
It is also the site where Russian troops finally stopped the Nazi German advances and began to push the Germans back...just like they had sent Napeleons troops packing centuries earlier.
As you descend into the city from this great hillside the breathtaking "Great Patriotic War" Memorial Park to the memory of World War II will greet you with acres of parks, old tanks, monuments, and amphitheatres. At night waves of red light run like rivers of blood. Its dramatic....breathtaking.
Russia lost over 20 million people during the war. It is said that of all young Russian/Ukrainian men between the ages of 16 and 24, less than 10% of them lived to see their 25th birthday.
May God grant all who died "eternal memories." (Russian Orthodox memorial to those who have died)
After the park comes the famous Triumphal Arch into the city to remember the victory in the War of 1812.