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Moscow, they say, “wasn’t built at one go” — in contrast to St. Petersburg, which emerged laid out, as if by magic, in strict conformity to Peter the Great’s plan — and it has been growing chaotically for more than 800 years on seven gently sloping hills surrounding the river of the same name.

Today, Moscow is an agglomeration of about 12 million people, with more than 1 million visitors coming and leaving each day. Modern suburbs are marching ever farther from the 110-km-long road ringing the original city, while a recently adopted new expansion plan for the capital is aimed at doubling the city’s size, thus making it possible to move official institutions away from the historic city center.

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