Soc­cer fans vis­it­ing World Cup host Moscow will dis­cover a city to equal ri­val St Peters­burg

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - DESTINATION RUSSIA - JOHN HUXLEY

Many lo­cal Rus­sians were appalled 20 years ago, when a mas­sive, 98mhigh statue of Peter the Great, look­ing out to sea from a sail ship, like the ex­plorer Christo­pher Colum­bus, was erected on the banks of the Moskva River in down­town Moscow.

Not only was it so un­sightly that it had been voted among a world top 10 of ugly stat­ues, they ar­gued, but it de­i­fied a man who so loathed Moscow that he shifted the cap­i­tal to the Baltic Sea, to St Peters­burg. Cap­i­tal sta­tus was re­turned to Moscow al­most ex­actly a cen­tury ago. But Rus­sians still ar­gue the mer­its, the dif­fer­ent qual­i­ties, of the two fas­ci­nat­ing cities, which have a com­bined pop­u­la­tion of al­most 16 mil­lion, two thirds of them in the present cap­i­tal.

Moscow is the heart of Rus­sia, St

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