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Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825
1453 Through the Reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) The Time of Troubles to the First Romanovs (1598-1682) Peter the Great and His Legacy (1682-1762) The Age of Catherine the Great (1762-1801) The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825)


Explore this Section:

  Russia Events
Engagement Symbol The Building of the Kremlin, 1156–1516
Russia Symbol Ivan IV Takes a Wife, 1547
Engagement Symbol Taking of Kazan, 1552
Russia Symbol Printing of the First Book in Moscow, 1564
Russia Symbol Oprichnina, 1564
  World Events
World Symbol
The Golden Horde, 1300s
World Symbol
Ottoman Capture of Constantinople (Istanbul), 1453
Engagement Symbol The Establishment of the Safavid Dynasty, 1502
World Symbol
The Protestant Reformation, 1517
Engagement Symbol The Jenkinson Mission to West Asia, 1558
Special Features

Russia's Globalization:
A Key

Events marked Russia Symbol are specific to Muscovy/Russia's internal development.
Those marked World Symbol are important world historical or cultural events.
Engagement Symbol indicates specific points of sociocultural or military engagement between Muscovy/Russia and foreign powers or individuals.



     Engagement Symbol  The Building of the Kremlin, 1156-1516

Russia's Old Capital, from an Italian Brush Russia's Old Capital, from an Italian Brush Russia's Old Capital, from an Italian Brush
Russia's Old Capital, from an Italian Brush
          NYPL, Slavic and Baltic Division
Inside the Palace of Facets
  Inside the Palace of Facets
NYPL, Slavic and Baltic Division

Although settlement of the area around Moscow dates back to prehistoric times, the historical record of Moscow extends back to 1147, when it is mentioned in one of the earliest written chronicles. The building of the Moscow Kremlin (in Russian, any fortified citadel) began in 1156, when Prince Iurii Dolgorukii of Kiev (1090–1157) laid the foundation of the city by erecting a wooden wall to surround his quarters. Three fires and military attacks necessitated the repeated rebuilding of the citadel. Despite the destruction wrought by successive Mongol sacks during the 13th century, Moscow's favorable geographical location for trade, and its relatively good soils, helped it bounce back quickly. In the 14th century, Grand Duke Dmitrii (Donskoi) (r. 1359–89) ordered that the Kremlin wall be rebuilt in stone. In the next century, Ivan III (r. 1462–1505) invited Italian architects to erect cathedrals in the courtyard, and their onion domes became visible over the Kremlin wall. Another plan merged two rivers, the Moscow and the Neglinnaia, to create a moat around the Kremlin.