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English for Special Purposes
FINAL EXAMINATION (Power Engineering Department 3rd course)
Topic resource for Conversational Practice "Windows on Moscow"
The history of Moscow has always been tumultuous. It was burnt to the ground countless times, rocked by revolutions, altered beyond recognition and yet filled with magnificent works of architecture and art. Moscow has miraculously withstood the ravages of time and the trials of political and social change. The fertile area filled with rivers, lakes, ﬁelds and forests that is now Moscow had been inhabited since at least the 5th century BC by a number of Slavic and European tribes. By the 10th and 11th centuries, when princes in Kiev ruled most of today’s European Russia, Moscow had become a small trading post. The town was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1147, when Prince Dolgoruky (‘Long Arms’) of Suzdal wrote to his ally Prince Svyatoslav in Chernigov : ‘Come to me, brother, in Moscow...’ Moscow began as a small walled fortress in a series of concentric circles intersected by the ‘spokes’ of roads leading to neighbouring principalities. The Kremlin’s first walls were built by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky in I I56. In I340 Ivan Kalita built sturdier oak walls, reinforced with stucco, which Prince Dmitry Donskoy replaced 27 years Iater with the white stone walls. Ivan Ill — Ivan the Great, invited Italian builders to expand the KremIin and surround it with the crenellated brick walls (1485-95) that still stand. A few years later a wide, deep moat was dug along the Kremlin walls on Red Square. The next Ivan — Ivan the Terrible — built the second walled city of Kitay—gorod in l535—38. During the reign of his son, Fyodor, a third circle of walls was built, marked today by the Boulevard Ring Road. When Ivan’s second son, Fyodor, died in 1598, he left no heir. The council of boyars elected Boris Godunov as tsar, but his reign was marked by crop failures, famine and unrest. The Poles decided to make use of the instability, and put forward a young man claiming to be the first son of Ivan the Terrible. Poles invaded Russia and occupied the Kremlin. For eight years the country went through a period of lawlessness and a number of leaders (including another False Dmitry). "The invaders were finally routed by a volunteer army led by a meat trader, Kuzma Minin, and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky. This period of chaos and lawlessness is called the Time of Troubles, and ever since it has haunted Russians, who have come to believe that the hand of a strong, even autocratic, leader is better than no hand at all." In 1613 a gathering of boyars, clergy and ranking service gentry met to decide on a new leader. They chose a young boyar named Mikhail Romanov, the first in a dynasty that would last until 1917. In the 17th century Moscow enjoyed a period of relative calm. The city was prosperous and grand, filled with churches, taverns and markets, its bearded, pious citizens clothed in long caftans trimmed with fur. Markets were filled with the chatter of dozens of foreign languages. Peasant women worked at market stalls, but noblemen rarely appeared on the streets: they stayed secluded in their homes. Peter the Great had largely grown up on the outskirts of Moscow. A huge man, some 2m (6ft 7in) tall, with enormous curiosity and a keen mind, he set off to Europe to study the crafts, arts, sciences and state institutions of European neighbours. Putting down several rebellions instigated by his oldersister, Sophia, Peter took control of Russia, crowning him. He began a series of reforms to bring Russia to the prevailing traditions of European civilisation and away from its Asian influences. In 1703 he expanded Russia to the forth. The capital of Russia was moved from Moscow to St.Peterburg. In the l8th century, the Kremlin walls were taken down, the moat on Red Square was ﬁlled in and the Neglinnaya River was routed underground. Three centuries ago, Peter the Great gave the estate at Kuzminki to Grigory Stroganov as a reward for his help in funding the Imperial Navy. The palace in Kuzminki Park was ﬁrst built in the 18th century. The Stroganov family were inﬂuential members of the 18th century Russian aristocracy. Another famous family, Golitsyns, took over the estate when Stroganov’s granddaughter Anna, married Prince Mikhail. The complex now houses stables,a cafe and an exhibition of old carriages. Baron Pyotr Klodt’s distinctive statues of men and rearing horses, framing the central Colonnade, may look familiar to people who have visited St. Petersburg: The sculptor copied the statues on the Anichkov Bridge from his earlierversions here in Kuzminki. Klodt also sculpted the quadriga (four-horse chariot) above the portico of the Bolshoi Theater. The primary Romanov's residency was at Tsaritsyno, another fabulous place in Moscow outskirts. The white and gold Church of the Vladimerskoi Icon of the Virgin First built here in wood in 1716, the church was worked on over the years by various well-known architects such as Vasily Bazhenov, who designed the first palace at Tsaritsyno. It was famous for its revered 7th century icon, brought from Constantinople. The original ’ now in the Tretyakov Gallery. In 1812 Napoleon’s Grand Army reached Moscow and entered the Kremlin after the indecisive battle of nearby Borodino. The city’s governor had ordered the city to be set on ﬁre and the citizens evacuated. Cold and hunger forced Napoleon to retreat. Three—quarters of Moscow’s structures were destroyed. But by the mid 19th century, the rebuilt city was a metropolis of contrasts: rickety tenements and middle—class apartment buildings, rank outdoor markets and beautifully landscaped public parks. In 1907 Politechnical muzeym, with a huge collection of gadgets and devices, from ancient timepieces to space equipment was built on Lubyanskaya ploshchad. That scene was a busy market area where Carters and carriage drivers stabled their horses and rested in cheap taverns. The neighbourhood is these days a busy commercial district, with several interesting museums and sights. In I935 under Stalin's ﬁrst General Plan for the city, streets were broadened, neighbourhoods of crooked lanes were razed and replaced by wide avenues. But the city's fundamental circular structure has not changed. Today there are three main ring roads encircling the city, and a ﬁnal circular highway that marks the outer city limits. Moscow is a booming, bustling, modern European capital nowadays. It's the centre of the Russian government, culture and business with ancient, pre-Revolutionary buildings, shopping malls, neon lights, bars, traffic jams, nightclubs, and a hip young population. Here you can find some of the world’s most magnificent art and beautifully restored churches, whose golden Cupolas soar above the skyline. In the streets teenagers glide by on roller blades chatting on mobile phones, and business people lunch in sushi bars. Moscow has some of the world’s finest ballet, classical music and theatre, as well as a lively club scene. Its main sites — the Kremlin and Red Square, and the brightly colored domes of St Basil’s Cathedral.. Tolstoy, Gorky and Mayakovsky are among many historical figures whose homes you can visit here. Moscow is also the country’s main centre of learning, with dozens of universities and institutes and an enormous, international student population. Moscow is a multinational metropolis. There are considerable expat communities (Chinese, Indians, Europeans, Koreans and construction workers from the Caucasus, Central Asia and Turkey). The Climate Moscow is around the same latitude as Edinburgh. Winters are long, often overcast, snowy and cold, and the whole city seems to move underground — to the malls and metros that offer congeniality and warmth. The short, glorious summer is usually hot and sunny, and the city’s abundant parks, squares and boulevards are ﬁlled with leafy trees and flowers. Autumn is a mild and often performance beautiful time of year. ‘Golden autumn’ is a good time for travellers who love the arts: the season begins in September when troupes return from summer touring. Only early spring (March and April) doesn’t show the city at its best — although the spring festival of Maslenitsa (Butter Week) before Lent makes up in merriment for the bare branches, mud and slush. "Winter is what Russia is famous for. It can be treacherously icy and devastatingly cold, but it can also mean bright blue skies behind gold domes and the shimmer of tiny crystals in the air. Snow-covered wooden cottages and icy fields sparkling in the winter sun; striding among frosty forests or walking on frozen lakes: these are just a few of the rewards available to those hardy hikers who venture out to discover Moscow's sou1."
According to UNESCO the University of al-Karaouine is sometimes referred to as the oldest existing and continually operating educational institution in the world.
It was founded in 859 in Morocco with an associated school, or madrasa, which subsequently became one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the historic Muslim world. Some scholars, although, dispute whether the term can be properly applied historically to institutions outside the European model.
The Bologna University is considered to be the oldest exiting in Europe. The University as others in midlevel times used to be under the strong influence of the Pope.
First graduates took a vow to stay loyal to the King and to lecture at the Stadium for a minimum of sixteen months and were not allowed to travel and study elsewhere.
One of the most famous students of this University was Roman Catholic theological and philosopher Thomas Aquinas.
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Moscow began as a fortress walled in a series of concentric circles intersected by the ‘spokes’ of roads leading to neighboring principalities. The Kremlin first walls were built Prince Yuri Dolgoruky in 1156. In 1340 Ivan Kalita built sturdier oak walls, reinforced with stucco, which Prince Dmitry Donskoy replaced 27 years later with the white stone walls.
Ivan III – Ivan the Great – invited Italian builders to expand the Kremlin and surround it with the crenellated brick walls (1485-95) that still stand. A few years later a wide, deep moat was dug along the Kremlin walls on red Square. The next Ivan – Ivan the Terrible – built the second walled of Kitay-gorod in 1535-38. During the region of this son, Fyodor, a third circle of walls was built, marked today by the Boulevard Ring Road. In the 17th century, wooden walls were built around the Earthen City, now the Garden Ring Road, enclosing the small settlements of merchants and craftsmen that flourished outside the White City walls.
In the 18th century, the walls were taken down the moat, on Red Square was filled in and the Niglinnaya River was routed underground.
In 1935 under Stalin’s first General Plan for the city streets were broadened, neighbourhoods of crooked lanes were razed and replaced by wide avenues. But the city’s fundamental circular structures has not changed. Today there are three main ring roads encircling the city, and a final circular highway that marks the outer city limits.
A major aim of the government has been to increase the number of students who enter into higher education. The driving force for this has been economic. It is assumed that the more people who study at degree level, the more likely the country is to succeed economically.
The growth in this sector of education has been quite staggering. Only a few years ago 15% of the age group were entering higher education. Now it is 30% - although a significant proportion of this 30% are actually mature students who are entering university after spending some time on a job or bringing a family. This increase have been made possible by the doubling of universities and colleges of higher education within a very few years, mainly by turning the polytechnics into universities. There are now about 90 universities and a further 20 or so colleges of higher education in Britain. The country has moved rapidly from a rather elitist system to one which is much more open, if not yet a mass system of higher education.