Early history (1147—1283)

The first reference to Moscow dates from 1147 as a meeting place of Yuri Dolgorukiy and Sviatoslav Olgovich

Nicholas Roerich
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At the time it was a minor town on the western border of Vladimir-Suzdal Principality. «Voice of Russia» claims that archaeologists have discovered artifacts pushing the history of the city back a century.

In 1156, Knjaz Yury Dolgoruky fortified the town with a timber fence and a moat. In the course of the Mongol invasion of Rus, the Golden Horde burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants.

The timber fort na Moskvě «on the Moscow river» was inherited by Daniel, the youngest son of Alexander Nevsky, in the 1260s, at the time considered the least valuable of his father's possessions.

Daniel was still a child at the time, and the fort was governed by tiuns (deputies), appointed by Daniel's paternal uncle, Yaroslav of Tver.

Nicholas Roerich
pinterest button Nicholas Roerich "Ancient russians build a town», 1902 Другие города, Public Domain

Daniel came of age in the 1270s and became involved in the power struggles of the principality with lasting success, siding with his brother Dmitry in his bid for the rule of Novgorod.

From 1283 he acted as the ruler of an independent principality alongside Dmitry, who became Grand Duke of Vladimir. Daniel has been credited with founding the first Moscow monasteries, dedicated to the Lord's Epiphany and to Saint Daniel.