Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia. The city stands on the Moskva River in Central Russia, with a population estimated at 12.4 million residents within the city limits, over 17 million residents in the urban area, and over 20 million residents in the metropolitan area. The city covers an area of 2,511 square kilometres, while the urban area covers 5,891 square kilometres, and the metropolitan area covers over 26,000 square kilometres. Moscow is among the world's largest cities, being the largest city entirely in Europe, the largest urban area in Europe, the largest metropolitan area in Europe, and the largest city by land area on the European continent.
First documented in 1147, Moscow grew to become a prosperous and powerful city that served as the capital of the Grand Duchy that bears its namesake. When the Grand Duchy of Moscow evolved into the Tsardom of Russia, Moscow still remained as the political and economic center for most of the Tsardom's history. When the Tsardom was reformed into the Russian Empire, the capital was moved from Moscow to Saint Petersburg diminishing the influence of the city.