We all know the cross-sectional pattern of a tree trunk: a series of rings and radials. Well, that is just the picture you get of Moscow layout. A tree's rings tell its age, Moscow's rings reflect the city's historical growth.

The center of Moscow is famous Kremlin and Red Square. Nothing remains of the series of successive fortifications, their contours are marked by Boulevard Ring and Sadovoye (Garden) Ring. Later, Circular Railway and Moscow Ring Road were added. The rings were pierced by radiating streets, which ran into highways leading out of the city. This radial-circular layout has much in common with other big cities, like Paris and Vienna.

The Kremlin has magnificent examples of early Russian architecture. Kitai-Gorod, the area to the east of the Kremlin, was once famous for many old churches and still has some fascinating buildings. The area within Garden Ring has many examples of Classic period, Russian revival and some ornate Moscow Baroque buildings. The area outside the garden Ring consists of industrial and residential developments.

The Soviet times changed the city beyond recognition. Blocks of one- and two- story structures and narrow, crooked streets were replaced by wide avenues and squares. Some unique churches were demolished in the process.  The Stalin era added new bridges and subway system, seven elaborate skyscrapers and enormous National Economic Exhibition, neoclassical apartment and office buildings. Today Moscow again is going through many changes. Previously demolished churches are being restored ( the Cathedral of Christ the Savior), elegant new hotels are being built.

 Another interesting example of sovietic architecture is The Seven Sisters. The Seven Sisters are a group of seven skyscrapers in Moscow designed in the Stalinist style. Muscovites call them Vysotki or Stalinskie Vysotki, meaning "(Stalin's) high-rises" (or "Stalinist skyscrapers"). They were built from 1947 to 1953, in an elaborate combination of Russian Baroque and Gothic styles, and the technology used in building American skyscrapers.

The seven are: Hotel UkrainaKotelnicheskaya Embankment Apartments, the Kudrinskaya Square Building, the Hotel Leningradskaya, the Ministry of Foreign Affairsthe main building of the Moscow State University, and the Red Gates Administrative Building. There were two more skyscrapers in the same style that were never built: the Zaryadye Administrative building and the Palace of the Soviets.